Advantages and Disadvantages of Drilled Piers


Often referred to as drilled pier foundations, drilled piers are an increasingly prevalent choice for deep foundation systems, particularly for structures with substantial loads, such as bridges, oil platforms, and lighthouses. Their deep excavation and the large diameter concrete cylinders formed ensure excellent base and side resistance. Plus, the drilled shafts allow for effective distribution of axial and lateral loads, making them ideal for weighty applications. 

The Advantages of Drilled Piers 

A primary advantage of a drilled pier foundation system is its flexibility in both design and excavation processes. Changes can be made to the size and shape of the pier and bearing stratum even during the progression of a project. This adaptability is what makes pier foundations applicable to a diverse range of soil conditions and foundation unit installation scenarios. 

The cost-effectiveness of drilled pier foundations is another notable feature. The equipment used for deep foundation systems, such as end bearing piers and slab foundations, is readily mobile, which increases efficiency and saves time. 

Additionally, drilled piers, sometimes called drilled piers, provide a virtually limitless set of options for infrastructure projects. With the ability to decide on any size and length of the resulting pier, these deep foundation solutions are versatile and easily customizable to maximize efficiency. 

The Disadvantages of Drilled Piers 

Despite their numerous benefits, drilled piers come with certain drawbacks. One primary issue is the potential for significant damage and subsidence due to a lack of support during deep excavation. This risk can adversely affect adjoining structures during or even long after excavation activities. 

Furthermore, quality control is essential during the construction process, especially with poured concrete blocks used to build the foundation. Load tests on the drilled piers can also be challenging and require careful monitoring to ensure the structural integrity of the foundation. 

Addressing Challenges in Construction and Excavation 

Nevertheless, many of these challenges can be mitigated with proper planning and implementation of safety measures. Geotechnical obstacles are prevalent in all construction and excavation projects, including those involving drilled piers. It is crucial to identify these challenges beforehand and take steps to reduce risks. 

At TEBCO, we leverage our expertise in pier foundation drilling and our rich history of over 35 years to provide custom-made augers, buckets, drives, and other tools. These are always tailored to the unique requirements of the site, helping to expedite the construction of the foundation, saving on costs, and ensuring the successful completion of infrastructure projects on schedule.