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Engineer in hard hat and high visibility vest monitors a load test for a helical pile. Large steel I-beams create a platform that holds a hydraulic jack, which is applying pressure to the top of a helical pile installed in the ground


Pile Load Testing

There's many reasons you'd want to undertake a pile load test.
You may be looking to install a handful of test piles to get real-world data about the soil conditions at your project site during design and engineering. Perhaps you want to confirm, or refute, the results of your geotechnical investigation. Or, you might be seeking to verify the performance of your foundation.
No matter the reason, VersaPile is here to provide experienced and data-driven pile load testing services to your project.

    Helical Pile Load Testing Up to 800kips

What is Load Testing & How Does It Work?

Load Testing Definition

Load testing is the act of applying force, typically in an axial direction, to a foundation pile installed into the ground. Various sensors are attached to the pile to monitor how it responds to the load test. Depending on the requirements of the test, different levels of force of varying duration will be applied. Load tests can be used to determine ultimate pile capacity, increase safety, help value-engineer foundation design, and more.

VersaPile employee in white hard hat and high visibility vest is sitting at an outdoor table in agricultural field and smiling as they're monitoring data for a helical pile load test
Wide angle shot of a load test being performed on a helical pile. Steel I-beams are creating a platform to hold a large hydraulic jack that is applying pressure to the top of the helical pile. VersaPile employees in hard hats are monitoring the test.

How Load Testing Works

  • 1

    A test rig is constructed to provide a stable platform for the load test (helical piers are ideal temp piles for rig due to ease of removal after test)

  • 2

    Sensors are placed on the test pile and double-checked for accuracy

  • 3

    A hydraulic jack applies force to test pile in accordance with pre-established procedures

  • 4

    Test data is collected and analyzed by certified engineers

Benefits of Pile Load Testing from VersaPile

There's a range of benefits that come with quality pile load-testing, and they can help improve all aspects of your foundation. A selection of typical benefits include:

    Enables you to value-engineer a more efficient and economical foundation based on real-world data
    Formulate capacity-to-torque correlations for your specific site conditions, unlocking safer and more efficient foundation designs
    Confirm the ultimate capacity of a specific pile. Important for variable soils
    Improve safety factors of project (on approval from engineer)
    Identify compositional changes in soil or unexpected conditions not uncovered in geotechnical reports
    Create site-specific installation criteria
Close up view of a load test being performed on a 4-inch diameter helical pile. Steel I-beams create a platform that holds a small hydraulic jack that is applying pressure to the helical pile

See a Load-Test in Action

Take a look at how our team performs an ASTM load test in this timelapse video

Frequently asked questions about pile load testing

  • How long does it take to perform a pile load test?

    How long it takes to perform a pile load test depends on several factors, which include:
    ● How many piles are being tested● Location of the test site & ease of access● Type of load test performed
    To find out how long your pile test might take, scroll down to get in touch with our team.

  • What equipment does VersaPile use to perform load tests?

    To install the reaction piles used to support the test rig, we use standard construction equipment such as excavators, skidsteers, and telehandlers. Trucks and trailers are used to transport equipment and piles.
    Force is applied to the test pile using a heavy-duty industrial jack, mounted to the test rig. 
    Data is monitored and recorded by various sensors, such as strain relief gauges, attached to the test pile and test rig.

  • What are "reaction piles", and why do you need to install them for a load test?

    Reaction piles provide resistance to the test rig to ensure that it doesn't lift upwards under the force of the hydraulic jack pressing downwards on the test pile. 
    Some load tests are performed with stacks of heavy weights loaded onto the test rig to prevent upwards movement. However, our team has found it's more efficient and economical to simply install a few helical piles around the test rig to firmly anchor it. Due to the nature of helical piles, we can quickly and easily remove the reaction piles after the load test is complete and leave no trace they were ever installed.

  • Where does VersaPile provide pile load test services?

    Our team of friendly foundation experts proudly serves Central Canada with pile load test services. This includes Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. 

Two VersaPile employees sitting at temporary table set up in agricultural field, monitoring results from a helical pile load test for Manitoba Hydro. Load test rig with hydraulic jack visible in background

Contact Us


Box 849
Ile Des Chenes, MB
R0A 0T0


Monday - Friday
09:00 - 17:00


(855) 474-5464

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