Drilling Services

Before any project is greenlit, it requires various ground investigations to establish the condition of the site or to gain regulatory consent. Even when a project is complete, ongoing monitoring, surveying and investigating may still be required. Drilling experts are needed to maintain and upgrade assets, and the machines required to delve into the earth are as vital to a project as bricks and workers.

Combining knowledge and an integrated service

At RSK, we do not apply an industry-standard answer to a client’s concerns. Instead, we collaborate with the client to minimise obstacles that may arise during a site investigation. RSK’s in-house drilling specialists – Central Alliance, Dynamic Sampling, Geocore, JB Site Investigations,  and Structural Soils – deliver half a century of combined expertise. RSK has a vast array of boring and drilling rigs (more than 50) and more than 60 accredited drillers. Our comprehensive fleet of rigs means we can mobilise and begin a project anywhere in the UK.

Providing clients with what they require

Our clients often raise concerns about “catastrophic failure of earthworks or structures” or “unforeseen ground conditions”. We understand that these concerns can lead to ballooning budgets through large amounts of overtime. Our proven track record and bespoke solutions are crafted from years of invaluable and practical knowledge, such as helping to engineer a state-of-the-art nuclear power station, which allay these concerns and control costs. Moreover, we build relationships with our clients that minimise obstacles that may arise. We cut straight to the point and communicate simply and directly to our clients because we know time is invaluable. We provide our clients with top-tier and innovative on-site drilling performed by certified drilling crews and expert engineers and technicians who can interpret ground conditions, sample properties and test data. This ensures that our clients’ projects are executed on time, within budget and to the highest health, safety, quality and environmental standards. Our applied technologies division takes industry challenges and looks at them from a different perspective. Having a team with more than 40 years of site investigation knowledge means our clients trust our judgement to get the job done correctly.

The right tools for any job

RSK has a vast array of more than 50 boring and drilling rigs. Our in-house resources include more than 60 accredited drillers with appropriate NVQ Level 2 qualifications and CSCS skilled worker cards. Our comprehensive fleet includes Dando 2000, 2500 and 3000; Comacchio GEO 205, 601 and 602; and Comacchio MC 300 and 405. We also have standard cable percussion, track and truck-mounted rotary drilling rigs and window and dynamic sampling rigs.

Our remote-control slope climbing rigs are self-levelling. The rigs have a full body and mast rotation that allow our specialists to conduct ground investigations in the same orientation and locations as proposed remedial works, such as soil nailing or electrokinetic slope stabilisation systems, thereby reducing the risk of encountering unforeseen ground conditions during construction. RSK has developed a range of drilling rigs that are able to access restricted sites and provide the high-quality geotechnical data required by design engineers. We have used our experience of current drilling technology and projects on “difficult access locations” to design rigs that are true geotechnical investigation rigs.

Our drilling rigs are suited to all bedrock conditions. Moreover, our quality range of towed, track-mounted, self-propelled and specialist demountable cutdown rigs can access and investigate all types of sites, even those with extremely restricted access. We are trained to avoid disturbing contaminated land with a vast array of groundwater, gas and movement-monitoring instrumentation, which we install in our completed boreholes. We marry this service to the wider RSK suite of services, which include soil analysis.

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Our Expertise

  • Cable percussive boreholes: the Dando

    The Dando has an agile and sturdy independent electronic winch that allows for safe erection and dismantling. This machinery is best suited to water well, dewatering and geotechnical projects.

  • Rotary boreholes: Comacchio GEO and line

    The Comacchio GEO line includes compact-sized hydraulic drilling rigs mounted on rubber or steel crawler tracks and covering the full spectrum of geotechnical activities, such as soil investigations and destructive and non-destructive coring techniques..

  • Window sampling and dynamic probe testing

    Geotool – a small versatile dynamic probing rig, capable of window and window-less sampling. Its size allows for easy transportation. Users can strip it down to a hand portable state.
    Dando Terrier and Lightweight Dando Terrier – a small track-mounted, soil-sampling rig that conducts rapid, relatively shallow ground investigations for geotechnical and geoenvironmental assessments
    Archway Competitor Dart – similar to the Dando Terrier and capable of dynamic probing

  • Slope climbing rigs, direct push sampling, dynamic sampling, rotary drilling

    A slope-climbing rig is a unique track-mounted drilling rig capable of undertaking dynamic sampling and rotary drilling on slopes of up to 45 degrees. They can be mounted with a cone penetration test/piezocone mast or a conventional dynamic sampling and rotary mast. A direct push rig “pushes” tools and sensors into the ground without the use of drilling. A dynamic sampling rig is suited for quick shallow unconsolidated ground investigations. It can access any site where shallow, soft-soil sampling is required. Rotary drilling rigs are used to drill boreholes ranging from 203 to 445 mm in diameter and the dominant rig used in large open pit-mines.

🌎 As a global leader in the delivery of sustainable solutions, we won’t shy away from our role in the huge task the world faces – this has guided our growth over the last year.

💚 We strive for sustainability in all that we do and our commitment to this has been reaffirmed in our FY22 sustainability report.

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😮 Natural wetlands are disappearing three times faster than forests: 35% of global wetlands were lost between 1970 and 2015, and overall, 85% have been lost since the 1700s.

💧 It's #WorldWetlandsDay, which aims to raise awareness of the vital role of wetlands for people and the planet.

💚 We need to change our mindset around these essential habitats and their importance.

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💚 From carbon neutrality to net zero, many terms and key phrases are often used interchangeably to talk about sustainability.

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🌎 As the scale of worldwide habitat loss becomes clear, the biodiversity crisis is gaining more attention on the global stage.

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Malcolm Croft is 86 years old and is still working hard at our @structuralsoils lab! 💚

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📢 RSK CEO Alan Ryder's interview with the @financialtimes' Andrew Hill in the How To Lead series is a fascinating study in how to develop a successful business with 11,000 employees in 40 countries while pursuing a passion for engineering practical solutions to the world's greatest challenges.

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