GROUP in The News

Technology Brings Greater Efficiency

August 1, 2020

With auger casts, the contractor is essentially constructing a pile within the ground. On most jobs, the GROUP project team will operate a 100- to 160-ton crane, along with associated leads, a drill head, grout pump and auger. There’s also an excavator on site to move the “spoils” coming out of the hole and a skid steer loader to transport the spoils off-site. “As we drill, we’re pumping grout into the ground,” Bergeron says. “Then, once the grout is in, we put the ‘cage’ in the ground.”

A normal crew consists of about 10 people. Equipment operators are certified through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), while other team members go through specialized training offered by GROUP.

Depending upon the size and the footprint of the project, there could be multiple auger cast operations underway at once, with multiple crews. For larger sites, GROUP will operate a second rough-terrain crane to set the cages. “The pile driving rig will swing over and start driving another pile while the second crane sets the steel,” Bergeron says. “That keeps the process moving.”

While the process hasn’t changed much over the years, improvements in technology have made auger cast systems more efficient. GROUP uses a Pile Installation Recorder (PIR) to calibrate the flow of grout, which in turn communicates vital information to the crane operator. “The meter precisely measures the rate of flow,” Bergeron says. “It will tell him if he needs to slow down or speed up. Otherwise, we might waste grout or create unnecessary voids.”

Auger cast systems are also adaptable to a variety of situations. In 2019, GROUP installed 1,200 piles measuring up to 24 inches in diameter and 105 feet deep within an existing Texas industrial plant – in record time. It was, by far, Bergeron’s largest auger cast project to date.

With auger casts, the contractor is essentially constructing a pile within the ground. On most jobs, the GROUP project team will operate a 100- to 160-ton crane, along with associated leads, a drill head, grout pump and auger. There’s also an excavator on site to move the “spoils” coming out of the hole and a skid steer loader to transport the spoils off-site. “As we drill, we’re pumping grout into the ground,” Bergeron says. “Then, once the grout is in, we put the ‘cage’ in the ground.”

A normal crew consists of about 10 people. Equipment operators are certified through the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), while other team members go through specialized training offered by GROUP.

Depending upon the size and the footprint of the project, there could be multiple auger cast operations underway at once, with multiple crews. For larger sites, GROUP will operate a second rough-terrain crane to set the cages. “The pile driving rig will swing over and start driving another pile while the second crane sets the steel,” Bergeron says. “That keeps the process moving.”

While the process hasn’t changed much over the years, improvements in technology have made auger cast systems more efficient. GROUP uses a Pile Installation Recorder (PIR) to calibrate the flow of grout, which in turn communicates vital information to the crane operator. “The meter precisely measures the rate of flow,” Bergeron says. “It will tell him if he needs to slow down or speed up. Otherwise, we might waste grout or create unnecessary voids.”

Auger cast systems are also adaptable to a variety of situations. In 2019, GROUP installed 1,200 piles measuring up to 24 inches in diameter and 105 feet deep within an existing Texas industrial plant – in record time. It was, by far, Bergeron’s largest auger cast project to date.

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Keep up with everything GROUP-related, including new projects, job opportunities and the release of our online quarterly newsletter!