Depending on the scope and pile material, a pile installation project doesn’t need to be overly complicated, though it can contain some complex variables from soil conditions, or other factors. These tips can help streamline any piling project from deep foundations to marine applications.
While seasoned operators and contractors may understand the nuances and can visually monitor a pile-driving project, some hammers don’t allow for visual confirmation of the hammer stroke. In this situation, use equipment to monitor the hammer’s energy output.
To avoid damaging piles or equipment, strict protocols should be in place. One of the most common problems is overstressing the piles, which occurs when a hammer is too strong for the pile, the hammer is misaligned, an insufficient cushion is used, or malfunctioning equipment.
Different materials are utilized for piles, and depending on what type of piles you’re driving, these tips can help ensure structural integrity and successful pile installation. Concrete, steel, and wood are the most common materials used for creating strong piles.
Every site needs a professional soil analysis conducted to piling depth to ensure that the correct pile and material is being driven.
Concrete piles are a popular option because they can be precast and prestressed; depending on soil conditions, pile depth and length can present some challenges. You need to ensure your pile cushions are properly sized.
Cushions can range in depth from 4″ to 20″ depending on soil composition.
When installing concrete piles, opt for a heavier ram with a shorter stroke to reduce driving stress, and in the early phases of driving, reduce the ram’s stroke as lower soil resistance is achieved.
The driver head should fit loosely around the pile head, which will allow the pile to rotate properly. Also, concrete piles should be checked and confirmed to be free of cambers that can be caused by uneven prestressing or incorrect concrete placement.
Wood piles are less sturdy than steel or concrete and are more prone to damage during the installation process. That said, they are still commonly used, and by avoiding overdriving, can be used for numerous piling projects. Because they are creosoted, the use of PPE should be maintained throughout the driving process.
Steel sheet piles are most commonly used for creating retaining walls, and installing them requires utilizing a variety of procedures. Steel can be damaged during installation by overdriving, and this can result in equipment damage and costly downtime.
Aftermath of Driving
Following a successful installation, the elevations and locations of each pile should be documented and recorded. Ensure that crew members and supervisors maintain comprehensive pile driving records that contain relevant information, including soil conditions, disturbances, and penetration resistance.
Notify the engineering team immediately if any lateral movement is detected. If more than 6 mm of upward heave is observed, the pile should be extracted, and a new pile should be driven.
Pile Installation Equipment Rental
Pile driving equipment can be expensive to maintain and requires preventative repairs, and often the best solution for operators and contractors is pile driving equipment rental. This helps them avoid the maintenance and upkeep of a pile rig. Another added benefit is that renting pile driving rigs gives operators the flexibility they need depending on their schedule.
Some rig operators opt for a vibratory pile hammer which can be mounted on an excavator and operated by crews of as few as two. Vibratory pile driver rental is an attractive proposition as these projects typically have smaller budgets and require more dynamic solutions.
Renting a piling rig can help keep overhead costs down as well as increase the bottom line for every piling project. One of the primary benefits is that you know you have the exact equipment you need for your project. That way, construction companies do not need to own an entire fleet of piling rigs to have the right rig for each job.
When a rig operator commits to purchasing a pile driver, they are restricted to the projects they can accept and the capacity of their rig. With pile rig rental, they gain access to a full range of equipment that can be used on multiple projects simultaneously, which will increase efficiency. By tailoring your equipment to the scope of the project, you can deliver a structurally sound foundation that doesn’t overstress piles which can cause damage and expensive downtime or equipment repairs.
Another essential consideration to factor when deciding to rent pile driving rigs is the availability of the equipment and your projects’ schedule and timeline. With over fifty years of experience renting, selling, and servicing pile driving and drilling rigs, RPI Equipment is your trusted partner when it comes to identifying the right rig for your job.
Our dedicated team of technicians and knowledgeable salespeople are ready to help you identify the right equipment based on your project’s unique needs and site-specific conditions, pile material, engineering recommendations, and soil analyses.