Case Studies

Malcolm Drilling Co. Inc.

The Mark of a Strong Foundation

Every building needs a strong foundation and John Malcolm established Malcolm Drilling Co. Inc. (MALCOLM) on a strong foundation of hard work, dedication and an unwavering commitment to pursue new technologies. Over the course of 50 years the company has become one of the country’s foremost authorities in deep foundation, retention and ground improvement work, operating the largest fleet of drilling equipment in the country (valued at more than $190 million). MALCOLM is committed to reinvesting capital back into the company in the form of state of practice equipment and cutting-edge technology, which allows the company to expand its core services and to serve client needs on a broad geographic basis.

John Malcolm started the company in 1962 as a one-man operation with just one truck-mounted drilling rig to its credit. Malcolm’s no-nonsense approach attracted a loyal following of clients and his entrepreneurial spirit kept the company sharply focused on industry trends, positioning the company ideally to embrace the most practical and effective techniques and technologies.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of John Malcolm’s has been the internal management structure of the company, which will carry MALCOLM forward as an industry leader and innovator. The company currently employs over 700 people and maintains headquarters in San Francisco, with offices in Hayward and Los Angeles Calif., as well as regional offices in the states of Washington, Colorado and Utah. The majority of MALCOLM’s jobs are along the West Coast, extending through Canada, Alaska and Hawaii, but the company has also expanded into Central America with a office in Panama City, Panama, and will soon open an office in Tampa, Fla., with an eve on further expansion along the East Coast.

MALCOLM has been an innovator and leader in the deep foundation industry for decades. The company’s list of core services include drilled shafts, micropiles, CFA piles, excavation support systems, cutoff and secant pile walls, slope stabilization, jet grouting, deep soil mixing, stone columns, underpinning, dewatering and Omega displacement piles. In order to compliment the aforementioned services MALCOLM’s fleet of equipment has been strategically developed to expand the state of practice within each of these services.

As such, MALCOLM’s experience facilitates a design-build approach to projects and allows for timely collaboration with owners and contractors. This delivery system optimizes, while offering inherent scheduling advantages.

Protecting What Matters Most

The company maintains a robust safety-training program and has been recognized with numerous safety awards from industry organizations such as the Association of Drilled Shaft Contractors (ADSC). The policy dictates a zero-tolerance attitude toward both lost-time accidents and near-miss incidents, which is reinforced at every level of MALCOLM’s operation.

MALCOLM is staffed with four full-time safety engineers to regularly inspect and monitor jobsites and work facilities to ensure that the workforce is informed and properly equipped to safely tackle the day-to-day challenges on each and every jobsite. From upper level management to project managers, from administrative support staff and job superintendents to operating engineers and laborers, MALCOLM is committed to leadership, teamwork, integrity and safety at every level of the organization.

Offering the Whole Package

In turn, the company has channeled its construction and engineering expertise along with a strong safety record into an equally sterling resume that boasts a significant number of high-profile, highly challenging projects. Work is presently underway for the support of excavation that incorporates large-diameter secant piles to construct the portal for the world’s largest tunnel boring machine (TBM) on the SR 99 Tunnel project in Seattle, which is being built by Dragados/Tutor JV.

MALCOLM tackled one of its more recent challenges with the widening of the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans, La. MALCOLM worked under the general contracting joint venture of Kiewit/Traylor/Massman to drill the deep shafts required for a new pier beneath an existing truss retrofitted to support additional railroad loading. The drilled shafts were 9 feet in diameter by 210-feet deep.

MALCOLM utilized one of the company’s three-meter rotators to advance sectional 2.8-meter casing to pile tip. The drilled shafts were installed anomaly-free through the Mississippi River’s alluvial soil. After curing, the shafts were base grouted to improve shaft performance. This approach substantial reduce installation and subsequent performance risks while providing a cost-effective alternative to Polymer Slurry drilling methods.

Leading the Way

MALCOLM’s experience and expertise recently attracted the attention of Paris-based Bouygues Construction, which enlisted MALCOLM to provide design and construction services on the $1 billion tunnel component of the Port of Miami expansion project. The tunnel will provide commercial traffic along Miami’s heavily traveled McArthur Causeway with direct access to the Port of Miami via a 0.75-mile tunnel with two lanes in each direction.

MALCOLM is specifically responsible for improving the soil to support excavation efforts on either side of the tunnel, which was used to create the portal in order to launch the TBM. The support of excavation was accomplished utilizing a Cutter Soil Mix (CSM) approach, which is an offshoot of diaphragm wall technology. Retaining walls will be build in-situ using tiebacks at a 30-degree angle and structural beams placed into the four-foot wide CSM on four-foot spac.

Upon completion, the company will have just one more example of how projects benefit from the input of a qualified and knowledgeable foundation specialist, and Malcolm Drilling Co. Inc. will further solidify its place as a leader in specialty foundations.

Published on: March 15, 2013

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