[TowerTalk] Soil testing

Ronald, Douglas S douglas.s.ronald at lmco.com
Wed Mar 29 15:59:44 EST 2006

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.

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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