Compact Crawler CPT130
Compact Crawler CPT130
Cone penetration testing soil investigation technique


Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) is a well-established soil investigation method that originated around 90 years ago and has since been adopted globally for evaluating soil behavior and stratigraphy. By incorporating supplementary modules, this technique has evolved beyond geotechnical assessments to encompass hydrogeological and geo-environmental investigations.

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Compact Crawler CPT130

What is CPT?

Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) represents an efficient and dynamically evolving technique for investigating subsurface conditions, aiding in the determination of soil properties and stratification. CPT is an in-situ method, implying that it directly gathers data by probing the soil in its natural state, thereby bypassing the need for sample extraction, logging, and subsequent laboratory analysis.

In the course of CPT, an instrumented cone is driven into the ground, offering real-time insights into three crucial soil parameters: cone tip resistance, sleeve friction, and porewater pressure. The precision-calibrated cones exhibit high sensitivity, enabling the detection of even the minutest variations in soil characteristics that might be overlooked or averaged out when utilizing less sensitive ground investigation methods. As a result, CPT data serves as a valuable asset across a diverse spectrum of geotechnical and geohydrological engineering applications.

Requirements for CPT

Prerequisites for conducting CPT involve the insertion of the cone into the ground, often facilitated by a hydraulic push frame or rams. These push frames are typically affixed to a CPT rig, which provides the requisite force for cone advancement. This force can be supplied through weight, such as a fully ballasted CPT truck or boxed crawler, or by leveraging ground anchors, as observed with compact crawler systems.

The CPT cone's progression is achieved using specialized CPT rods that incorporate a data cable, furnishing real-time information throughout the testing process. This immediate feedback aids operators in promptly identifying obstructions and preventing potential equipment damage. To enhance the breadth of data collected within a single test, diverse add-on modules can be attached to the rear of the cone. These modules extend the capacity to obtain seismic, conductivity, and various other soil-related parameters, contributing to the creation of a comprehensive and detailed subsurface model.

Empire United for all your CPT needs

Choose Empire United for Comprehensive CPT Solutions Empire United is your go-to partner for all your Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) requirements. Our support extends across every phase of your CPT project, encompassing equipment selection tailored to your project's unique needs, equipment provision, execution plan development, and equipping you with the essential know-how to maximize the benefits of CPT.

Our team of experts offers both theoretical understanding of the testing method and its various options, as well as hands-on practical guidance and training on how to effectively conduct CPT to ensure the acquisition of high-quality data.

What Distinguishes Empire United

Empire United goes beyond being just a CPT manufacturer; we are a comprehensive provider and authority in a wide spectrum of geotechnical solutions. This comprehensive approach allows us to offer a holistic perspective, enabling us to address your broader geotechnical requirements. As a testament to this approach, we have engineered innovative combination tools such as the Drill’n CPT, which effortlessly transforms a drill rig into a CPT rig.

Our groundbreaking SonicCPT system showcases our dedication to innovation. This system empowers you to push CPT through soil layers that conventional methods cannot penetrate. Additionally, drawing from our extensive expertise in soil and water testing sensors, we deliver site investigation solutions that transcend traditional CPT capabilities, providing you with an advanced approach to your project's needs.

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Compact CPT rigs with anchors

CPT Rigs

Our comprehensive range of CPT rigs covers various options, from the easily transportable Compact Crawlers to the fully ballasted Boxed Crawlers and Boxed Truck Crawler. No matter the ground conditions or site access limitations, we offer the right CPT rig to ensure your ground investigation program is conducted with maximum efficiency.

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Empire United CPT Pusher

CPT Pushers

Empire United's lineup of CPT pushers is meticulously designed for enduring, trouble-free performance across a diverse range of operating conditions. Available in 35 kN, 130 kN, and 200 kN units, these pushers deliver exceptional flexibility. With a short ram stroke (500 mm to 600 mm), they are suitable for use in areas with low overhead clearance. Special options, including the 200 kN unit with a long ram stroke (1050 mm), as well as the SonicCPT, Drill'o CPT, and Drill'n CPT, further enhance the versatility of our CPT pushers.

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Components of the Electrical CPT system

Electrical CPT System

Empire United offers a comprehensive range of electrical CPT equipment, featuring an extensive variety of cones—subtraction and compression cones—and all necessary supporting equipment. This ensures that we can provide tailored solutions for your project, available in both digital and analogue configurations.

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Overview of CPT modules


Enhancing the richness of soil information during a CPT operation can be efficiently achieved by adding a module behind the cone. These modules capture additional data beyond the CPT cone's measurements. Whether you require seismic wave data, magnetic field measurements, or soil conductivity readings, incorporating a module significantly elevates the depth of insights gathered during a CPT sounding.

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CPT clamp inside the Boxed Crawler


Our assortment of mechanical and hydraulic clamps is engineered to ensure smooth, enduring performance while simplifying the process of pushing and pulling CPT and casing tubes. While hydraulic clamps are seamlessly integrated into the CPT pusher, mechanical clamps can be easily swapped out to accommodate changes in tube diameter.

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Mechanical CPT Cones

Mechanical CPT System

While modern Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) predominantly utilizes electrical methods, the mechanical CPT approach that originated in the 1930s still has its place. This technique involves pushing a mechanical cone into the soil using CPT tubes, with readings manually recorded by the operator. Although largely supplanted by electrical CPT due to its simplicity, robustness, and cost-effectiveness, mechanical CPT remains relevant in certain applications.

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CPT cone going into the ground

Distinguishing Between SPT and CPT for Soil Investigation

Standard Penetration Testing (SPT) is a prevalent geotechnical soil investigation method in various regions, yet it does come with limitations. Cone Penetration Testing (CPT), on the other hand, is an equally established soil investigation approach and often proves to be a more suitable alternative to SPT in numerous scenarios.

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