When I wrote the previous post on auger damage I’d been remiss in not properly reading a report that had been sent to me some time earlier. There was some very nice work done by the old Gas & Fuel Corporation (of Victoria) in 1983. I’ve made the report available in two parts – the body (1.9 MB), and the appendices (4.5 MB) which include tabulated results and photos of pipe damage.
(The work also included some tests on excavator damage but that’s been superseded by more recent research and already incorporated into AS 2885.)
I was particularly interested in the discussion on page 5 of the text, dealing with the attitude of the rig operators. In particular they claimed they could tell immediately from the “feel” of the machine when they had hit a buried pipe, and that “a pipeline … could not be punctured by a simple mistake”. All reassuring stuff, but it doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of auger failures because there is always the prospect of naive or stupid operators.
The tests used two types of auger rig, apparently representative of equipment used in Victoria in 1983. One was a truck-mounted pendulum auger, the other a “fixed” auger on the back of a tractor. Both look slightly archaic by 2010 standards but I suspect that modern equipment has pretty similar basic characteristics.
I’d be interested in any feedback on whether there might be a need to update this work, or whether the equipment and tests from 1983 remain valid today.
(Thanks to APA for permission to make the report available. Gas & Fuel Corporation was split up and no longer exists but APA inherited large parts of it including the transmission pipeline system.)