Owning your own soil sampling equipment has never been easier or more affordable. And as cities and municipalities impose stricter requirements for SPT and other geotechnical tests, the ability to do your own sampling can greatly improve your productivity and efficiency. Currently, there are several models on the market that provide the power, portability and precision at the right price point for general contractors looking to expand their services. But what if you don’t need all the bells and whistles? No one wants to spend money on things they don’t really need, especially contractors keeping a close eye on their bottom line. So before investing in a drilling rig, be sure to look for one that meets your needs — and your budget— without a lot of costly extras you won’t use.
Power, Portability and Precision
Start by looking at the soil sampling you already do or want to do. What types of soils do you typically encounter and how deep do you usually need to test? What kind of maneuverability do you need? Are you working in backyards or remote locations? What are the equipment requirements in the municipalities you operate in? Do they require automatic hammers for all SPT, or can you still use other methods?
Answering these questions will help you find the soil sampling drill with the right power, portability and precision for your operation.
Small, trailer-mounted hydraulic drills like those in the LST1G+ series are powerful enough to cut though sand, clay, and soft rock formations up to 100 feet (30.5 meters) yet portable enough for limited-access areas and remote locations. The geotechnical rig incudes a cathead pulley for SPT with a 140-pound manual safety hammer. The LST1G+HD offers up to 1,100 foot-pounds of torque for faster drilling when the clock is ticking. If governing bodies in your area of operation require automatic hammers for soil sampling applications, the LST1G+HDA’s automatic hammer feature ensures easy operation and precise sampling.
Simple Soil Sampling
But what if you have a little more wiggle room when it comes to precision? There are plenty of options on the market that provide the power and portability you need for basic soil sampling applications without investing in specialized equipment. These machines offer contractors and homeowners quick, dependable samples with minimum contamination. They aren’t as capable in all situations as the larger, specialized equipment but are highly versatile and work for applications where soil density isn’t required.
For sand, clay and soft rock formations, the LST1A+ is as powerful and portable as the LST1G+ series. It drills up to 100 feet (30.5 meters) with a normal auger and up to 50 feet (15.25 meters) with a hollow stem auger. For general soil sampling applications, the LST1A+ offers contractors the ability to examine cuttings, take precise depth measurements, and extract uncontaminated samples. However, it does not have a hammer for SPT.
When portability is key, nothing goes more places than Little Beaver’s Hydraulic Earth Drill. This compact machine allows you to power through rocky or heavy clay soils but is light enough for use in delicate environments like established turf and environmentally sensitive areas. When combined with the tripod kit, the Hydraulic Earth Drill allows controlled drilling up to 35 feet (10.5 meters). The Hydraulic Earth Drill and tripod kit is the quickest, easiest and most portable solution for simple soil sampling. It is easy to set up and can go anywhere you can.
The Best of Both Worlds
And what if you want it all? Power to chew through tough soil, clay and rock formations up to 100 feet (30.5 meters). Portability to reach limited-access locations inaccessible to trailer-mounted units and to get through gates, doorways and tight spaces. And precision for core samples and geotechnical engineering projects when you need it. Then the Big Beaver with optional SSK-1 Cathead Kit might be the right fit for your operation. The Big Beaver is one of the most powerful earth drills we make. It offers one-man operation and maximum portability. Operators can use the hollow stem auger for easy, uncontaminated soil sampling.
With the SSK-1 Cathead Kit, which includes a third hydraulic valve, tower kit and spool, the Big Beaver is capable of SPT, core sampling for environmental tests, and other geotechnical engineering projects.
So, just how much drill do you need for your soil sampling needs? Contact one of our representatives, and we’ll help you decide.