Drilling Services

Drilling ServicesACS Group of Companies offer a full range of drilling and coring services, from shallow windowless sampling to deep rotary investigations. The extensive equipment held and operated by ACS and available through our trusted subcontractors enables investigations to be undertaken on a wide range of sites and tailored to suit the necessity of the development or investigation needs such as aiding foundation design, allowing the collection of samples or to provide an understanding of the geology of a site.

Window / Windowless Drilling and Sampling

ACS are able to offer windowless drilling and sampling using our in-house Dando Terrier Mk2 Percussion Rig.   This rig has been designed to allow quick and easy dynamic drilling in many conditions.  With the small size of the rig we are able to fit through a standard doorway, allowing boreholes to be undertaken on sites with limited access and causing minimal disturbance.

Window / windowless drilling allows boreholes to be sunk up to 10m (dependent on ground conditions).  Samples are retrieved within plastic liners which allow for detailed logging and the collection of soil samples.  ACS can also install boreholes with monitoring wells which can be used for both groundwater and ground gas monitoring/sampling dependent on the project needs.

In situ standard penetration tests (SPT) are routinely undertaken together with undisturbed samples in cohesive materials (U100).  Dynamic probing (DPH & DPSH) can also be undertaken to provide a detailed profile of material density vs depth.  These tests can provide a range of geotechnical design parameters.

Cable Percussion Drilling

Cable Percussion Drilling allows deeper boreholes to be sunk up to 40m dependent on the geology of the site.  The equipment is much larger than our Dando Terrier Mk2 Rig and requires an open site with access for a 4 x 4 vehicle which tows the rig and carries ancillary equipment.  An area in the order of 5 x 5m is also required to enable the rig to be set up and safely worked around.   In situ testing comprises SPT and U100. As with window / windowless drilling it is also possible to provide monitoring installations as detailed above.  This method of drilling is required when geotechnical parameters are required for piled foundation design at depths beyond those achievable by window sampling.

Rotary Drilling

In certain ground conditions cable percussion drilling is not possible due to the presence of rock or where obstructions such as boulders are present.  In such situations rotary drilling is used which enables cores to be taken through such layers using a rotating core barrel with diamond cutting shoe.

Multi-Purpose Rotary Rigs also have a dynamic sampling head and therefore offering both rotary and percussive options which enable a range of ground conditions to be sampled quickly and efficiently.  As with the other drilling methods detailed it is possible to undertake in situ SPT and U100 testing.

A slope crawler version of this rig is also available allowing investigation of embankments and cuttings for railway, landslip and other investigations.

Sonic drilling can also be used in place of rotary.  Sonic drilling utilises the same rotary method but adds a vibratory force, allowing a faster progression through denser materials.

Core Cutting

Core cutting can be undertaken from 24 to 300mm diameter using both hydraulic and electric rigs.  We have hand-held or trailer rigs which are used in various situations depending upon the depth and diameter required and access restrictions.

Cores are commonly taken through concrete, bituminous materials, bricks, blocks or natural stone.   Once cores are taken they can be taken back to the ACS laboratory where for specialised in house analysis at specific diameters.  Horizontal cores can be taken through walls or abutments.

Core cutting can also be undertaken using an attachment to the Dando Terrier Mk2 Percussion Rig which allows boreholes to easily be undertaken in areas of hardstanding such as through car parks, carriageways and internal concrete floor slabs.


Engineering logs of all exploratory holes can be prepared by our Geo-Environmental Engineers and provided in AGS format if required.  We have bespoke site equipment which allows digital logging for direct transfer into logging software.

Further interpretation, analysis and advice regarding laboratory testing can also be provided through our Geo-Environmental Consultancy department

Contact us on 01202 622858 and our Geo-Environmental Consultancy team will be happy to help with your project requirements.

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Please see below for a list of the services provided by ACS;

  • On-Site Testing Services

    ACS Testing offer a comprehensive range of professional On-Site Testing, all carried out by our fully trained Site Technicians

  • Aggregates & Soils Testing

    From our main Laboratory in Poole, Dorset, ACS Group of Companies provide quality testing and material consultancy for the construction and civil engineering industry.

  • Bituminous Testing

    Bituminous road surfacing materials are produced by mixing mineral aggregate with a bitumen binder in predetermined quantities and within defined temperature ranges.

  • Concrete Testing

    Concrete was the first service to be offered by ACS Testing back in 1987, since then we have increased our scope to cover a wide range of UKAS Accredited testing on fresh and hardened concrete, both on site and in our laboratories.

  • Mortar & Screed Testing

    Mortar has played a major role in construction since ancient times with the oldest example having been found in Israel and thought to date back 10,000 years.

  • Contamination & WAC Testing

    At ACS Environmental Testing we offer an efficient and reliable analysis service using various test leaching procedures specified by the Environment Agency.

  • Chemical Testing

    ACS Environmental Ltd was established in 2007 to complement the physical materials testing service provided by ACS Testing Ltd to offer a range of analytical services to clients in order to meet their overall needs.

  • Leachate & Water Analysis

    Our purpose built analytical laboratory enables ACS Environmental Testing Ltd to provide, in conjunction with our other group companies, a comprehensive sampling, monitoring and analysis service on a wide range of leachate and water samples.

  • Natural Stone Testing

    Our newly refurbished Stone Testing Laboratory has given us the opportunity to expand our testing scope as well as increase production and better improve on our turnaround of samples.

  • Site Laboratory Service

    Over the last twenty-five years, ACS Testing Ltd have supplied custom fitted Site Laboratories with Technicians to many construction sites and projects worldwide.

ACS Group of Companies offer a professional weekly collection service covering the South of England and Wales. See below for our coverage range;

ACS Testing Coverage Map

Contact One of the Team

If you require a collection that is outside of our usual range, please feel free to call us on 01202 622858 or contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.