What is Pier Drilling? Advantages and FAQs


We can think of pier drilling as a form of targeted or confined excavation, which is very useful for sites with excavation constraints. This happens by using a targeted auger to penetrate the ground. The auger’s blades fill with ground material and then brought upwards and removed (the auger functions as both a penetrating and removal tool). Next is about making a strong column or pier in that resulting empty space. That column or pier will then be used to support the foundation above.

What is pier drilling

It’s a straightforward process but the tools and technology can get expensive and complicated. Time, costs and safety are major concerns in the foundational tasks of construction. For instance, engineers and contractors are under strict timelines and budgets for such a monumental task. As a result, there’s that additional pressure to choose customised solutions according to the specific application and ground conditions.

Each site and project often presents a unique set of geotechnical requirements and challenges. The soil might be of poor composition and far from ideal when it comes to support. For example, the soil conditions in the site might have varying amounts of sand, clay and limestone. Because of that variety in the identity and quantity of sediments, the drilling and stabilisation can get complex. If that variety is not considered, especially if there’s a hardened layer underground, this might result in delays in the entire drilling and excavation work.

In pier drilling, the augers as well as the excavator attachments (possibly including a cylinder and chain style feed system to increase equipment performance) should deliver smooth and efficient strokes and movements. Aside from speeding up the project, the high level of efficiency can also reduce the energy costs and vibration. This is important in stabilisation as well as maintaining workplace safety.

When pier drilling is accomplished successfully, the resulting support and foundation can effectively handle extremely heavy loads often encountered in bridges, lighthouses and oil platforms. This is possible because of the enlarged base that better spreads the weight. And all this is done through efficient and confined drilling where ground material is being brought upwards at the same time.