A heavy-duty drill attachment on a skid steer drives the piers into the ground. When one section is driven down near the bottom of the hole, the next section is bolted on and the driving continues.
A heavy-duty drill attachment on a skid steer drives the piers into the ground. When one section is driven down near the bottom of the hole, the next section is bolted on and the driving continues.

Cape May County on the coast of New Jersey is a low place. Its highest point, in fact, may be the local landfill. Geologically, it was about as far south as the glaciers traveled in the last ice age. We don’t have rock and clay, like they have in Pennsylvania to our north and west, and we don’t have the stony glacial till that’s found in New England. But we do have very nice beach sand and lots of it. This sand makes a pretty good base to build on—until it gets washed out.

With these soil conditions, we support most of our buildings with pilings. Usually, a test piling is driven and an engineer determines how deep it needs to go to achieve the required bearing capacity. The object is to drive the piling through the questionable soil until it hits soil that offers more substantial support. For most of our projects,...

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