4 Challenges in Augering for Powerline Installation 


Augering plays a vital role in laying the groundwork for powerline installations. But venturing beneath the surface presents a complex labyrinth of challenges. From unpredictable terrain to buried obstacles, successfully navigating this underground world requires the right equipment for each hurdle. 

Challenge 1: The Subterranean Unknown 

One major challenge is the sheer uncertainty of what lies beneath the surface. Soil composition can vary dramatically within short distances. Sandy or loose soil poses a high risk of cave-ins, while encountering unexpected rock formations can bring augering to a screeching halt. 

Solution: Equip for Flexibility 

Overcoming this challenge requires a versatile arsenal. Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) machines are a game-changer, allowing for precise installations with minimal surface disruption. For tougher terrain, consider rock saws that can break through even the most stubborn rock formations. 

Challenge 2: The Hidden Web of Utilities 

Buried utility lines are a constant threat during augering. Accidental strikes can cause service disruptions, ignite fires and endanger lives. 

Solution: Locate and Conquer 

Advanced utility locating tools like electromagnetic locators and ground penetrating radar are crucial. These technologies precisely pinpoint existing underground infrastructure, allowing crews to navigate around them safely. 

Challenge 3: The Deep Dig Dilemma 

Deep excavations for powerline poles present their own set of challenges. Maintaining stable trench walls becomes paramount to prevent cave-ins. Extracting spoil (excavated material) from deep holes efficiently is also a major concern. 

Solution: Shoring Up and Hauling Out 

Shoring systems like trench boxes provide crucial support for deep excavations, safeguarding workers from potential collapses. Selecting the appropriate size and type of shoring system is essential for a safe and efficient operation. Choosing the right size and capacity for excavation trucks ensures that spoil removal happens swiftly, minimising disruption to the work schedule. 

Challenge 4: The Balancing Act: Power vs. Precision 

Powerline installations often require precise hole depths and diameters. However, some augering equipment may struggle to achieve the necessary balance between power and precision. 

Solution: Right-Sized Rigs and Trucks 

Choosing the right size and capabilities for pole installation rigs is critical. Modern rigs often offer variable torque and drilling depth capacities, allowing for precise control during pole placement. Similarly, selecting trucks with the appropriate weight capacity and lifting capabilities ensures smooth and safe pole installation. 

By equipping crews with the right set of augers, rock saws, pole installation rigs and trucks, powerline companies can effectively overcome the challenges lurking beneath the surface. Careful planning, coupled with the right equipment selection, paves the way for safe, efficient and successful powerline installations. 

How Tebco Can Assist You 

To assist you with the right equipment selection, you can contact us today here at Tebco. For over 35 years, Tebco has been a leader in the field of foundation pier drilling for the commercial and domestic building market. You will benefit from our experience and expertise in the augering and foundation drilling industry. We have ‘Preferred Supplier’ status for Networks NSW and QLD, so rest assured that you can rely on our augers, rock saws, pole installation rigs and trucks to complete your powerline installation project.