Is steel pier better than "torpedo" pier in North Central Texas clay soil?

(Laura Knight) #1

I am in a quandary as to what kind of pier would be better for the money /// steel pier (RamJack) or torpedo pier (Bedrock Foundation Repair) here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. I want something that will actually fix the foundation as best as it can be fixed and I believe going to bedrock would be better than digging out dirt under house and throwing concrete piers down the hole. That was the mistake I made when I had foundation repair done in the first place! I understand neither company will be cheap, but I also understand some companies like to upsell. Both companies utilize structural engineers and include that cost in the total repair bill but I am thinking about hiring one on my own. Any help in my quandary surely appreciated.

(Barry Adair, TREC#4563 EIFSTX#39) #2

Laura, I’d contact my own independent PE Dr. Tom & let him make a recommendation

(Marcel R. Cyr, CMI) #3

Sounds like an Engineering question to me.

Hey Bear, glad to see you around. How do you like navigating here? I’m still learning and looks like it will take awhile. Hope all is well.

(Laura Knight) #4

Thank you Mr. Adair … emailed him just now. Hope to hear from him soon.

(Barry Adair, TREC#4563 EIFSTX#39) #5

You’re welcome.
I hope it all works out in your favor.
I’m available if ever needed for yours or others inspections.

(Randy Mayo, P.E.) #6

Steel pier down to bedrock will prevent the house from settling where the pier is attached, but depending on the amount of shrink-swell there could be other issues to consider. If you install the steel piers when the soil is at or near maximum swell, then the middle of the house will settle as the soil shrinks depending on the floor design. On the other side if the steel piers are installed when the soil is at or near maximum shrinkage there is a possibility the house could raise up off the piers. I would start with a structural and/or geotechnical engineer in Texas with experience in your soil type. Pier companies are in the business of selling the maximum number of piers, your best interest is secondary.

(Laura Knight) #7

Thank you Mr. Mayo for the info. I sincerely appreciate it. I emailed Dr. Tom per previous reply to my post but haven’t heard from him yet. I notice you are also a PE. Do you work in my area? I would love to get this issue resolved soon.

(Laura Knight) #8

Pardon my ignorance … what does PE stand for and how would I find a structural engineer?

(Stephen H. Payson) #9

Professional Engineer

(Randy Mayo, P.E.) #10

Sorry Laura, I am in Missouri. My soil is totally different than in Texas, so use a Texas engineer.

(Laura Knight) #11

Oh ok. Ty for ur help!

(Nolan Kienitz) #12


The PE contact that Barry provided is one of the very best in the Dallas area. Tom Witherspoon has a number of books under his belt and is one of the most/best respected engineers in our area when it comes to foundations and the black gumbo soil we have to deal with.