Auger Machine

Published: May 25, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Auger Machine Mean?

An auger machine is a device used to drill earth horizontally. It consists of a cutting head, a flighted drive tube, and the drive mechanism to supply the force to push the auger through the earth. The cutting head penetrates the earth and the spoil is carried back to the entry pit along with the auger coil.

The horizontal auger boring (HAB) method of trenchless construction uses this auger machine to bore beneath the earth’s surface. It is also known as the jack and bore method. It works by simultaneously jacking the casing pipe as the rotating augers help remove the excavated soil from the casing.

In trenchless construction, auger boring is widely used for installing pipes under railway lines, highways, and levies, where soil settlement is a concern.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Auger Machine

Auger machines are used for laying horizontal pipes without digging trenches. The cutting head of an auger machine cuts through the earth’s surface breaking it down into the sand and loose dirt. This dirt, or "spoil," is drawn out of the tunnel by the action of the helical coils of the auger itself, which rotates in a steel casing.

The spoil is discharged into the entry pit and then removed. Hydraulic jacks provide the force needed to rotate the auger and push the cutting head through the earth.

The Auger Boring Method

Auger boring, unlike other methods of boring, does not generate slurry and hence is also called dry boring. The cutting head has a slightly larger diameter than the casing pipe and excavates the soil just ahead of the casing. The helical rotating auger blades carry the soil back to the machine where the spoil removal is carried out by muck bucket, excavator, or conveyor. The auger boring machine runs on tracks aligned with the casing pipe where it has to be installed.

After the assigned track is completed, the machine is disconnected and the auger assembly is brought back to the starting point. A new casing segment is welded to the previously installed casing and the process is continued. Auger boring is time and cost-effective. A good understanding of soil conditions where auger boring is to be carried out is essential while designing projects.

Benefits of Using an Auger Boring Machine

This trenchless method of pipeline installation is well-established, cost-effective, and efficient. It can be used in different ground conditions and even in environmentally sensitive locations. With advanced technology, it is now possible to have more accuracy in installation, which was previously a challenge.

Auger boring machines create stable bores, are simple to operate, and have good success rates. The method is also safe, fast, and has a low cost of operation.


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