Adding a Soil Testing Service to Your Drilling Business

Are you a driller looking at adding a soil testing service to your business? If you’ve been in the drilling business for any length of time, or if you’ve been involved in drilling around sites that are being prepped for construction or development - you may have crossed paths with a Cone Penetration Test (CPT) operation. If you have been curious about this service, you probably noticed that the operating conditions of CPT are pretty comfortable. You may have also heard that the daily rates or rates charged per foot of depth for CPT are usually quite a bit better than what you can get for drilling. Adding soil testing services to your business can be a good way to diversify your workload and ensure a steady income for your business and your family. What you may not know, is that the skills you’ve acquired to drill are a good basis for entering the CPT business. What do you need to get started? A good place to start is to start comprehending the reasons why customers need a soil testing service and the basics of how this type of soil testing works. This will help you to start thinking about the needs in your area and the types of things you’ll need to learn in order to be successful in the business. Why a Soil Testing Service? When engineers are in the early stages of designing infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, or foundations for buildings, they need to know the characteristics of the ground that is going to be built on. Depending upon the type of construction, they may need to understand how soil, clay and rock are layered below the surface. This can help them to decide what the construction process will look like. For instance, will blasting or [...]

Presenting CPT Data to Owners & Engineers: an Important Role of CPT

If you are considering entering the CPT business from, let’s say, operating a well-drilling business, you’ll want to prepare yourself for a few adjustments. Depending upon the type of business you are used to running or being a part of, you’ll find that the customer interactions may be different. CPT testing is all about gathering data from field tests and quickly turning that into useful information for the site owner, an engineer, construction company, government agency etc. This blog is an introduction to the basics of CPT reporting. We’ll start with what we’re trying to measure, then we’ll discuss how a CPT system, and in particular the probe, gathers specific types of useful data. Then we’ll, look at some ways that this data is interpreted to make useful information for your customer to make decisions. In real life, you’ll want to use a software application that quickly and efficiently does this interpretation for you. However, Vertek CPT believes in training it’s customer partners from the ground up (so to speak) so that you are comfortable and confident in every conversation you’ll have. What are we trying to measure? CPT is the quickest and most cost-effective way to map out what the soil conditions are under your feet. If you imagine being able to look at the ground ‘from the side’, you’d see layers something like this: For people responsible for building highways through hilly territory, or building a heavy structure, it’s important to know what’s underground before they begin planning. This is where CPT comes in. CPT lets you draw a picture of what’s underground for folks who need it. How Does a CPT Probe Gather Useful Types of Data? So let’s start with the Cone, the ‘C’ in CPT. If you look at the picture below, you can imagine [...]

Why Are There So Many Kinds of CPT Rigs?

As you look through our website, you'll see that there are a number of different types of CPT Rigs. As you can imagine, they each have their purpose, or 'application'. In order to understand why different types of CPT Rigs exist, it's helpful to remember how CPT works in the first place. Cone Penetration Testing The goal of Cone Penetration Testing is to drive a hardened cone vertically into the the ground and to keep it moving at a specific rate of progress. The force that it takes to maintain the cone moving downward at a defined rate is an indicator of how hard the soil is at a given depth. The friction the cone sleeve encounters along the way gives us an indication of the make up of the soil. Deciding Between CPT Rigs As you can imagine, as the cone progresses further downward and encounters different types of soils, sands, clays and rocks it can take a substantial amount of pressure to keep it moving! One of the first factors that influences the design of CPT Rigs is the maximum amount of pressure that will be required to perform a specific test, to a specific depth in a given geological area. As much as 20 tons of downward force may be required to perform a broad enough range of tests to make a given rig viable for a market. For every ton of downward pressure on the test cone through the rod system, you have to have a reaction force equal to this to keep the Rig from lifting up. This means that either the Rig has to be heavier than the maximum push force, plus a safety margin, or it needs to be anchored down in some way as to reliably resist the upward force generated by [...]

Why Are There So Many Kinds of CPT Rigs?

As you look through our website, you'll see that there are a number of different types of CPT Rigs. As you can imagine, they each have their purpose, or 'application'. In order to understand why different types of CPT Rigs exist, it's helpful to remember how CPT works in the first place. The goal of Cone Penetration Testing is to drive a hardened cone vertically into the the ground and to keep it moving at a specific rate of progress. The force that it takes to maintain the cone moving downward at a defined rate is an indicator of how hard the soil is at a given depth. The friction the cone sleeve encounters along the way gives us an indication of the make up of the soil. As you can imagine, as the cone progresses further downward and encounters different types of soils, sands, clays and rocks it can take a substantial amount of pressure to keep it moving! One of the first factors that influences the design of CPT Rigs is the maximum amount of pressure that will be required to perform a specific test, to a specific depth in a given geological area. As much as 20 tons of downward force may be required to perform a broad enough range of tests to make a given rig viable for a market. For every ton of downward pressure on the test cone through the rod system, you have to have a reaction force equal to this to keep the Rig from lifting up. This means that either the Rig has to be heavier than the maximum push force, plus a safety margin, or it needs to be anchored down in some way as to reliably resist the upward force generated by the test (or 'sounding'). Depending upon the [...]

Testing Pavement Sections at Ohio University

Ohio Unversity Accelerated Pavement Tester in Action! In 1997 Vertek delivered our first of many Accelerated Transportation Loading Systems (ATLaS). Ohio University published this video, dated in 2012 of the pavement load tester in use at their Accelerated Pavement Load Facility. Common pavement tests include: Pavement coating lifetime analysis Experimental pavement fatigue estimation Pavement rutting Impact of temperature cycling on pavement Effects of wheel wander on pavement lifespan [/fusion_youtube] Though our designs have evolved since 1997 to better handle environmental and energy useage factors, many components of the above are still present on our current deliveries of pavement and bridge deck testers. These testers are designed to deliver actionable data regarding the lifespan and limits of road surfaces and pavement composition in shortened timespans. While this website is primary dedicated to our CPT business, Vertek's wealth of geotechnical manufacturing experience has led to additional focus on structural integrity fields such as load testing. See our ATLaS pavement and bridge load testing page for more information or to inquire.

CPT Rigs: Types, Uses & Applications

If you're familiar with the CPT University then you may have had the chance to see our article: Why Are There So Many Kinds of CPT Rigs? As you may have read, there are many different rigs available; but depending upon the types of surface conditions or the terrain, one option may be more suitable for your project over another. Read on to take a deeper dive into a few different examples of CPT rigs, uses and applications. S4 CPT Push System The S4 is a robust and affordable push system that can be attached to many types of heavy equipment including ski steers, trailers, backhoes, and more. The S4 is revolutionary in many respects, for instance it provides 20 tons of CPT push capacity in a compact and affordable package. This agile, lightweight rig is only available from Vertek CPT and is one of the most inexpensive alternatives to the traditional rig. The system is equipped with full-systtem hydraulics giving you full operating control, as well as the ability to drive 2 Motorized Anchor Heads and all of the CPT system features you need to eliminate the need for external cylinders. There is no alternative to the S4 Push System that lets you enter the CPT business with confidence that you can prove out your business model before going 'all in'. CPT Track Rigs With fully equipped features and capabilities, CPT Track Rigs are available in light, medium and heavy configurations. These CPT rigs are designed to meet rigorous requirements and the demanding range of foundation work you are likely to encounter as your business grows. For certain geographical areas soft soils, boggy areas and changing environments demand a track rig. This means that you can immediately differentiate your services from the competition. CPT Track Rigs are super-pro. Track [...]

Terracon Consulting Engineers Takes Delivery of 20 Ton CPT Track Rig

Cone penetration test rig leaves Vertek CPT's Randolph, VT facility. It can be a bit somber watching one of our CPT track rigs head out the door after spending a few months building the rig here in Vermont, but thankfully we get to work with our partners long after the sale to make sure they're successful in the field. This 20 ton cone pentration test track rig is headed to Terracon Consulting Engineers and Scientists of Olathe, Kansas. [/fusion_youtube]

Towable CPT Trailer – Push System on Wheels!

New - Mount an S4 CPT Push System on equipment or a trailer! Customer response to our new S4 Push System has been very impressive. The most affordable and flexible 20 ton push system available has made CPT newly accessible to a variety of service providers around the world without the need for large dedicated vehicles. In keeping with our history of cone penetration innovation we'd proud to show off our latest improvement to the S4 Push System: Towability. That's right, the S4 can now be purchased attached to our custom trailer enabling it to be driven from job site to job site behind any full size pick-up truck. [/fusion_youtube]

Incotec Q&A: Cone Testing in Bolivia

CPT in South America Vertek's S4 Push System has made entry into the CPT market accessible for a growing list of geotechnical professionals. Here on our CPT U blog we often provide a closer look at some of these organizations and how their regional markets operate. One such company is a Bolivian construction and engineering group that's been in operation since 1968, but has just recently added CPT to their offerings thanks to a Vertek S4. Read on for our Q&A with Mario A. Teceros of Incotec. Provide a brief background on your company. How/when did it originate? It was established in 1968. Is one of the oldest operating construction companies in Bolivia. It was initially created to build urban infrastructure and housing. Rapidly entered to the civil works and the deep foundations market. Incotec also started with the first geotechnical equipment (SPT and DPM) in 1968. Since then, beside the experience in different type of projects (ranging from concrete structures to industrial constructions and dams), the speciality in deep and special foundations has been the main "stamp" of Incotec. Is family company and now the third generation is working. What is the scope and focus of Incotec today? More specialization in all the fields of its activities, mainly with the incorporation of cutting edge equipments for soil tests (SCPTu from Vertek), deep foundation construction (BG18, BG20 and BG 30 from Bauer, with tools for Full Displacement Piles, Cutter Soil Mixing, cased piles) and quality controls (From Pile Dynamics, PIT, Cross Hole and PDA). But the main product developed by Incotec during the last decade is the EXpander Body, a steel folded "balloon" that is installed at the tip of a pile or an anchor. The EB is then injected with grout to expand it, compacting the surrounding soil and [...]

When Should You Consider SPT Testing Over CPT?

If you’ve been following the CPT University, you likely already know that Cone Penetration Testing isn’t the only method of testing soil. Mud rotary drilling, for example, has come up in the past along with one of the best known soil testing procedures out there: the Standard Penetration Test (SPT). Like Cone Penetration Testing, SPT Testing is widely used. But can it outperform CPT Testing? Read on to find out. What is SPT Testing? SPT Testing uses a thick sample tube to determine the relative density of granular deposits, typically sand and gravel. The sample tube is placed at the bottom of a borehole and struck with a heavy slide hammer repeatedly. The number of hammer strikes is important; the test operator must track how many strikes it takes to drive the sample tube 6 inches into the soil. The test is completed when the sample tube reaches 18 inches deep. As you might imagine, a test that requires only a sample tube and a hammer offers a few notable benefits, namely that it is simple and inexpensive to perform. It is also the best solution for testing soil in areas that are difficult to access with vehicles. In other words, if you need to perform a soil test quickly, easily and at minimal cost, SPT Testing is hard to beat. SPT Testing does have its drawbacks, though. Most notably, it’s inaccurate compared to more advanced methods, especially when sampling coarse sands or clay. As such, it’s rare to encounter a scenario in which SPT Testing is preferable to Cone Penetration Testing. Not only is CPT far more accurate than the standard penetration test, it also manages to be relatively inexpensive compared to other testing methods. CPT is also a fast, safe and versatile option. Sure, it can’t match the [...]