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The Equipment Used During Foundation Drilling: A Guide

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If you're considering foundation drilling for your next project, you may be wondering about the types of equipment used for this type of work. Whether you're digging in rock or soft soil, there are a variety of machines and tools that can help make your job much easier. This blog takes a closer look at the different types of machinery used to get the job done.

Rotary Drills and Augers

Rotary drills include large pieces of equipment such as tracked drills, backhoe loaders, and crawler drills. These are heavy-duty machines that can drill through hard soil and solid rock. They use rotating tools such as augers to break up soil and rock while they move forward into the ground. The type of tool used will depend on the hardness of the material being drilled through — softer materials require augers, while harder materials may require diamond-tipped or carbide-tipped bits.

Hydraulic Hammers

Hydraulic hammers (also known as "breakers") are designed to break apart hard materials such as rock or concrete during foundation drilling projects. Hydraulic hammers use pressurised fluid to drive a piston, which in turn drives a chisel bit against the material being drilled through. This is a slower process than rotary drilling but can be more effective when dealing with hard materials like granite or limestone.

Vibratory Pile Drivers

During foundation drilling projects, these machines use vibration to drive piles into the ground. Vibratory pile drivers have an arm attached to a vibrating hammer that is driven by hydraulics or electricity, which vibrates at high speed and slams into the pile being driven in order to drive it further into the ground. The vibration loosens the surrounding soil and makes it easier for the pile driver to penetrate deeper into the ground without having to apply excessive force, which could cause damage to both machine and the structure being driven in.


Foundation drilling requires specialised equipment depending on what kind of material needs to be drilled through and how deep it needs to go down. Rotary drills are best suited for soft soils, while hydraulic hammers are better suited for breaking through hard rocks such as granite or limestone. Vibratory pile drivers also come in handy when installing larger structures like piers or columns during foundation drilling projects. By understanding which tools are best suited for each task, you can ensure that your foundation drilling project goes smoothly from start to finish. Contact an equipment supplier today to find out more.