Glossary of Terms

Below these definitions, check out the gallery with helpful illustrations and photos!


Aircraft Cable – A high-strength wire rope cable designed for pulling and securing in construction applications. We use 7"x19" strand.

Anti-theft Loop – A cabled anchor termination that allows the anchor to pass through the looped cable while wrapping around a support. Designed to prevent theft.

Auger – A drilling device or drill bit with a helical shaft or part that is used for boring holes in soil.

Cable Clamp – Also called a wire rope clip or U-bolt clamp, widely used for making eye-loop connections or joining two wire rope cable ends together. When properly installed, a cable clamp will support up to 80% of the rated breaking strength of the cable to which it is attached.

Cabled Anchor – A high-yield cable attached to an anchor, which is then driven into the ground using mechanical or handheld tools. As the cable is pulled, the anchor pivots and locks into position. The top end is terminated using hardware of choice, e.g., Quickvise, a thimble, cable clamps, a turf disk, an anti-theft loop.

Cone of Soil – The region of soil that contributes to an anchor’s holding strength. For best holding strength, anchors should be installed at a minimum distance apart that’s as tall as the anchor. For example, if you install a PE18 the next one should be installed 18 inches away.   

Drive Rod – A smooth, round, straight steel rod used for installing cabled anchors. Specific drive rods are needed for specific-sized anchors.  

Drive Rod Head – A 4140 steel drive rod head can be used in conjunction with a drive rod to increase the striking surface to 2" diameter and extend the life of the drive rod while installing cabled anchors with a sledgehammer. Made to military specification Mil-A-3962E.

Earth Anchor – Designed to support and/or secure structures. Also known as a ground anchor, percussion-driven earth anchor, or ground screw, it may be impact driven into the ground or run in spirally, depending on its design.

Erosion Control Blanket (ECB) – A manufactured blanket composed of biodegradable/photodegradable natural or polymer fibers and/or filaments that have been mechanically, structurally, or chemically bound together to form a continuous matrix.

Factor of Safety – The ratio of a limiting value of a design value of that quantity.

Geotextile – A synthetic fabric used to stabilize soil, retain soil, and prevent the mixing of dissimilar soils, and to provide a filtering function, pavement support, subgrade reinforcement, drainage, erosion control, and silt containment.

Helix Anchor – An anchor with a single steel shaft with one or more helical plates welded around it.

High-performance Turf Reinforcement Mat (HPTRM) – A TRM that can take on more heavy-duty jobs. It has a higher tensile strength and improved reinforcement for stabilizing and protecting topsoil. A HPTRM can handle the most intensive erosion protection jobs in areas where there is little to no natural vegetation or where gravity, hurricanes, or wave impacts increase the effects of runoff.

Inner Diameter (ID) – The measurement of the inside of an object. The ID of ductile iron pipes varies depending on the pipe thickness while the outside diameter is kept constant.

Load Capacity – The maximum demand, stress, or load that may be placed on a given system under normal or otherwise specified conditions for an extended period of time.

Makita TW1000 – An electric impact wrench with a maximum torque rating of 738 ft.-lbs.

Military Spec – A U.S. defense standard, often called a military standard, “MIL-STD,” or “MIL-SPEC,” used to help achieve standardization objectives by the Department of Defense.       

Nominal Measurement – The size of a board when it was first rough cut before being dried and planed (smoothed). For instance, a 2x4 board is not actually 2 inches by 4 inches. When the board is first rough sawn from the log, it is a true 2x4, but the drying and planing of the board actually reduce it to a finished 1.5x3.5.

Outer Diameter – The measurement of the outside of a pipe or roll of material, which is fixed for a given size and is always specified by the manufacturer.

Percussion-driven Anchor/Percussion-driven Earth Anchor (PDA/PDEA) – Any anchor requiring an impact wrench or driver to be installed into the ground.

Penetrator – A reusable screw-in earth anchor made of heat-treated 356 aluminum designed for holding or guying both temporary and permanent structures in soil, sand, and asphalt as well as underwater.

Power Takeoff (PTO) – A device that transfers mechanical power from an engine to another piece of equipment, such as an auger, especially on a tractor or similar vehicle.

Quickvise – A self-locking mechanism with a washer-like disk used to disburse the pressure of the locking mechanism once the anchor is pulled tight against the surface. A Quickvise’s internal steel jaws allow one-way travel only and hold the cable where it stops. You can always tighten the cable; it will never back out.

Retaining Wall – A wall, usually constructed of wood, concrete, or rock, that provides lateral stability of the earth to prevent soil from sloughing or slope failure.

Safety Holding Handle – For use when manually driving cabled anchors. This tool allows a second person to position the anchor drive rod from a safe distance. Made to military specification Mil-A-3962E.

Shear Strength – The maximum shear stress that a soil can sustain under a given set of conditions.

Soil Classification – A standardized classification scheme that delineates soil characteristics and is important in determining soil behavior, per ASTM D-2487/2488.

Swage – A shaped tool or die for giving a desired form to metal by hammering or pressure.

Thimble – A wire rope thimble, also known as a cable thimble, is used to protect and reinforce the eyes of a cable from abrasion by providing a solid steel barrier between the cable strands and to prevent eye deformation or kinking by giving structure to the cable eye.

Threads – Helical grooves around a cylinder or shaft of a screw anchor that dig into the ground material in which the screw is driven. 

Turf Disk – A high-density polypropylene disk with integral Quickvise and root holes for holding down ECBs and other surface textiles and films with a large collar to prevent pull-through; same pull-and-lock principle as Quickvise.

Turf Reinforcement Mat (TRM) – A permanent rolled erosion control product designed to reinforce vegetation at the root and stem levels, reinforcing the turf and making it less vulnerable to erosion. A TRM helps protect the landscape, reinforce plant life, and stabilize the soil. It may be made of supplemental degradable elements, including straw, coconut fiber, wood, and other forms of natural fibers, to help provide the best environment for immediate soil protection and encourage new vegetation.