The snow is melting, the soil is thawing and building season is underway. We have hit the ground running with several installations and are quickly filling our schedule for early summer.
Our season started in Kasilof AK where we tried to install a few posts for a small addition and quickly turned into our toughest job yet. We arrived in early May with snow and ice still present.
The area where we were to install our posts was free of snow all winter due to plowing. We quickly learned that the frost was thick and very deep. If the frost is much deeper than 18″ below grade we are unable to quickly melt that with our Thermarod heater. At this time we decided to allow time for the frost to break up a little more as the days continued to warm.
After a few weeks we arrived to install the 3 posts. With the frost gone, we expected smooth sailing and installed the first post through great gravel and sandy soils. These soils are some of the best bearing soils for our posts; but they can also be some of the toughest for us to install in. We found this out very quickly as we were unable to screw our second and third post in the complete 6 feet. The soils were too dense and rocky and the rocks were pretty large.
To date this is the first time we were unable to install any posts due to rocky soils. So we opted to use a back hoe to excavate a 4 foot deep ‘starter’ hole and then begun our post installation. After installing the post another 2 feet down we reached the maximum torque and we ready to back fill the hole around our post.
In the final foot or so of backfilling we used the bucket of the back hoe to align the post properly and compact the disturbed soil around the posts. It took us just under 1.5 hours installing these two posts with the aid of the back hoe.
People often ask us how strong our machine is – well after seeing this photo of a P2, you can see that our R2D installation machine packs enough power to completely bend the post. This is the post we removed after trying to penetrate the dense layer of sand and rocks.