Submit a Scheduling Request

Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA) Can Benefit Your Next Project

Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) testing

Engineers always search for less expensive and more efficient methods of evaluating engineered systems and materials. Our Geotechnical Engineers at Hillis-Carnes are no different. Our Clients come first, so we apply the concept of value engineering and design our foundations and structures to account for safety and longevity while avoiding unnecessary expenditures. When testing and monitoring a driven deep foundation installation, using the Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA) is the most practical solution, and we’ll explain why in just a moment. If you are not familiar with what a deep foundation is, it essentially transfers building loads to the earth farther down from the surface. In one deep foundation option, a slender vertical element called a pile is driven into the ground at the building site during construction. During pile installation, using a PDA is a proven and beneficial method that has been around for quite some time and has been used for numerous projects in the Mid-Atlantic, yet it still seems to be underutilized.

Geotechnical Engineers use PDA testing as a fast and economical alternative to performing multiple static load tests on a project. PDA helps monitor driving stresses, helps reduce the risk of pile damage, and provides the capacity of the pile in real-time. If stresses indicate a high potential for pile damage, driving can be stopped, and our Geotechnical Engineers can determine alternative installation procedures to ensure foundations and structures are being designed safely. PDA can also be used to monitor the hammer energy/performance during the driving operations. The ultimate pile capacity, including end bearing and soil resistance distribution along the shaft, is then determined using data analysis software called CAPWAP, which stands for Case Pile Wave Analysis Program. This software has transformed the standards and practice for evaluating the pile capacity, and more pile tests can be performed in a shorter period of time. The piles are monitored in real-time, providing immediate results for the Client.

The use of the PDA enables the capacity of several piles to be assessed in a single day, thus saving you both time and money. Hillis-Carnes has the equipment and technical expertise to provide PDA services. To learn more about the Pile Driving Analyzer® (PDA) and how it can benefit your next project, please contact Principal Engineer Mr. Michael P. Johnson, PE, at (410) 880-4788 or