APE has done it again! This time in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada.

Sask Power reached out to us with a task to repair eleven powerline transmission towers that had started leaning, and even sinking! The shifting underground terrain had left their foundations unstable, and in need of a superior design, with greater longevity and resistance to subterranean changes over time.

Our excavator-mounted HD Drivers allowed us to drill into the Canadian Shield, the Earth’s oldest, hardest dense geology, and to install high-strength grouted micropiles deep into the Precambrian-formed land to produce a foundation that would support the transmission line towers, indefinitely.

Together with Ampjack, we presented Sask Power with a finished, superior foundation for each transmission tower – the results far beyond what they were expecting. Amazingly, during this whole procedure, we were able to drill, install grouted micropiles and reconstruct the damaged tower bases without having to turn off the power grid, or lift power lines to access the tower sites! Meaning, we kept the lights on for Hydro companies and their customers the entire time during the repairs. Talk about a smooth operation!


The Process

In temperatures as low as -40°, we portaged heavy equipment over seventy kilometers of ice roads, crossing lakes as deep as sixty feet, and created access roads across land inlets to get to where the work needed to be done. The job started with us using the Polar Penetrator drill bit attached to our HD70 driver to give us an indication of what was under this frozen land. We discovered that beneath us were three feet of frozen muskeg and large boulders, then eleven feet of swampy organic material, and solid bedrock fourteen feet from the surface.



To create new holes for the grouted micropiles, we changed from the Polar Penetrator bit to our Down-the-Hole Hammer bit. Within 5 minutes we had a different tool on our HD70 drill and we hammered out a hole eleven feet into the bedrock (which offered an amazing foundation to anchor our micropiles).


The grouted piles were installed using the HD70 driver. Our HD Pile material can be grouted during installation all the way down through the pile shaft and down to the pile’s tip. With our skilled crew, we were able to complete a single micropile grout and installation, from pre-drill to grouted install, within thirty to forty minutes. Our grouted micropiles gave Ampjack the foundation they needed to work on reconstructing and correcting the massive leans on each tower. The task was completed in record time.


APE solutions and Ampjacks’ energized tower repair systems were efficient, non-disruptive to the environment, and restored the transmission line with towers that will be standing for centuries to come.

— by Eric Legault, APE Canadian Regional Manager
Phone (587) 988-3856
Email Ericl@apevibro.com