Soil will not be the same on every work site—one day, you might be boring holes through rock, and the next, you will be dealing with soft and sandy soil. The soil condition in the construction zone will affect drilling and require you to utilize different tools to drill a hole efficiently. Take a look at the common soil conditions you could encounter to better understand how to tackle drilling.

Softer Soil Conditions

The softer the soil conditions are, the easier it will be to maneuver an auger to bore holes in the earth. A dirt auger will perform more efficiently in softer soils than a rock auger. The machine needs enough thrust to lead the casing through the ground and enough torque to rotate the auger once it’s placed.

When sand and silt are present with the groundwater table beneath, the ground will need a dewatering method before you can use the auger. You should never use your auger below the water table if there is a flow present. However, you can use the auger if clay is present around the water table because it has low permeability.

Muddy and Sandy Soil Conditions

Muddy and sandy soil presents softer conditions, but the added water can make removing and drilling holes difficult without a bored shaft. You will need to install a permanent or temporary casing on your auger to give yourself better leverage with this soil. We recommend using a drilling bucket auger when faced with wet and muddy soil conditions because the bucket will make removing the mix of drilling fluid from the borehole easier. Without the bucket, the mud and liquid will fall back into the hole, making it nearly impossible to extract.

Rocky Soil Conditions

If rock shafts are beneath the earth’s surface on your work site, you will need to exchange your auger for a more efficient tool. Core barrels are the most aggressive type of auger and will be required to successfully drill through rocky soil conditions. The core barrel has enough downward force to break up the rock in the soil so that your auger tool can be more effective in removing the debris.

Ice and Permafrost Soil Conditions

Living in a colder climate presents another disadvantage in soil conditions because the ground can freeze or develop permafrost if the conditions are cold enough. If this happens on your work site, a dirt auger will have difficulty drilling through frozen soil. These soil conditions can affect your auger boring when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, but a rock auger will become your best friend because it has the durability and strength to break up the frozen soil.

As you can see, the auger you decide to use on the work site will depend on the soil conditions present. Always know what type of soil you’ll be working with so that you can make the correct decision when choosing an auger tool. If you have questions about the tools at Jeffrey Machine, do not hesitate to reach out to one of our professional team members.