Soils in the media

January 07, 2021

GeoDrilling International, the global monthly magazine covering every aspect of drilling in soils and rocks, has published a profile of RSK company Structural Soils and has interviewed its drilling manager, Nick Reichelt.

Since joining RSK in 2007, the geotechnical and geoenvironmental site-investigation company has become one of RSK’s top-performing businesses. It has won several industry awards, including three at the 2020 Ground Engineering Awards: Contractor of the Year, Ground Investigation Specialist of the Year and, together with Highways England and AECOM, the Ground Investigation Project of the Year. It has also become the UK’s largest geotechnical services provider, having diversified to offer soil, rock and material testing alongside its existing geotechnical and geoenvironmental services.

Owing to its successful amalgamation with the RSK group, Structural Soils “has the capability, capacity and confidence to undertake contracts of any size, in any location and of virtually any scope,” writes GeoDrilling International. “It undertakes contracts across the UK and internationally through its UK-based offices in Bristol, Castleford, Coventry, Glasgow, Hemel Hempstead, Tonbridge and Wigan.”

As well as winning awards, Structural Soils has recently been creating innovative solutions using equipment such as the Supacat: a six-wheel-drive, military-designed, all-terrain vehicle. Foreseeing its potential in major off-road drilling projects, the team modified the machine by building a drilling rig on a common subframe that was mounted on its rear. This was used throughout a Ministry of Defence contract in 2019.

“The Supacat’s reliability, off-road capabilities and ability to carry significant loads without affecting the ground it runs over made it an excellent choice for carrying our drilling rigs between sites, especially when there were large distances between holes and the terrain was challenging,” Nick Reichelt explained. “The Supacat has a ground-bearing pressure of 2–3 psi compared with a Land Rover’s 16 psi, so it does not churn up the ground and is thus ideal for sensitive sites.”

Another innovation that the GeoDrilling International profile highlighted was Structural Soils’ electric window sampling rig: a customisable drilling rig that could be used as either a traditional diesel rig or electrically powered. “As well as removing the need for the ventilation system, which makes work safer, saves space and is more cost-effective and environmentally friendly, the electric rig also has the advantage of being four times faster,” offered Nick.

The profile concluded by espousing Structural Soils’ incredible aptitude. “If there is a difficult-to-access job, the chances are that Structural Soils will have a means of adapting and using innovations to create the right equipment for the job.”

Subscribers can read the profile in full on the GeoDrilling International website.