Bringing Award-Winning Technology to Your Project
The Fuller Pile™ System was invented by Andrew C Fuller, a Low Country resident and the owner of Claycor Contractors, Inc. He established his renovation and restoration business 24 years ago before becoming certified in the installation of helical piles. Andrew was gradually introduced to the challenges of installing these pilings in residential settings.
Need Leads to Development
In his search for a stronger more resilient pile, Andrew extended his knowledge to pressure grouted micro-piles and found that this method had many inherent problems. Lateral strength issues associated with helical piles and pressure-grouted micro-piles and seismic concerns associated with helical piles led Andrew to investigate seismic detailing needed to ensure a safer code compliant hybrid product for his clients. He developed The Fuller Pile™ System after 4 years of extensive research and rigorous experimenting. Patents and patent applications for the Fuller Pile™ System have been issued and filed in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Stronger Than Ever
Andrew’s latest ideas have been studied and incorporated into the Fuller Pile™ System by completing a 1.5 year study at The Citadel. The Fuller Pile™ System has been validated by Citadel researchers and nationally recognized foundation experts as fully code compliant. With the incorporation of new design details for added lateral resistance and seismic ductility, our system is now even stronger and more ductile than ever. While the initial specifications were just 40 tons per pile, our system now offers piles all the way up to 200 tons per pile. Our largest standard piles have flexural capacities exceeding 200 k-ft with higher strengths available upon request. For comparison, standard helical piles have lateral capacities of approximately 5% of this value in many cases. We look forward to continuing our research and development until we achieve the goal of 800 tons of axial load per pile.
Not a Helical Pile
Helical piles have many issues and structural engineers often choose to avoid this foundation type due to performance concerns. Some jurisdictions, such as California, prohibit helical piles for new construction due to evidence of seismic failure. Helical piles have little to no lateral resistance, are not typically detailed for seismic ductility, and have vertical capacities that are based on end bearing and questionably tied to installation torque values. We want to make clear that installed piles that are part of the Fuller Pile™ System are not “helical piles” but hybrid piles that meet the 2021 International Building Code. The pipe portion of the pile is installed in a manner similar to helical piles since 8-10 ft sections are spliced together using bolts and torque is used to install them into the ground. However, with the Fuller Pile™ System, this installation method is simply the means by which the product is installed and not tied to its performance in any way. The Fuller Pile™ System axial capacity is calculated and tested as for any other cast-in-place pile system and the majority of its geotechnical strength is from skin friction and not end bearing. All components are designed and detailed to meet all code provisions including those related to seismic ductility, liquefaction, and kinematic load resistance.