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How Much Weight Can a Helical Pier Hold?

Helices have a fixed pitch, which is usually 3″, regardless of the size of the plate. This pitch is what is what makes it a an helical pier. The number of helices that are utilized depends on the requirements of the project. If you are looking for an extremely strong foundation for poor soil the helical piers Utah could contain as many as four plus helices.

Pier Cap

The cap for piers helps to transition the pier that is in the ground into the construction or plan it requires to provide support. These caps can be purchased off the shelf components or made to fit the requirements of the project.

One of the reasons that many businesses are using the helical piers of today is due to the flexibility of caps for piers. Whatever you require foundations to support it, there’s a cap that can accomplish the task.

Magic Helix – What Gives a Helical Pier Strength

Each one of them is crucial to the efficiency, flexibility and durability of an Helical Pier. But, there’s one element that is responsible for the majority of the an helical Pier’s capabilities.

It’s the unique features in the helix plate which enable helical piers that can support far more weight than their appearance suggests. A properly-manufactured helix plate will have parallel leading and trailing edges, as well as a specific pitch (usually 3 inches).

The helix plate offers the space needed to distribute the weight of the structure above the ground. This is the resistivity of soil to the surface of the helix which provides the capacity for tension and axial radii.

The formidable Helix plate.

(Soil friction along the shaft of the pier also is a factor in determining the capacity of a helical pier however, not as much as plate that forms the helix. )

In short, it’s the soil’s resistance on the helices which provides the majority of a Helical pier’s strength.

Okay, let’s get to the heart of our issue. Before I provide an answer, however, I’ll make an important note:

The final capacity of the foundation of a helical pier is dependent on a variety of variables which include the design of the foundation and the properties that the soil. To determine the most reliable helical pier size in your construction, speak with any of our Helical foundation experts to determine your needs and the site’s conditions.

After all the jargon, it’s time to tackle the major question by presenting an illustration that comes from our projects.

A cryogenic facility located in North Dakota planned to expand the facility by installing a brand new Slug catcher. It was a huge beast with an ultimate compressive capacity of one million pounds.

Unique design and construction of helical-piers ensures that they can be erected in soil conditions and in places which other foundations won’t

The soil that was on the site was very fragile and could not support the load of compression. Our client required a speedy and efficient foundation solution Utah helical piles. Since the catcher was constructed close to the existing infrastructure, in difficult conditions, as well as due the harsh winters in North Dakota the helical piers were a ideal option.

We constructed 26 helical pilings in our very first day on the job we would later install the 154 Piers with 7” diameter. 7 1/8″ wide diameter for the whole project.

That slug-catcher continues to work in soils that are weak without shifting, settling or moving.

“But John!” I can hear you shouting, “1 million pounds over 154 helical piers is only 6,500 pounds of capacity per pier. What gives?”

Simple answer? This project was in need of. Supporting over one million pounds of weight on extremely fragile soil is an extremely difficult task. The spread of that massive weight across numerous helical piers provided the safety and reliability of support for many decades.

However, I am aware that you might not be content with this answer. 

In the past we erected robust 14 inch diameter helical Piers to support compressor stations. For that project our helical piers easily could handle an maximum load of 400,000lbs on each pier.

It is possible to go more if we’d needed. 400,000lbs of capacity per helical pier isn’t the maximum.

What I’m trying to say is that the capacity of your Helical pilings won’t be the only factor that determines your foundation’s capacity. It is the condition of the soil are more crucial in determining the final capability of your foundation.

Helical Pier’s Get Mythbusted

Helical foundations for piers are as strong, and sometimes greater than drive-in-place concrete or cast-in-place piers. The massive the axial strength of Helical piers makes them ideal for projects such as:

  • Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS)
  • Energy projects that are renewable (solar installation wind turbines, solar installation)
  • Applications of oil and gas (pipelines and equipment support)
  • Bridges and other infrastructure that is vital
  • Transmission lines for power and communication towers

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