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As with most construction projects, the first thing to design is the foundation. Vehicle scale foundations are designed based on soil type. As a result, the very first step in designing a vehicle scale is a Geotechnical Survey Report.

Why Knowing About Soil Is Important

We sometimes take the dirt around us for granted. Typically we think that it’s dusty, dirty, muddy, thick, and messy. However, dirt is more than that. For construction purposes it is a stable foundation. Therefore, it is an important factor to consider.

It is important that the soil must be able to take the pressure of a structure. In fact, it is one of the most significant factors when designing a foundation. Soil testing is mostly preformed to accesses the soils bearing capacity. Other factors weigh into the testing as well. All in all we want to also understand the soil composition in relation to its geographical region.

For scale foundations we typically focus on four types of soil:

  • Sand
  • Silt
  • Clay
  • Loam

In addition to determining the type of soil, you also need to determine the water consistnecy. Determining the type of soil and its charateristics is where a Geotechnical Survey Reports comes in to play.


Deep foundations are required to carry loads. The load is carried from a structure through weak compressible soils or fills on to stronger, and less compressible soils, or rocks at depth, or for basic functional reasons. Deep foundations are founded too deeply below the finished ground surface for their base bearing capacity to be affected by surface conditions, this is usually at depths >3 m below finished ground level. Deep foundations can be used to transfer the loading to a deeper, more competent strata at depth if unsuitable soils are present near the surface.

There are six types of foundations:

  • Basements
  • Hollow Box
  • Caissons
  • Cylinder
  • Shaft
  • Pile

To determine which foundation is best for you, or to request a Geotechnical Survey Report, contact one of our scale experts at, or call 1-800-831-5657 8:00 am to 4:30 pm MST.