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MacLean Dixie MDRS Helical Pile Software

by Bill Bonekemper

November 17, 2011

New Helical Pile Design Software Makes it Easy for

Novices or Experienced Professionals to Configure

Helical Piles for Projects


MacLean-Dixie continues its march to a leadership position in the helical pile industry with another important product release – MDRS helical pile design software.  Earlier this year, MacLean received ICC-ES certification for three helical pile products ESR3032 (read HPW article).  That significant event was followed by the introduction of a series of innovative engineering roadmap (read HPW article) brochures designed to assist engineers who have not yet become familiar with designing projects with helical piles.

This week MacLean has introduced its MDRS Software – a very easy to use yet comprehensive software product for designing and specifying helical pile configurations for projects.  The lead software developer of MDRS, Jeff Warchall, is a geotechnical engineer on staff with MacLean-Dixie.  His understanding of soil mechanics, helical piles and software development put him in a unique position to lead this development effort.

“One of our primary objectives for the MDRS software is to make it easy as possible for engineers who are not yet familiar with helical piles to configure and specify them for new construction and foundation repair projects,” said Steve Petres - Product Manager for Anchor Products.  “At the same time, the MDRS software has some advanced tools we think engineers that do have experience with helical piles will find useful as well,” Petres added.

A simple overview of MDRS features and capabilities include:

  • Project Information – function for entering all administrative information about the project
  • Two Helical Pile Configuration Modes - Automatic or Manual – in automatic mode, MDRS configures the appropriate helical pile based upon user input, or users have the option in manual mode to configure the pile as they wish
  • Allowable Load Requirement Input – including compression, tension, lateral, lateral load eccentricity
  • Soils Profile – soil type(s), defining multiple layers, SPT blow count, cohesion (psf), depth to ground water, targeted final depth
  • Advanced Parameters – unbraced length and/or end condition, modulus of subgrade reaction, skin friction
  • Tiebacks for Retaining Walls – wall height, number of rows, spacing, distance to groundwater, declination angle, maximum anchor length, active earth pressure, hydrostatic pressure, surcharge pressure
  • Helical Pile Design Summary – all data is compiled and formatted in a comprehensive Summary Report (click here to see sample report)
  • Helical Pile Product Drawing – engineering drawing of the helical pile lead, extension and bracket specified for the project
  • Project Configuration Storage – all projects are saved in each user’s space for recall, editing or sending to others

Additional MDRS-Related Features

In addition to the dynamic features of the software, MacLean-Dixie makes the following useful files available on their site for downloading:

  • Specification – prescriptive and performance specifications for engineers
  • General Notes & Conditions – points of reference and limits of liabilities
  • Installation Log – a sample field installation log for contractors
  • Load Test Log – a sample load test log for contractors or engineer

This initial release of MDRS is a very good tool for engineers and contractors to be able to configure and design helical piles for their projects.  MacLean-Dixie is making the software accessible to anyone by virtue of an open and unrestricted registration access from their web site – (click here to access the software).