Helical (screw) pile foundations a solution for varying conditions  

Inland Screw Piling Ltd. has been engineering, manufacturing, and installing helical piles since 2007. We provide in-house fabrication out of a dedicated CWB-certified manufacturing shop located in Coaldale, Alta. An on-site high-definition CNC plasma table is used to cut helixes, and a customized hydraulic press with matching metal dies is used to press form the helixes into “true-pitch” helixes that set us apart from the competition. Our shop is also equipped to process and fabricate miscellaneous ancillary structural steel as required for projects.

Screw piles have been used extensively in the oil and gas sectors for decades. They are now also commonly used in the residential, commercial, institutional and industrial marketplaces. There are many advantages to helical piling. There is no excavation required and the load-bearing capabilities are immediate. In areas with high water tables or sand/gravel soil layers there is no need for casing. They are also quiet to install compared to other piling methods and can be installed in any weather condition with minimal additional equipment and cost. They offer instant solutions to many varying soil conditions.

Ensuring the helices are formed into a true-pitch shape is the most critical aspect of a helical pile. During fabrication, the helix flange must start perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the pile shaft and remain so around the entire surface of the helix. Providing a “true-pitch” helix is vital to ensure the pile screws into the load-bearing strata as intended by displacing soil instead of simply disturbing it and auguring or grinding its way down into the ground. Piles fabricated with true-pitch helixes provided certainty that the pile will perform as engineered because it eliminates potential voids above or below the helix that would potentially introduce moisture buildup or settlement.

Inland provides project-specific engineer-stamped drawings that come with recommended minimum installation torque values to verify soil conditions are as anticipated. If these minimum values cannot be obtained during installation, extensions can be quickly added as needed to ensure the pile is situated in a soil layer capable of resisting the required loads. The torque readings obtained during installation are monitored with calibrated digital load cells to ensure quality control during installation and at the end of each job, these torques are reviewed by an engineer.

Inland Screw Piling was recently contracted to provide the helical pile foundation for the Pathway 7 Stairs project in Lethbridge, Alta. Our scope was to provide and install the piles needed to support three new flights of stairs as part of a new pathway down to the River Valley behind Heritage Heights on the west side. Due to the majority of the working area being a steep coulee slope, this required a unique approach to both bringing our installation equipment down the slope and installing the piles. While maintaining strict attention to safety and engineering requirements, Inland was able to install the required 62 piles on the slope of the coulee with minimal disturbance to the existing landscape.  We are proud to have been a part of this highly successful project that is enjoyed daily by Lethbridge residents.