Drilling & Sampling

SOCOTEC can offer a wide range of exploratory hole techniques to suit site ground conditions, access complications and the specific project technical requirements. These include sampling for geotechnical and geoenvironmental laboratory testing, borehole field testing, and installation of monitoring instrumentation.

Boreholes allow exploration of the ground to reveal the sequence of strata, take samples for inspection and laboratory testing, carry out in-hole testing, and installation of monitoring devices.

Various methods and types of equipment are available to suit the depth of investigation, ground conditions, types of sampling and testing. Plus a range of different drilling rigs and techniques can be supplied to deal with operational limitations due to access, confined space, working on slopes, over-water, emission controls. Our near-shore or overwater marine ground investigation services can work in water depths up to approximately 25m subject to site conditions.

Our trained and experienced field operatives hold recognised working certifications including: CSCS, BDA, NVQ, First Aid and SSSTS.  

Field data is captured using our in-house data management mobile application, SILAS. This ensures that all the necessary information from boring, drilling and trial pitting, for example, is recorded by the operator in the app, which includes various data validations during entry. The data is sent to our main server database and can be accessed from any network device via our Intranet web service. The system works in an AGS4 environment so that the data can be readily exchanged with other users.


Drilling Method


Plant Equipment 

Cable percussion boring
  • depths of 30m or more at up to 300mm diameter in superficial deposits and some weathered rocks
  • restricted access and confined space options

Dando 175, 2000, 2500, 3000 & 4000

Rotary drilling
  • depths in excess of 100m at up to 200mm diameter in rock and overconsolidated deposits
  • dynamic sampling
  • open-hole drilling
  • conventional and wireline core drilling
  • vertical and inclined holes
  • drilling parameters recording

Beretta T51, Comacchio Geo (205, 300, 305 & 405). Dando 250 & Geotech 6, Fraste PL.G 

Dynamic sampling and probing
  • sampling and probing (DPH and DPSH-B) to 5m or more in superficial deposits
  • SPT and undisturbed sampling
  • slope working

Track Mounted Sampling Rigs (DPH & DPSH-B)

Trial pitting and trenching
  • hand and machine excavation up to 4m
  • location of underground services and existing foundations
  • soakaway testing supported pits allowing man-entry for detailed logging, undisturbed sampling and testing

Wheel & Track mounted backhoe & 360 Machine Options

Concrete and road coring
  • portable drilling equipment
  • coring up to 1m depth at up to 250mm diameter
  • small and large disturbed
  • undisturbed UT100 and piston tube
  • undisturbed block
  • geoenvironmental
  • peat probing/sampling (Russian corer)
  • groundwater (boreholes and installations)
  • soft-sediments (lake-bed deposits, etc)


  • SPT (standard penetration test)
  • dynamic probing (DPH and DPSH-B)
  • permeability (variable head, constant head, packer, infiltration, etc)
  • pressuremeter
  • wireline geologging (televiewer etc)

See In Situ (Field) Testing and Monitoring


Monitoring installations
  • standpipe and piezometer
  • vibrating wire piezometer (VWP)
  • submersible data logger ('diver')
  • inclinometer
  • extensometer

See In Situ (Field) Testing and Monitoring



For detailed information on all of our Plant Equipment, download the SOCOTEC UK Plant Manual

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