Terra Tech Geotechnical is a geotechnical testing company based in Brisbane, Queensland and servicing clients Australia wide. Terra Tech owns and operates one Mercedes Benz Unimog machine for clients in the consulting, mining, residential development, construction and government sectors. We aim to commission a second machine with a crawler-carrier type arrangement during 2019/2020.

Our primary machinery operator, Andrew Ferguson, has extensive experience with all testing services we offer with eleven years' experience with CPT machinery in Australia, Madagascar and offshore Brazil, Mozambique, Canada and Argentina. Our second machine operator, Stephen Feeney, is a RPEQ geotechnical engineer with eight years' experience with geotechnical testing and consulting.

Our deliverables for are created using our custom-built acquisition and processing software. We supply numeric results in Excel format including GPS and all pertinent test information. We also provide PDF graphs comparing tip pressure, sleeve friction, pore pressure (if measured), friction ratio and Soil Behaviour Type (Robertson et al) versus depth. Examples of our data formats can be provided.

Small Operator

We offer the customer service only a small operator can provide. Our company owners operate the machines and care about our clients' needs and project outcomes.


Our two machine operators have over 20 years combined experience in both geotechnical consultancy and geotechnical testing industries. This experience spans Australia and overseas including extensive offshore testing.

Competitive pricing

Our machine is charged on an hourly basis only. No added extras for paperwork or special probe types. Spreadsheets reflecting project costs are emailed each day for easy budget tracking

High Quality

All testing is performed to the ISO22476-1 standard, exceeding AS1289. We regularly liaise with standards committees including membership of ISO11901-8.



Health, Safety and Insurances

We hold $20M Public and Products liability insurance, workers compensation and vehicle insurance. A copy of our certificates of currency for our insurances are available on request. We can also supply documentation confirming we are compliant with The Fairwork Act. Project specific professional indemnity may be available on a project-specific basis.

Terra Tech aims to be a paperless company and an electronic copy of all HSE documentation is available on request. This document is also available by our machine operators on site.

Terra Tech is committed to operating equipment which conforms to industry standards. We are committed to following all site safety rules and regulations. Our machinery has been built to be compliant with most site entry rules including the following: Flashing lights; Reversing alarm (day); Squawker (night); UHF; High visibility marking including reflective tape; Call up identification stickers; Wheel chocks; Handbrake alarm; Backup battery system for jump starts (no cables required in event of flat battery); First aid kits, MSDS register and fire extinguishers; Isolation lockout and emergency cutoff switches inside and outside of machinery.

Test Types

We are capable of performing the following test types: Piezocone and dissipation testing; Selective depth soil sampling with 66mm diameter samples; Vane shear testing; Dilatometer testing; T-bar testing; Installation of piezometers; Initial and/or delayed water level testing in completed holes using onboard dip meter; and Ground water sampling.


We use Geomil 10cm2 compression probes which are temperature compensated and offer high precision and repeatability. We can offer 25MPa piezo probes for very soft materials or non piezo subtraction probes where rapid testing is needed.

Vane Shear

Our vane shear tests are completed to Australian Standards. Our vane shear uses a slip coupling which rotates 15 degrees at the start of the test to directly measure any inherent system friction to allow greater confident the measured torque is due to soil response.


The Marchetti Dilatometer directly measures "displacement vs pressure" for settlement prediction, compaction control, liquefaction potential, slip surface detection and working strain modulus using the Marchetti dilatometer.

Select depth soil sampling

Our piston sampler can obtain 66mm diameter soil samples up to 0.5m in length. Samples can be taken with liners (for transport to laboratories) or split tubes to allow logging on site.

Estimate of Project Duration

Enter your project specific testing requirements into the fields below to generate an approximate project duration. The durations given below are based on historical information of "typical" site locations where free and clear access is provided. Actual progress will vary site to site based on environmental conditions.

No responsibility is taken if actual time on site (by Terra Tech or other contractors) is not accurate. Contact us direclty for a review of inputs to allow us to confirm the time estimate.

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Duration (minutes) of toolboxes or other project-specific discussions each day.

Where pre-start meetings are held or other HSSE requirements are required, this duration is added to the project estimate for each 10 hour period.

CPT & Dissipations - a preliminary estimate of duration for the CPT component of the project will be hours.

Quantity (#) of CPT locations.

Allow approximately 30 minutes for each test location. Each location requires driving to the location and setting up the rig. Obstacles (e.g. farmers gates, vehicle washdowns, other site plant) will impact trip times. An additional 10 minutes per test is required to saturate the probe for CPTu.

Expected average depth of CPT locations (m).

Allow approximately 2.5 minutes per meter depth for the push down (@ 20mm per second) and pull out including cleaning rods. For sites with soft high plasticity clays, progress may be slower to allow for cleaning of rods.

Quantity (#) of dissipation tests.

Each dissipation adds approximately 5 minutes for data processing.

Expected average dissipation duration (minutes).

Expected durations added at a 1-for-1 basis to estimate.

Vane Shear - a preliminary estimate of duration for the vane shear component of the project will be hours.

Quantity (#) of vane shear locations.

Allow approximately 15 minutes for each test location.

Expected quantity of vane shear tests per location.

Each vane shear test is rotated at 6-12 degrees (we aim for 9) per minute as per Australian Standards (we can go quicker if preferred). Each test will require approximately 40 minutes to allow for peak and residual strength measurement.

Expected maximum depth of vane shear tests (m).

Allow approximately 2 minutes per meter to allow penetration and extraction of rods.

Sampling Locations - a preliminary estimate of duration for the sampling component of the project will be hours.

Quantity (#) of sampling locations.

Allow approximately 15 minutes for each test location.

Total meterage (m) per location of sample.

After each sample, the piston sampler is retracted to the rig for storage. Enter the averaged cumulative depth per location of sampling here. e.g. if you have two test locations at 5m and 10m, then enter 15m. If you have five sample locations at 2.5m; 5m; 7.5m; 10m; and 12m, then enter 2.5 + 5 + 7.5 + 10 + 12 = 37m. For each meter of sampling required, allow approximately 2 minutes.

Expected average samples per location.

e.g. If 3 samples are required over 10 locations, enter 30 here. Allow approximately 30 minutes to reset the piston sampler, extract/label the sample, insert a clean liner and rebuild the tool to go back down the hole. In the above examples, if you require samples taken at 5m and 10m, then enter 2 here.

Dilatometer Testing - a preliminary estimate of duration for the DMT component of the project will be hours.

Quantity (#) of DMT locations.

Allow approximately 15 minutes for each test location.

Interval spacing (mm).

Typically DMT readings are performed at either 200mm or 500mm spacing. The spacing impacts how many individual readings are taken per location. Typically each reading takes approx 45 seconds however this will decrease dramatically for deeper holes as our operators get into a rhythm.

Averaged expected maximum depth (m) of DMT locations.

Used in conjunction with interval spacing (above). Time to advance the DMT is included in the above estimate of 45 seconds per reading.

A preliminary estimate of the project duration will be hours. This value is rounded up to the nearest hour.