Are Helical Piles Micropiles?

I hear and see helical piles called “helical micropiles” all the time. I don’t consider helical piles to be micropiles for the simple reason that they don’t fit the definition of a micropile. If you look back to our post on micropile definitions, you will see that micropiles are drilled and grouted replacement piles. Helical piles are not replacement piles and most of them are not grouted.

A friend of mine from north of the border told me the other day that “the Americans get all bent out of shape when somebody calls a helical pile a micropile.” Does it matter? I think it does. You would probably look at me funny if I called a car a truck. But thats just me.

Anyway, don’t get me wrong, I love helical piles. I just don’t consider them micropiles. If you are interested in Helical Piles, Howard Perko just wrote a great book on them. It is called “HELICAL PILES: A Practical Guide to Design and Installation”.

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