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Lateral Capacity of Helical Piles - Ensure Your Project’s Strength

GoliathTech - 2 July 2021

GoliathTech University tutorial 4


A lateral load as related to a helical or screw pile is the force from the side of the pile that’s attempting to push it over. This could occur with natural events such as wind, earthquakes as well calculated live loads. 

At GoliathTech, our standard helical pile is 2-7/8 inches of 60 KSI fully galvanized steel, which means the pile is extremely strong.


When you install a screw pile in beach sand, for instance, you can push the pile over relatively easily. This has nothing to do with the strength of the helical pile, but rather about the soil that it’s installed in. 

If we install the same pile in firm soil such as gravel, then the helical pile becomes very stable and has enormous lateral capability. The pile has not changed, only the soil it is installed in. Check out our website for more information on our guaranteed GoliathTech double protection screw piles.

Yet how do we make sure that the strength of our foundation isn’t dependent on the kind of ground we’re installing into?


Over the past several years GoliathTech has made advances in the technology of helical piles to increase their axial capabilities. One of the ways we have done this is to combat lateral strength or lateral limits in weak soil by using a larger pile. And by ‘larger pile’ we’re referring to the larger outside diameter of the actual tube. So, for instance, if we went to a 4 ½” from a 2 7/8” pile (or tube), we’d have a lot more contact on the soil itself, which would make the pile much stronger laterally. 

A good example of how this works would be if you have a piece of Styrofoam and a knife, you can slice through the Styrofoam very easily. Yet if you try to slice through it with a pen, it doesn’t work very easily because there’s a lot more friction from the pen. It’s the same thing with a pile that has a larger outside diameter. 

GoliathTech has a wide range of tubes and helices to support any type of ground conditions. And we tailor our technology—backed by our GoliathTech Screw Piles Warranty—to your project. Read more on our helical piles page about how we choose the right helical pile for your project.

About GoliathTech:

Do you work in the field of construction? For over 15 years, GoliathTech has integrated both strength and know-how to offer the best anchoring solution to support your residential and commercial projects. Our top-of-the-line helical screw piles are suited for any type of installation or application. Our installation services adapts to every soil type without causing any damage to the ground or structure. Trust the experience and expertise of GoliathTech for your construction projects. Find a screw pile installer in your region or become a franchisee.