How Do I Collect Deeper Samples For Bulk Density Using A Slide Hammer?

Starting with the hole created by taking a surface soil bulk density sample, follow these steps to reliably collect a soil sample at a known depth.

  • Mark a point of reference on your equipment to ensure consistency in sampling
  • Excavate one side of the hole using a narrow shovel, going no deeper
  • Use a planer auger to smooth out the bottom (which is to be the top of the next sample)
  • Span the hole with a flat object to double-check the depth
  • Position the slide hammer tool to begin sampling at the intended depth

This method accounts for the waste or discard material that naturally occurs between samples when using a slide hammer tool. We’ll also talk about planning for site conditions, thinking about the time required to handle each sample, and coordinating with others to potentially tag team the sampling effort.

Acknowledgement: Thank you to AMS Samplers, American Falls, Idaho, USA, for their generous donation of equipment to enable this demonstration. Supplies shown in this video include: Hex quick pin slide hammer with 3-inch core sampler cap, stainless steel sampler cup of 3-inch diameter and 6-inch length, two stacked stainless steel sleeves of 3-inch diameter and length, and planer auger of 3-inch diameter.