Soil testing is a dirty job, but as Douglas E. Eiland knew, someone had to do it. In 1981, after 34 years as a materials engineer, Eiland retired to found his own business, Quality Assurance Testing Labs. He was joined by his son, Eddie, who left a job as an engineer for the Louisiana Department of Transportation to work with his father. The two set out with a goal: to create a company that could provide impartial and precise evaluations of soil, concrete and asphalt testing, as well as geotechnical testing, for customers in the greater Alabama region.

For many years, Quality Assurance Testing Labs did just that — provided accurate and professional soil evaluations for contractors and businesses. They launched their business with a truck-mounted drill. However, always eager to take on any soil sampling project, Eddie Eiland, now sole owner, often found himself frustrated with having to turn down potential clients due to the confined spaces in which the samples needed to be taken. He and his team were able to use hand boring for some of these jobs, but the method was difficult, slow and sometimes even nearly impossible if the soil was too rocky or hard. He hated to see these job opportunities get away and started thinking about what he could do to fix this missing component of his business.

LST1G+ drill

Eddie Eiland and his crew at Quality Assurance Testing Labs say the LST1G+ has become one of their favorite pieces of equipment. Source: Lone Star Drills

Growing Opportunities

Eiland knew that if he truly wanted to continue to grow his business, he needed to find a soil sampling drill that could easily get to confined spaces and maneuver in tight places. That was when he ran across an ad for Lone Star Drills and discovered the LST1G+, a drill he thought might be the solution.

He says the trailer-mounted drill easily maneuvers into tight jobsites and allows quick transportation from job to job. Yes, he adds that its smaller size still offers a great deal of soil sampling power. With a speed of 150 rpm at 10 gpm, it has a pull/push-back force of up to 5,000 pounds and a maximum drilling torque of 500 pound-feet. Digging boreholes with a 6-inch diameter auger, the drill gathers samples at up to a 50-foot depth, while the easy-to-operate 140-pound manual safety hammer enables high-quality standard penetration tests.

Recognizing the opportunity this smaller yet powerful drill offered, Eiland contacted Lone Star Drills and before long, he added the first LST1G+ to his fleet. Eiland and his crew caught on quickly to the drill’s operation, requiring only a quick overview from the manufacturer and viewing a couple of short instructional videos on YouTube.

“It’s very easy to operate,” Eiland says. “Literally within one day of getting the drill, we were ready to start taking on new jobs.”

Expanding the Business

Quality Assurance Testing Labs often tests ground for new neighborhood development planning, and Eiland says the LST1G+ has proven itself an excellent addition to the company’s equipment. He says the practical but powerful drill both increased the number of jobs they have been able to complete and became a pillar of the new way they are doing business.

The new drill offers a number of advantages. First is transportability. By easily mounting the drill on a trailer pulled with the company’s standard issue half-ton truck, Eiland and his team quickly transport the LST1G+ from site to site. Not only does the unit arrive on site faster, but the compact maneuverability enables it to be positioned quickly, efficiently retrieve a sample and move on to the next site.

Second, the LST1G+ allows Quality Assurance Testing Labs to cross tricky terrain inaccessible with the larger drill truck. Jobs with no direct road access, a large number of trees or other obstacles, or uneven or sloped terrain were once prohibitive to service, but are now accessible with the Lone Star drill. Instead of having to turn down these types of opportunities, Eiland now eagerly takes them on. While many jobs still require the truck-mounted drill, the LST1G+’s ability to work in small spaces and access diverse terrains has allowed Eddie’s business to grow.

Finally, Eiland is impressed by the durability of his LST1G+.

LST1G+ drill

The crew found the controls easy-to-master and they say they haven’t seen any mechanical issues with the LST1G+. Source: Lone Star Drills

“When you use heavy equipment, it’s going to break, but we haven’t had any mechanical problems with this drill yet,” Eiland says. “We’ve completed more than 40 projects and so far, haven’t had to do any repairs.”

Quality Assurance Testing Labs has come a long way since the founding of the father-son business in 1981. What started as his father’s dream has become a reality, and with wise investments like this one, the business continues to grow. Eiland’s satisfaction with his new drill can’t be overstated.

“The LST1G+ has allowed our company to go further and get into spaces our other rigs can’t,” Eiland said. “It is a favorite of our crew and one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made.”

Soil sampling can indeed be a dirty job, but Eiland and his crew are now fully equipped to “dig in” no matter where the job takes them.

For more information about Quality Assurance Testing Labs, visit