In situ testing is a geotechnical site investigation technique that offers high-quality results immediately. Depending on your site conditions and development plans, there are several different methods available.

In situ testing is important for understanding the strength of the ground so that you can effectively plan your development and avoid costly delays or safety concerns further down the line.

Below we talk about some commonly carried out tests.

Standard Penetration Test (SPT)

Standard Penetration Testing (SPT) is the most common form of investigation test used in the drilling industry. It’s inexpensive and easy to perform, whilst providing precise data.

The SPT gives us an estimation of how much weight the soil can take at a given depth. These are carried out every 1m intervals using a drilling rig. In simple terms, it counts how many times a rod is hit into the ground to move a certain distance. From this, the bearing capacity can be estimated.

Coupled with determination of the moisture content, plasticity and grading of the soil; this can allow us to give you a custom foundation solution.

Dynamic Cone Penetrometer (DCP)

The Dynamic Cone Penetrometer is another standard test that is used to determine the characteristics of the soil beneath proposed new roads. It is similar to the SPT and driving a rod continuously into the ground and measuring the degree of penetration to calculate a CBR value for the ground. It is also quick and easy to carry out and is cost-effective.

Hand Vane Shear Testing

Hand Vane Shear Testing is often used in the UK within the clay-type formations that are so commonly found here. This method is used to provide an estimate of the undrained shear strength of the soil, usually in trial pits or undisturbed borehole samples. The process involves inserting the vane into the ground and rotating it, resulting in recording the torque needed to cause soil failure. This information is converted into a shear strength value to determine the soil’s bearing capacity.

Why Choose Your Environment?

  • Able to carry out a range of surveys/investigations
  • Team of highly qualified professionals
  • Package offers to help keep costs low
  • Industry-leading equipment
  • Quick turn-around
  • Jargon-free reports
  • Able to offer next-step advice


Need geotechnical testing carried out on your site? Contact us here to talk to a member of our team or request a free, no-obligation quote.