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To even think of using those trucks in fields besides compressing the soil is crazy :0). This process would be so weather depended it would never get done around here. Yup it was dry this year but any other year those big heavy trucks would need to be towed constantly. I get a laugh just thinking of seeing a line of them and their support system all stuck in a field.

I might be wrong but with the amount of surface area upon the flotation tires the vehicles use I would doubt if soil compaction would be any greater than say in comparison a 125 HP tractor with loaded singles.  With them being run on even sand they getr done. 

My post reads funny. I meant when they do the vibrations by dropping the heavy plate. That surely would flatten the ground IMO. I do still think those trucks would get stuck before a tractor but than again I decided that just by the vibration trucks I've seen here. There like a big heavy box that stay in one spot a while or move like a sloth and in a wet field I can't image they wouldnt have problems.
they didn't use the trucks in the above picture here. I wonder if sand behaves different? I grew up on sand (new jersey) and we didn't seem to get stuck as much as here when its wet or see awful ruts like I do here. Could just be I do different stuff now and jersey taxes are super high which reflect in there roads all being paved (most of them, I just never seen a dirt road in jersey anywhere in 26 years :0) ). Rather have a rut than those taxes again.

The old Thumpers were Weight Drop, a large rectangular weight dropped from about 10 feet from a draw works at the back of a truck. These Thumpers worked on the pricipal of simple gravity. The last of these were phased out in the mid-1970's, as Vibroseis had already superceded the Thumpers.

Vibroseis works by hydraulically jacking up a portion of the weight of the truck onto a heavy rectangular plate. Then, the plate is (via hydraulics) vibrated  through a sweep of frequencies (typically 8-80 hz.).

The large rectangular pad on a typical Vibroseis truck exerts around 32 tons of force as it pounds the ground (in a merciless fashion).

It will definitly leave its mark in un-compacted soil.

It will definitely compact soft soil, giving gophers more than a simple headache.

While working in the desserts of the Middle East, I could navigate travel cross country (pre-GPS days) by using old seismic survey maps. You could clearly see the pad marks still deeply impressed in the sand and soil from surveys that had been completed 15 years previously. 





 This LINK has photos that are more like the vehicles that I saw.

 I will not permit these seismic vehicles to criss-cross my corn fields.



RE: "I'm surprised that the regulators even permit the use of explosives for seismic surveys in PA, as vibrator trucks may be able to get usable survey generation energy to the subsurface with a much less obtrusive footprint."

Vibrator Trucks versus Explosives (in shot holes)

Vibrator Trucks travel and operate in groups – typically around four trucks, traveling in-line.

The trucks are large complex electro-hydraulic monsters and require circumstances that allow them substantial continuous surface access.

2D Seismic Surveys operate in an in-line fashion, using Vibrator Trucks along existing highways, roads and lanes make sense.

Today, 2D Seismic Surveys are largely looked upon as reconnaissance in nature.

For detailed exploration and development work 3D Seismic Surveys are preferred; 3D Surveys are laid out in a grid fashion.

In areas where there are vast flat expanses, Vibrator Trucks can travel cross-country; otherwise they are largely restricted to existing roads.

The terrain of PA, OH, WV is not conducive to off road Vibrator Truck use.

Steep topography, streams, wetlands and frequent wooded areas impede access for a parade of large Vibrator Trucks.

For logistical reasons, Explosive Sources (in shot holes) will tend to be the best energy source for many 3D surveys. Where some surface access allows, truck mounted shot hole drilling rigs can be used (essentially the same equipment that could otherwise be drilling water wells).

Elsewhere, portable shot hole drills can be used in difficult terrain, with minimal surface disturbance; they can go virtually anywhere (often assisted by helicopter support).

By now, many have likely seen an ongoing 2D Vibroseis survey (as both they and you have shared the same rural byways). As these initial reconnaissance surveys yield to more detailed 3D surveys, I expect that you will see more shot holes being drilled.




they are doing seismic testing in portage county right now

interesting conversation - Veritas just finished survey on family property in Clinton County, PA. It would have been impossible to navigate up to 50% slope with anything except a tracked drill or by flying in drill rigs by helicopter.

They can produce a map showing potential drill sites and listening sites, I assume any other company could also, based on their surveyor's reports of excluded zones for drilling. You should see one when approach you to lease with a general grid of potential sites, then they gave us one marking domestic water sources and other springs, pipelines, dwellings, etc. that were excluded due to sensitive nature of the area and it showed where they were going to locate their stuff. They also preformed both pre and post water tests and shared the information with us regarding wells and springs used as water sources.

 The worst thing to me is that they are all over your land for a several months - surveying, drilling, putting equipment out, picking equipment up, fixing break downs but that is why they pay you. They explained to me they like to have about 20 listening lines down, 10 on each side of blast line, for best results. Then they pick it up and move it one line at a time to maintain that ten line buffer for listening. I only have experience with Veritas but I found them quite accommodating.

wpl -

This has been an interesting and informative thread for me. In this great and resource bountiful country of ours, it seems that too many folk still suffer from the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) syndrome, that is, until the royalty checks start appearing in the post box in the front yard!





"... until the royalty checks start appearing in the post box ..."


My Royalty Check is my portion of the value of my Oil & Gas that they extracted from my property. The Royalty Check is not and should not be considered just compensation for any other damages or losses to my property. The drillers will take 80% or more of the value of the Oil & Gas extracted for themselves. If they want 3 to 7 acres for a pad then they can fairly compensate me for that, too. If they want an access road then they can fairly compensate me for that, too. If they want my water then they can fairly compensate me for that, too. If they want to drive a seismic truck over my corn field and pound a 3 TON PLATE into the ground then they can compensate me for that, too. I say, "Yes, you can do that in my back yard but you must compensate me fairly". I think, $3 per acre to drive four gigantic siesmic trucks with 3 ton plates through "my back yard" is not reasonable compensation. Dang, I cannot even buy one gallon of diesel for $3 !!!


 The old O&G Leases took advantage of the landowners.

 Now, the new O&G Leases are much fairer for the landowners ...


I wish I knew what they where paying back then, but I only worked for them, it would be interesting to find out.

copy of a email I sent :

[email protected]


  I came accross a situation that you might be able to resolve and feel it's in your interest to do so.  I am a member of Go Marcellus Shale and run the Licking/Muskingum County Group You may see a pop up that request a donation  just put in O zero and the site is free.
  There at GOMS is a thread about seismic testing that rather attacks (loosley called) thumper trucks.
  I would think it would be wise to address what you see here. DATA specs such as weight distribution upon the tires PSF imprint and compair it to say the PSF of a farm tractor  with loaded tires. What would be good would be a field video of a farm tractor in say a  soft or marshey area and its imprint or grave, lol, might be as in comparrison to  your vibrosis units. Address the soil compactation  of the contact area as well.  A good example would be say the PSF that a loaded grain gravity wagon would have in a field as compaired to your units as well.
Billy Park Whyde
  Please note but I am not trying to argue here, but rather get data to learn from. As far as payment goes for such testing thats your personal business. Personally I do not believe the trucks would be that bad except possibly in some real bad spring thaws but what isn't? Hopefully they will provide info to us.



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