A common problem when designing piling mats or working platforms for tracked plant comes from deriving strength and density parameters for near surface soils from site investigation test data which is taken from the base of a service clearance pit at 1.20m below ground level.

With the sensitivity of platform thickness dependent on the angle of friction of the platform material (+5° for angle of friction = save 20% thickness) and the shear strength of the sub-grade (double sub-grade strength = halve platform thickness) the economic value of testing is not difficult to calculate.

The designer is often forced to use conservative and untested values, resulting in an over designed piling mat. The costs of importing large volumes of granular material and removing large volumes of Made Ground soils (current hazardous waste costs are in the region of £195 / m3) can be significant and unnecessary.

Tier Environmental have particular knowledge and experience in using in house in situ testing, the results of which can be used to provide safe but still economical design parameters. This will not only ensure that the design is economical, but being based on actual data it will be more reliable and safer than a design based on guessed and untested parameters, even if they appear to be conservative.

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