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What is Auger Drilling?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 September 2016
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Auger drilling is a drilling method that uses a large helical shaped screw to extract material from the ground. When used for drilling, the auger drill bit screws into the soil and material is automatically moved up the shaft of the rotation device.

There are many types of augers available today. Large, powered augers are typically used in the farming, construction, and utility industries. These auger drilling devices are used to drill holes for fence posts, utility poles, and large drainage pipes under highways.

The success of auger drilling comes from the shape of the drill bit. Because it is shaped like a helical screw, dirt moves upward as the screw is driven into the ground. This makes the removal of material fast and efficient. The auger drill can successfully drill many hundreds of meters into the ground both vertically and horizontally.

Horizontal auger drilling was first used the early 1900s as a method for building trenches under railroads. This form of horizontal boring requires a special auger drill, which is contained in a steel casing. As the drill removes the material the steel casing is pressed into the newly drilled hole. This is an efficient method of installing large-diameter pipes under highways and railroad tracks.

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Auger drilling is typically used by the construction industry to install gas, oil, and sewage lines. These lines require meticulous detail on the grade of the bored hole. This form of digging is preferred because the drilling is more accurate than manual digging or blasting.

A hollow stem auger is another special form of auger drill bit. These hollow drill bits are typically used in environmental drilling for soil testing and water testing purposes. The hollow stem drill bit allows special drill rods to pass through the center of the bit. This enables the capture of undisturbed soil samples or water samples.

Auger drills come in many sizes ranging from small, gas-powered hand augers to large-foundation augers. Some smaller augers can be attached to trucks or tractors and use the vehicle's motor to run the auger bit. Many of the larger augers are attached to an auger drilling rig.

An earth auger drill is designed for digging fence posts. This device allows for the quick drilling of post holes. There are multiple forms of earth auger drills available. These range from one-man, gas-powered drills to a tractor-mounted auger configuration.

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