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Piling Equipment: What Is It And How Does It Work?

By 28/11/2018June 13th, 2023No Comments

If any structure is to be built, firstly, strong and safe foundations need to be laid down. If anything were to be built on ground without piles first being driven, soon the structure would begin to move around, break apart and eventually collapse.

Builders learnt a long time ago that to secure a structure on loose soil we first need to drive large columns deep enough to find solid bedrock hidden deep beneath the surface of the ground. With foundations built upon these piles, even if the soil moves due to moisture content or adverse weather, the structure’s foundations will remain solid.

From skyscrapers to houses, every building requires piles in different sizes and at different depths. To do this, piling companies need an array of different machines capable of driving piles in different conditions, to different depths and under different circumstances.

Types of Piles

Piles come in two types, replacement and displacement, but what is the difference?

  • Replacement – The space for the pile is removed, leaving an appropriate space for the pile material to be poured in situ.
  • Displacement – These are pre-fabricated piles which are inserted into the ground by either driving, jacking, vibrating or screwing. They displace the ground around them as they are installed.

Piling Equipment

Depending on the material used for the pile, the height, the manoeuvrability and ground conditions, different piling equipment is used.

Bored Piling

Bored piles are a form of replacement piling which removes the ground via a rotary auger. A telescopic arm or bar, known as a Kelly bar slides vertically and holds a short length of auger with a digging bucket at the end. When the auger is rotated the ground is excavated, leaving space for the pile.

Driven Piling

These displacement piles come in three forms:

  1. Percussion – These piles are hammered from above using a weight dropped form certain heights, both of which are determined by the conditions of the soil. A steel helmet strikes the sand bed, cushioned by a plastic or hardwood block known as a ‘dolly’ to protect the head of the pile from damage.
  2. Hydraulic – Typically used for sheet piles, which are installed via a hydraulic ram, pushing the piles into the ground from above.
  3. Vibratory – If ground conditions are tough, vibratory drivers can use strong vibrations to reduce the surrounding ground resistance and allow piles to be slid easily into position.

Here at Rhino Piling we use the most appropriate equipment for all piling in Cheshire to provide the best quality we can.