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HAL Gets High Marks from U.S. and International Helical Pile Installers

by Bill Bonekemper

March 26, 2014

Since Its 2012 Introduction HAL Customers Credit the Innovative

System for Improving Installation Efficiencies and Significantly Reducing Labor Costs

Helical Anchor Lift or HAL is a patent pending system invented and manufactured by Mr. Tom Stewart and his company, Heat Manufacturing, LLC, located in Charleston, WV.  ( HAL was first introduced in 2012 when the economy and the construction market were in the early stages of recovery.  Since then there has been a steady increase in interest from not only U.S. installers but interest from the international community as well, according to Stewart.  “It is very interesting and certainly a great thing when you can sell your product to customers as close as 20 miles and as far away as 5000 miles.  My first sale was to a contractor right here in West Virginia, and we recently shipped a HAL product to a helical pile installation contractor located in Lagos, Nigeria.  We now have machines working on projects in West Virginia, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky and Nigeria,” Stewart added.

 Stewart has worked in and around the foundation repair business for more than 30 years, and his ongoing frustrations with helical tieback installations for basement wall repair and interior helical pile installations with limited headroom provided him with the motivation to come up with a better, more productive, cost effective and safer solution.  Also, with his experience in foundation repair and historic structure preservation, Stewart has substantial knowledge about helical pile installation equipment and installation techniques to assist his HAL customers.

HAL offers helical pile installation contractors the following significant benefits:

  • Significantly reduced crew size – a single operator and one assistant
  • No cabling supports
  • Fingertip operating controls including both angle and crowd
  • An impressive 6500 ft. lbs. of torque capacity
  • Fully integrated torque measuring system
  • A very easy to operate core drilling attachment option
  • Modular design makes it easy to transport into basements and other limited access sites
  • Much, much safer work site
  • HAL also makes it just as easy to install vertical helical piles

click here to see HAL video

HAL’s Versatility and Higher Capacity

Recently HAL was used on a project in Illinois to install (126) 2 7/8” vertical helical piles to an average depth of 70 ft. in loose fill and silt. Several piles were load tested using test frames on temporary test piles that were removed after successful testing.  On another recent project in Huntington, WV  (13) 2 7/8” helical piles were installed to average depth of 57 ft. along the Ohio river for new interior footings to support a second story addition for an existing commercial building.  Both of these helical pile projects required torques as high as 6,500 ft. lbs., and that rivals the capacity of mini excavators and far exceeds the achievable capacity of hand-held systems.  

In addition to offering the HAL product, Stewart’s company, Heat Manufacturing, is also an authorized dealer for several equipment manufacturers including:

  • Pro-Dig – Torque Motors & Accessories
  • RGC – Hydraulic Power Packs
  • Marion Technologies - Digital Torque Monitors
  • Diamond Products - Core Drills and Supplies

Customer Testimonials

“We recently had a job that had both a low basement ceiling and an area in the back that would have had to be done by hand.  We installed helical tiebacks in the basement and helical foundation anchors at the rear of the house.  Hats off to Tom Stewart for his gifted engineering in putting together this machine.”

click here to see project photos and information

Charlie Bailey

President, Charlie Bailey General Contractors

Huntington, WV

“Tom getting to know you has been very beneficial. Thanks again.”

click here to see project photos and information

Olatunji Abisoye

Owner, Swift Piles

Lagos, Nigeria

“One hell of a piece of equipment.  We’ve used it on several projects all of which went great.  One man operates the machine with fingertip controls for angle and crowd – an awesome labor saving feature.  No other crew members are needed to hold the helical and no cabling is needed either.  All you need is one other crew member to assist with handling the helicals.  We have installed both square bar and round shaft helicals with it.  HAL works as advertised, and if you put helicals in walls, you must have this system”.

Ross Kirk

President, Marco Concrete Lifting

Charleston, WV

“I was skeptical at first and was actually considering making a similar system myself.  But, once my crew started using HAL, I quickly realized there is a lot more to this system than I first realized.  Tom, the inventor, has used some pretty sophisticated concepts that make this system operate so effortlessly and efficiently.  We’ve done many projects with HAL so far, and we are seeing a decrease of 1-2 days on our projects on average due to the increase in installation efficiency.  HAL has been designed with modular components that make it very simple to transport into a basement and reassemble for operation.  We also very impressed with the core drilling attachment that also saves us time and labor costs.  With a 6500 ft. lb. torque motor integrated into the system along with the automated crowd control, we are having virtually no problems getting lead sections started in some of the tougher soils.  For my money, HAL is an awesome system – you push a button and watch it run”.

Brian Lockhart

President, United Structural Systems

Lancaster, KY

How the Heritage Anchor Lift System Works

This light weight system is designed to be broken down into a few component parts. The base assembly legs fold up for easy maneuvering through tight doorways and stairs. The lift boom can be lowered to a more compact position by removing a quick release pin, and the carriage frame that houses the drive motor can also be removed with a quick release pin and carried to the work areas or moved with a hand truck or dolly.

Setup is Easy

Reconnect the components of the Heritage Anchor Lift and attach the hoses from the hydraulic power source to the supply and return line connections to the onboard hydraulic twin spool valve that controls the torque motor and the lift boom cylinder. For horizontal tie-back anchors or piles, install a wall hook or D ring with masonry anchors to the foundation wall or footer for connection of the cable hook from the on board electric winch.  Connect the tie-back anchor or helical pile to your drive tool and attach to our fully integrated PRO-DIGTM L6K5, 6500 foot pound torque motor and you are ready to start driving the helical.

The onboard 3,000 lb. electric winch is battery operated and connected to a deep cycle marine battery. The winch provides the initial feed pressure or crowd to the helical making it a breeze to advance into the soil. The handy remote switches the spool in and spool out functions of the cable.  Activate the drive head using the hydraulic controls to turn the helical into the ground and torque to needed torque capacity up to 6,500 ft. lbs. - that is all there is to it.

Integrated Torque Motor

The hydraulic, PRO-DIGTM 6,500 ft. lb. torque drive is standard with HAL ( Optionally, it can be equipped with a PENGOTM drive head when requested ( These drives are integrated to the drive yoke frame by a custom rotator disk and supported with the high strength V-groove bearings allowing the entire drive assembly to pivot.

Carriage Frame Assembly

This separate component of the lift is suspended from the boom with a hitch pin connection and can be quickly detached and carried or maneuvered with a dolly to the work site. The lift boom suspends the carriage frame, which cradles the support yoke containing the drive head, allowing the entire torque drive to rotate and pivot in all three axes. This allows the helical to be set at any angle between the vertical and horizontal positions for  installation. It also provides the means for a vertical “pedestal mount” position with the drive head located above the boom and locked in with an additional hitch pin.  This is useful for installing the helicals at 15 to 20 degrees down angle customarily required for tie-back installations, at a higher position on the wall or in locations with limited headroom.

Hydraulic Spool Valve

The onboard valve assembly controls the torque motor forward and backward operation and the hydraulic lift cylinder for precise raising and lowering of the boom. Differential pressure is monitored by the analog gauges and is used for determining the installed torque. The optional machine mounted, custom Digital Torque Monitor, PT-Tracker, from Marian Technologies, specially adapted to the HAL,, can record the installed torque automatically and can be downloaded to your laptop computer for graphing the torque curve.

3,000 Pound Pull DC Electric Winch

This feature, powered by the onboard deep cycle 12 volt battery, is for providing crowd or the forward pressure on the helical. The cable hook is attached to a D ring mounted with a masonry anchor on the wall or footer and the cable is tightened by the winch to start the anchor into the ground. The winch is controlled by the convenient cable in/out switch mounted below the hydraulic controls.

Telescopic Torque Bar

The custom high strength torque bar is attached to the drive coupler by a quick release hitch pin and telescopes from 5 feet to 10 feet. This is used to counter the rotational torque of the drive head during anchor installation.

Support & Wear Part Replacement

HEAT Manufacturing assumes that its customers are knowledgeable and experienced helical tieback and helical pile installation contractors, and HEAT Manufacturing offers service and support for our customers.  Wear part replacements are available directly from HEAT Manufacturing.

Heritage Equipment And Tool, LLC

dba Heat Manufacturing

265 Slack Street

Charleston, WV 25301

Toll Free: 855-HEATmfg (855-432-8634)