Pile foundations are a crucial part of building structures today. Instead of forcing our buildings to only be constructed within the abilities of our environment, we have adapted and innovated so that we can build whatever we want, wherever we want. The solution, of course, is deep foundations. Often, this means pile foundations.
Pile foundations allow us to circumvent whatever is getting in the way of our sturdy structure – be it water or weak soil. But this method requires some pretty specialized equipment.
Here are nine important pieces of pile excavation equipment:
Equipment #1: Excavators
Excavators are a highly important piece of equipment for piling. Not only because of the need to excavate soil to prepare it for the foundation, but also because excavators are used to attach different pieces of equipment that facilitate the piling process.
Equipment #2: Pile drivers
Pile drivers are one of the most commonly used pile excavation equipment. There are a bunch of different styles of pile drivers that help install piles. Pile drivers often work by a hammering or vibratory system to force the long, cylindrical or H-shaped beam into the ground. However, some screw pile drivers also exist, and these are used to screw piles with helices on their ends into the ground.
Different styles of pile drivers are needed for unique environments and situations, and some are more expensive and heavy-duty than others. Some pile driving equipment are excavator-mounted, and they are some of the most important attachments that a company can have for piling
Equipment #3: Pile hammer
The traditional method for installing a pile into the ground is by hammering it into place using a pile hammer. Previously, a huge machine was required for pile hammering, but now it is a simple attachment that can be added to an excavator instead.
Increasingly easy to use, easy to attach and remove, excavator attachments are revolutionizing methods of installing pile foundations.
Equipment #4: Vibratory pile drivers
Although there do exist vibratory pile drivers that are their own piece of equipment, the much more versatile excavator-mounted vibratory pile drivers are a simple attachment that replace the claw on a large excavator.
They are still highly technologically advanced, allowing the user to control the equipment with a touch screen, and they can even retain data on the job at hand.
Equipment #5: Screw pile anchors
Typically, piles are pretty standard in size from top to bottom, or may be tapered at the end. However, sometimes the piles have helices on the ends so that they can be effectively screwed into the ground, just as you would do with a screw in your wall or in a piece of furniture.
Screw pile anchors are used to guide screw piles into place. They kind of look like a massive head of a screwdriver, and the entire head of the screwdriver is designed to rotate automatically.
Equipment #6: Piling augers
Augers are used to loosen soil in places where it can’t support a pile. By loosening the soil, it allows piles to be driven into the ground more easily. Augers can also be used to remove the soil for cast in-situ piling. Many piling augers are excavator-mounted, so they just come as an attachment.
Augers are big spiraling pieces of equipment. The spiral goes from the top to the bottom of the piece, allowing it to continuously grind at the soil as it spins.
Equipment #7: Drilling buckets
These are an important piece of equipment when the piles need to go below the level of the groundwater. They work kind of like augers, but instead of being helical in shape, they are cylindrical in shape with sharp teeth on the bottom to tear at the soil.
Drilling buckets are customizable, allowing the company to change the style of teeth on the bottom to better meet their needs.
Equipment #8: The benefits of excavators
Using as much excavator-mounted equipment as possible is beneficial, because purchasing huge machines that do only one task is inefficient, expensive, and it takes up more space. When excavators can take on the bulk of the work, things can run much more smoothly, and at a fraction of the price.
In addition, excavators are incredibly common pieces of equipment. In the grand scheme of things they are easy and inexpensive to acquire, and are made by a variety of well-renowned companies like Hitachi, Hyundai, Caterpillar Inc., and Volvo, just to name a few.
In addition, because they’re so common, it’s not hard to find someone who can use operate one.
Equipment #9: Additional parts
While the excavator may be the star of the show when it comes to piling, there are a bunch of other tools and equipment that are needed to complete the job. First, it’s important to have extra parts on hand, in case something breaks down or gets damaged.
Anything that delays work is cutting into your bottom line and putting you at risk of missing your deadline which is costlier and bad for your reputation.