Specialized Services Co. (SSC) announced March 1 that it will now offer SBU (small boring unit) technology as part of its extensive suite of trenchless services.

SBU can easily cut through hard rock, cemented cobbles, caliche and river run faster in small diameter drives than any other method available. Although SBUs have been in use for more than 10 years on hundreds of projects around the world, SSC is the first to offer this technology in Arizona.

Utilizing a small diameter cutter head and thrust bearing assembly (from 24 to 72 in.), SBU extends the capabilities of the standard auger boring machine and is typically used on underground utility installations, such as gravity sewers, that are between 100 and 300 ft in length. However, the machine has been used successfully on drives over 500 feet.

Just recently SSC utilized a 24-in. diameter SBU-A with mixed ground cutter head to excavate two crossings in North Phoenix, measuring 240 and 365 ft in length. Ground conditions consisted of cemented cobbles and boulders. The cutter head was mounted with widely-spaced disc cutters and larger muck openings to accommodate the ground conditions. 

“Before we used the SBU, we hand-dug these types of jobs,” explained Arvid Veidmark III, SSC co-owner and senior estimator. “We would push steel casing into the ground and then excavate using jack hammers and buckets. Our typical rates were 5 to 7 ft a day. The mixed ground cutter head, by contrast, averaged 20 to 30 ft per eight-hour shift saving us all a lot of time and money.

“It’s really amazing this technology hasn’t been used here before,” said Veidmark. “With all the challenging soil types we encounter here in Arizona, the SBU will most certainly eliminate the need for hand tunneling on many projects, a very costly and arduous process.”

Based in Phoenix, SSC is a leading provider of trenchless boring, drilling, and vacuum excavation services. It is well known for its advancements in trenchless technology and for its commitment to continuing education on trenchless construction delivery methods.

See Discussion, Leave A Comment