Auger Boring

A Time-Tested Trenchless Method

Auger boring is the process of forming a horizontal bore by jacking the steel casing through the earth from a main shaft to a reception shaft. Spoil is removed from inside the encasement by means of a rotating auger. These rotating augers carry the spoil back through the casing pipe to the main shaft for removal. An auger boring machine (ABM) bores through soil or rock with a cutting head attached to the ‘lead’ auger to install steel casing pipe.

While this is an established and cost-effective method, one of the limitations with auger boring has been accuracy constraints. However, new technology has made a major impact on auger boring, which provides more precise bores to expand its abilities.

Benefits of Auger Boring:

  • Timeless application that creates extremely stable bores
  • Simple, effective method with a high success rate
  • Little to no disruption to surface, buildings, rail, or traffic
  • Safe, fast method with low operating costs

Small Boring Unit

The small boring unit (SBU-A) is a small-diameter cutterhead that can be used with any auger boring machine over 36". The cutterhead is welded to the lead casing. The auger connects to a hex in the back of the head to turn the head, and the thrust for the cutter is transferred through the casing. This attachment is used to excavate crossings in solid rock.

Pilot Tube Guidance

Pilot tubes can help ensure a project is installed on the proper line and grade. The first step is to set up a pilot tube machine that will install pilot tubes on line and grade at the centerline of the new installation. Once we install the pilot tubes, we remove the pilot tube machine from the excavation and place the auger boring equipment inside. Then, we attach the lead edge of the auger or casing to the pilots and commence boring following behind the path set by the pilot tubes. We remove the pilot tubes from the reception area as we install the casing. The pilot tube installation is dependent on soil conditions, so a good geotechnical report is critical for evaluating if this method is the best option.

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