A look at this segment of the industry, including a contractor profile, drilled shaft projects and more.

Lee & Sims Drilling Service Inc. does the foundation drilling for the SR-1001 bridge over the French Broad River in Madison County, N.C. The project involved 24 48-inch-diameter drilled shafts with 46-inch-diameter rock sockets to a maximum depth of 22 feet. Rock sockets, with an average length of 8 feet per shaft, were excavated using a 46-inch-diameter cluster air hammer.

On The Job:
Lee & Sims Turns to Drilled Shafts

Lee & Sims Drilling Services Inc., Belton, S.C., was founded in 1985 by Wendell Lee and Bruce Sims. At that time, both of these men already had more than 30 years of experience in the drilling industry. Their combined experience included well drilling for public and private water supply systems, large-diameter drilling for foundations and de-watering wells, environmental drilling for ground water monitoring and recovery, as well as methane gas recovery.

The company initially focused primarily on water well drilling, but quickly moved into the environmental arena as the demand for environmental drilling soared in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1988, Bruce Sims brought his eldest son, John, on board to oversee field operations and grow the business. The company thrived during the early 1990s, primarily on revenue from environmental drilling. As the demand for environmental drilling waned in the late 1990s, Lee & Sims began to venture more into construction-related drilling. In 1997, Sims convinced his second son, Don, to leave his position as a consulting engineer and join the company as the business manager. In 1998, Sims bought Lee's share of the company and became the sole owner. As opportunities arose, the company expanded its capabilities and shifted more and more into construction drilling. Today, Lee & Sims receives the majority of its revenue from the drilling of large-diameter drilled shafts for foundations, tunnel access, elevators, etc.

Mr. Sims passed away in December of 2003 and left ownership of the company to his wife Betty, currently the company president, and his two sons already working in the business, John and Don.

Anderson Drilling Honored

Dan Cadenhead, president of Anderson Drilling, Lakeside, Calif., has been presented with the International Association of Foundation Drilling's Quality Contractor of the Year Award. The criteria established for this recognition states: “This award is given to those contractors who demonstrate the highest level of quality control in their work. The award is presented based on measured adherence to standards and specifications of their contracts, as well as documented conformance with internal written quality control plans. Contractor applications are reviewed by a panel of judges to determine awards with an overall Contractor of the Year that exemplified the highest standards of Quality Control.”

The first prize of $10,000 is donated to the association's Industry Advancement Fund (IAF) in the name of the winning firm. The IAF supports the association's efforts in the areas of scholarship and research.

Winners of this year's ADSC Quality Contractors of the Year Awards:

  • Category I & II Contractor: Anderson Drilling, Lakeside, Calif.

  • Honorable Mentions: DBM Contractors Inc., Federal Way, Wash., and Nicholson Construction, Cuddy, Pa.

  • Category III & IV Contractor: S & W Foundation Contractors Inc., Richardson, Texas


Contractor Spotlight:
D.J. Schettler Inc.

D. J. Scheffler Inc. boasts more than 20 years of experience in foundation, environmental and geotechnical drilling. Built on a foundation of rock-solid service, Scheffler holds contractors and/or specialty licenses in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii and Washington. The company offers services in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Colorado via other Scheffler companies. With more than 150 projects a year in both public and private industries, Scheffler can design and build jobs involving deep foundations, micro-piles, underpinning, earth shoring, tiebacks and rock anchors, retaining walls and slope repairs.

D.J. Scheffler started work in 1979, and initially focused on concrete contracting until 1985, when owner and president Dale Scheffler saw the need for a better hillside drill rig. Once the specialty hillside-rig was designed, built and working, the demand for other drilling, as well as his expertise was overwhelming. Sheffler continued to buy equipment and hire skilled personnel to keep up with the challenges he was facing. This included employing engineers so that Scheffler could also design as well as build most projects.

Today, D.J. Scheffler Inc. has a sizable army of cranes, excavators, tractors, and more than 20 drilling rigs, ranging from the Soilmec 930 (one of the biggest of its kind in the United States) to the small and versatile, tight-access Davey Kent 525 (3.5-ft. wide). D.J. Scheffler is recognized as one of the leading drilling contractors with a sharp focus on customer service and innovation.

Cast-in-drilled-hole piles are used to support structures built on ground that is subject to movement. The piles are drilled through the unstable ground layer to more supportive substrata. Drilled piles are constructed by first drilling a shaft, then placing a steel reinforcing cage in the shaft and, finally, filling it with concrete. D.J. Scheffler can drill piles ranging from 24 inches to 120 inches in diameter. The company is equipped to construct piles for single- and multiple-family residences, high-rise buildings and bridge foundations. Additionally, D.J. Scheffler employs the latest drilling technologies to eliminate vibration during construction. Vibration may cause unstable soils to settle, thus causing damage to surrounding structures.

DFI Conference

The Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) is putting on its 31st Annual Conference on Deep Foundations Oct. 4-6, 2006, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Every fall for the past 31 years, the contractors, engineers, academics, suppliers and manufacturers from the deep foundations construction industry have gathered to learn from each other and discuss the state of the practice and the state of the art within our field. The DFI conference gives all industry members an opportunity to discuss, on equal footing, the technical concerns specific to the design and construction of deep foundations. Inclusive of all foundation elements and systems, the program and scope of the conference is enriched by the presence of all disciplines in the industry, from around the world. Four sessions over three days comprise a program featuring the experiences of professionals at work in today's challenging industry environment. Presentations have been selected from among abstracts submitted by the industry worldwide by an interdisciplinary committee of foundation industry leaders. Beyond the program, the DFI presents every opportunity for attendees to interact and exchange ideas with each other. To register, or for more information, call 973-423-4030, or visit www.dfi.org.

Also, Theresa Rappaport has assumed the role of executive director for the Institute. She had served as assistant director for DFI for the past

eight years. DFI president Tracy Brettman says, “I am very pleased to have Theresa as our new executive director. She has proven to be both very capable and professional. The administration of DFI is in great hands with Theresa in charge.”