Pipe ramming

Pipe ramming. A great technique for soft ground.

Pipe ramming is a technique that involves driving into the ground horizontally or with a slope a steel casing under an obstacle. The steel casing is pounded in using an air hammer operating on compressed air. Once the sleeve has been installed over the desired distance, the contents can be removed using an auger system or compressed air and water. The conduits can then be inserted inside the steel liner. If necessary, the annulus between the steel liner and the conduit can be filled in with cement grout or urethane. The pipe can be centered using spacers and the casing corked.


When is Pipe Ramming the best Trenchless Solution?

As in the case of horizontal drilling, an entry pit and an exit pit must be dug to the required depth. This type of drilling can be done at required slope, but it can’t be done when a curved trajectory is required (as it can be done with directional drilling}.

Depending on the length and diameter of the pipe, the pit’s sizes vary from one project to another. The dimensions of the work a rea depend on the depth of the pipe and safe excavation slopes or trench boxes’ sizes because employees have to work near the hammer. The entry pit must be completely dry and the bottom must be perfectly right, to install the rails in exactly the desired driving slope. The use of ¾” clear crush net stone in the last six inches is favoured.

Ideally, pipe ramming is used for soft ground that does not contain any blocks such as sand, silt, clay and gravel. Formations containing stones, roots and various fill materials are to be avoided.

A wide variety of ramming tools for various types of projects

We have a wide variety of ramming tools, manufactured in Germany by Tracto-Technik. In accordance with the diameter of the pipe to be installed, we select the appropriate steel liner, along with the air hammer with required capacities. Since 1988, we have used this technique many times for various types of projects, from the simplest to the most difficult.

An established field presence and experience

Over the years, we have succeeded in many drilling projects using this technique in order to install conduits for gas, water mains, electricity, sewers and optic fibers. Using our adapted machinery, we can pass through varied obstacles such as:

Roads and highways

route autoroutes

  • Pipe ramming under highway 20 at Lévis in 2013: Casing of 42po x 55m


voie ferre

  • Brampton 2012: 78 po x 30m



  • Brampton 2009



  • Starting shaft for driving a 30in x 10m steel casing by pipe ramming method under a building of Cegep Ste-Foy

Important: Before any project is begun, exploration boreholes and a complete geotechnical investigation must be conducted so that we can can determine the feasibility and palliate against any possible difficulties and determine the drilling trajectory. Contact us for more information.

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