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Re: [TowerTalk] Soil testing

To: "Ronald, Douglas S" <>,
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Soil testing
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 16:22:36 -0800
List-post: <>
At 12:59 PM 3/29/2006, Ronald, Douglas S wrote:
>Tower talkers,
>Before I hire a soils engineer and drag him out to a remote location, I
>was wondering if there were some subjective tests I could do on my own
>to ascertain my soil strength.
>I'm putting up an 80' tower with 4 guys all of which need reinforced
>concrete foundations. I plan on contracting with a local bulldozer owner
>to flatten an area of 230' x 115' +- 3 inches with compaction to 95% in
>the fill areas. Since I probably won't be there when the work is done, I
>would like to check the quality of the compaction. The antenna uses 4000
>PSI soil for its specifications. I am hoping there is a probe or
>something I could pound into the prospective areas to see if the
>compaction is even close to the 4000 spec.

You might want to look at this for ideas:

here's some data from CalTrans on field testing of soil for trenching and 

In particular, you might want to look at the cone penetration and standard 
penetration test.  The latter consists of driving a 1.4 inch ID, 2" OD 
sampler 18 inches into the bottom of a bore hole using a 140(?) hammer 
dropped 30 inches.  The number of blows required to drive the sampler the 
last 12 inches is the measurement.

Here's how they do the test in the lab:

Although many of the procedures just say: do the test in accordance with 
ASTM D xxx

>All I know about the soil from looking at it, plus when a well was
>drilled, was 2 to 3 inches of top soil above several tens of feet of
>There are outcroppings of bedrock which I have seen a D9 with a ripper,
>turn to gravel on a neighbors parcel.
>This has probably been discussed before, but I didn't find much in the
>archives other than some screw anchor questions.
>Thanks in advance,
>Doug Ronald AE6SY
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