A successful foundation drilling project is the result of a number of different factors, including reliable and efficient drilling machinery.
Careful planning, communication, and projections can ensure a successful project before drilling even begins.
Most drilling operators understand the demands of the physical work, but the behind-the-scenes work is just as important. In today’s connected era, it’s essential to communicate delays and milestones with your client to maintain a trusted partnership.
By carefully analyzing site plans, conditions, and soil composition, you can start to develop a realistic schedule and estimate.
No two projects are exactly the same, but by utilizing some key principles and practices, you can minimize costly downtime and deliver a quality foundation every time.
Drilling Project Site Inspections
Site inspections and soil analysis by licensed professionals allow you to get a first glimpse at what your site conditions contain.
Rocky or loose soil requires different equipment than sand or clay, and larger projects often contain multiple types of soil compositions.
Once you have your soil report, you can begin to develop a roadmap and scope out your equipment budget. Consult with a local drilling equipment vendor to explore rental or purchase options.
Site inspections are one of the most critical parts of a successful drilling foundation project, and if you’re not thoughtful during this phase, it can lead to significant roadblocks down the road.
If you encounter unfamiliar soil conditions that you haven’t drilled in before, consult with the engineering team to ensure the foundation will be able to bear the load.
By carefully analyzing your site conditions, you will avoid any surprises as your project kicks off and reaches major milestones.
Part of your site analysis should include a thorough examination of all local, state, and federal regulations for your location. All permits should be applied for in advance of the project kick-off and should be kept displayed onsite in case inspectors choose to stop by.
Permit violations can lead to lengthy shutdowns, which are often quite expensive.
Develop a Realistic Drilling Project Scope and Budget
In an effort to be awarded a job, contractors often make the mistake of creating an unrealistic scope and budget.
By drafting a reasonable and truthful project cost and timeline, you demonstrate integrity and illustrate your expertise.
When you have analyzed your site’s specific conditions, you can start to break down your labor, equipment, and material costs to create a pragmatic offer.
Costly downtime can derail a successful foundation drilling project, reducing profits and increasing the delivery time. Also, because of the variable nature of fuel costs, it can be challenging to forecast some of these expenses for larger projects with longer delivery timelines.
Try to remain conscientious about your variable costs, which can include labor, especially on job sites that run 24/7.
Utilize Skilled Workers, Contractors, and Sub-Contractors
They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and this is especially true for foundation drilling crews.
When you hire licensed professionals with experience, you greatly benefit from their knowledge and expertise. Sometimes it can make more sense to hire a third-party contractor or subcontractor to complete specialized portions of the foundation drilling project that require unique skill sets or equipment.
A knowledgeable drilling rig operator that’s professionally licensed will be able to help with ongoing maintenance to reduce the risk of breakdown or costly repairs.
Because your labor costs are built into your bid, you should hire skilled workers and compensate them fairly without hurting your bottom line.
The Importance of Transparency and Communication
As smart technology becomes more common on construction sites and heavy equipment, the ability to effectively and transparently communicate in real-time has transformed the industry.
Field crews and technicians can monitor equipment remotely to ensure smooth operation and avoid malfunctions or breakdowns.
Project managers can keep their clients updated about progress and major milestones without a site visit. Also, management teams can oversee multiple projects without having to be on multiple sites throughout the day.
Being able to communicate the cause of a delay and how you’re going to resolve it builds trust with your clients and creates a stronger partnership.
Large commercial foundation drilling projects have many people involved – from investors to the crew – and being able to effectively communicate with them is critical to success.
Of course, some delays are caused by situations out of our control, like severe weather, but others, like forgetting to get a material drop, can be avoided with effective communication.
A successful foundation drilling project is the result of numerous steps being properly executed. With some care and the proper attention to detail, you can ensure that every project comes in on time and under budget.
These practices should become part of the protocol for every project and will build positive processes and techniques that result in continued success for future jobs.