Jump to content

Piling. Nervous? What me? Terrified, actually


ToughButterCup
 Share

Recommended Posts

You see before you an extremely  relieved person.  64 piles in, done, dusted, testing happening now. I'm trying to remember when I was so  nervous for so long.... and can't.  

 

Tucked up warm and comfortable on our bed, and lying in the crook of my knees, the cat growled - he's never done that before - a car had parked outside the house and stopped at stupid o'clock. It was the pile driver chappie arriving a day early. 

 

Swiftly followed by a 42 tonne rig.... thus;

rigarrive.thumb.jpg.61748f6891d433bec60cf4c3b674cda0.jpg

and before you could say 'That's Big', this happened

up.thumb.jpg.7b1f843a6271930844367d83da9b2c1c.jpg

The piling probe (called a poker) that sits on the front of the rig looks like this 

poker.thumb.jpg.ea977f98ae473311d4581f00f5905da0.jpg

Big innit?

So how does it work?

 

The rig picks up the poker (heart-in-mouth-stuff), and when positioned correctly, vibrates the poker into the ground to a predetermined depth: in our case 4m or less if refusal occurs before that point.

But the trick is to tip some stone into the hopper at the top of the probe. Pull the probe back up a bit, reinsert the probe (into which more stone flows), compact, and do that a few times until the pile is made.

 

Now, this thing vibrates. A lot. So for fun I did this with a bowl of water and some Vimto.

Cos frankly, it worried me.... there's a water pipe running vibsclose.thumb.jpg.178bb15093173fd93374dc87158628fd.jpgvery close to 4 of the piles (2m)

 

Not much, but it's hardly a scientific test. Town And Country Vibro set up a wobble meter (forgotten what it's proper name is) which is connected to a modem so the Head Office can see how much wobbling is going on.

For comparison I went up to my office and had a look at my wobble waves there. None, or almost none.

That did absolutely nothing to allay my fears of bursting the water main. We had prepared properly, though, thus;

support.thumb.jpg.7c594570af21dff3dc375306ccc4928e.jpg

 

Man was I relieved when the  vibration stopped. No leak, No fountain, no bill from United Utilities. That's not going to stop me  taking photographic evidence of the pipe and pit when the road plates come off on Monday and it gets back-filled.

 

Only to bump into  a cliff-hanger on the last pile

The probe had hit a glacial boulder smack in the middle and split the stone  such that the remains filled the exact diameter of the probe. So none of the stone fill could flow into pile hole. Jammed. Solid.

 

Four lump hammers and one sledge hammer all hitting the probe at the same time. Me hitting it as hard as an old codger can; which was a sight harder than the lads were.  Too much invested in this pile.... Plop. Out it fell after 5 long minutes.

 

Angels sang Heavenly music when the 8 litre engine  stopped and the foreman jumped down. 

"Ya weren't worried were ya whack?" he asked grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

"Naaah" I lied.

 

Ian

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All good stuff.  I didn't know the glaciers were that far south (I don't suppose many people talk of you being in the south do they) Glacial boulders are everywhere here.

 

Did they let you have a go driving it? In essence it;s just a slightly modified digger (take off the bucket, replace with a vibro rod)
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, ProDave said:

... slightly modified digger (take off the bucket, replace with a vibro rod)... 

 

That's a generous description. 

I'll take a few minutes tomorrow to jump up on the rig and take a few close up photos. It looks like a lot of hydraulic gubbins are needed to grasp the probe in the first place and then shake the living daylight out of a tonne of stone plus the weight of the probe - and ram both four meters into the earth (6F2 to. 38 of a meter) .

The ground visibly bulges like a bow wave around the probe as it descends, perhaps bulging by 50mm sometimes more. 

I'm told the power plant is an 8 litre beast. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes @MikeSharp01, it was a baptism of fire. And I do remember the thought that 'nothing-will-be-as-bad-as-this' when the the rig engine shut down for the last time. 

 

Swiftly followed by the thought that this board is full of cautionary tales, and full of support for people who have been through far worse. I can see the rig from the office window: sitting there putting many tonnes of pressure on two piles.

The first test completed yesterday, showed that a single pile took in excess of 11 tonnes on a wall that will, at most, need to take 4.... serious engineering indeed.

 

The SE's PI must be expensive eh? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, recoveringacademic said:

Yes @MikeSharp01, it was a baptism of fire. And I do remember the thought that 'nothing-will-be-as-bad-as-this' when the the rig engine shut down for the last time.


 

Swiftly followed by the thought that this board is full of cautionary tales, and full of support for people who have been through far worse. I can see the rig from the office window: sitting there putting many tonnes of pressure on two piles.

The first test completed yesterday, showed that a single pile took in excess of 11 tonnes on a wall that will, at most, need to take 4.... serious engineering indeed.


 

The SE's PI must be expensive eh?

You mean it hasn't left the site yet?

 

Search you tube for machinery falling off the low loader,  low loader getting  bogged down, machinery and low bridges / power lines.  That will ensure you don't sleep until it's off your land and not your problem.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, ProDave said:

You mean it hasn't left the site yet?

Search you tube for machinery falling off the low loader,  low loader getting  bogged down, machinery and low bridges / power lines.  That will ensure you don't sleep until it's off your land and not your problem.
 

 

The job requires tests to three piles. One has already been done. (11 tonnes on a single 4 m pile) The hydraulic jack needed failed between tests, so there has been an enforced delay.

 

Your point about transport is EXACTLY correct. I wrote a carefully worded Traffic Managementment Plan, and sent it to the TCVibro. They outsource their transport. I am not sure what happened, but the rig arrived on a low loader with a fairly cross driver. He needed a good deal of reassurance and charm to bring him down from his annoyance-induced high.

 

As luck would have it, Daniel Cowley -our Groundworks Company- was there as the rig arrived. Daniel had brought his 16 tonner,  dumper and other gear (by sheer chance) on a bigger low loader than the one needed for the 42 tonne piling rig. Daniel's brand of no-nonsense plain talking to the driver  was a significant asset. It was then left to me to do the soft stuff: bacon butty, coffee, drive around several exit routes with him for reassurance.

For the return trip, I am trying to arrange that the company rings me before the rig sets off. At least I can meet the driver a few miles out on the A6 and we can agree a strategy in relation to unforeseeable hiccups - like people parking in the lane and going for a walk blissfully unaware that a piling rig will be passing a few millimeters away from their brand new Ferrari.

By then, of course, it won't be my problem. But, no need to spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar, eh?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our second borehole rig was about that size, and similarly the low loader driver had a bit of an issue with getting to our site.  Funny old thing but we also had two hydraulic failures on the rig during the job!

 

I left all the transport to the drilling company, and stayed well out of it, having seen some of the issues our ground works people had getting heavy kit on to the site.  To illustrate the problem, this is a Google Earth snapshot of the centre of our plot, which is near the bottom of a steep valley.  The wider road in to the South West is a bridge over the stream, with a width and weight restriction:

 

58a038474225b_GoogleEarthview.thumb.jpg.eff59386a492c36085d5d9494a669ef5.jpg

 

 

Edited by JSHarris
typo, "s" added in error
Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, recoveringacademic said:

few millimeters away from their brand new Ferrari.

If they have a Farrari then they can perhaps afford to have it scratched, round here they are more worried about people putting their sticky fingers on it while taking selfies, but the more interesting question might be where will they put the muddy wellies / walking boots & damp clothes, when they return from their safari to their Farrari.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are building in a cul-de-sac, straight off a big-ish A road, with no turning place for lorries with more than 4 wheels or a long bed. So every order so far has been accompanied by a simple instruction set asking the drivers to reverse into the road, off the A road, easy to do there is plenty of room / width, and to load our shipment on the drivers side if we are responsible for off loading. I reckon about 50% of the deliveries have one of both instructions ignored even though they are usually printed on the delivery ticket! So we end up reversing an artic out into an A road or watching as a bold driver thinks there might be a place up road, about a mile long, he and sometimes she can turn round. No amount of telling them that last week a SMART car was unable to turn any further up and they still give it a go. Eventually I hear them bleeping past in reverse and wonder how they will get on without a lookout into the A road.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, MikeSharp01 said:

We are building in a cul-de-sac, straight off a big-ish A road, with no turning place for lorries with more than 4 wheels or a long bed. So every order so far has been accompanied by a simple instruction set asking the drivers to reverse into the road, off the A road, easy to do there is plenty of room / width, and to load our shipment on the drivers side if we are responsible for off loading. I reckon about 50% of the deliveries have one of both instructions ignored even though they are usually printed on the delivery ticket! So we end up reversing an artic out into an A road or watching as a bold driver thinks there might be a place up road, about a mile long, he and sometimes she can turn round. No amount of telling them that last week a SMART car was unable to turn any further up and they still give it a go. Eventually I hear them bleeping past in reverse and wonder how they will get on without a lookout into the A road.

 

Snap!

 

I even blogged about EXACTLY the same experience.  The very narrow lanes either side of our plot (narrow single track) are near-impassable for anything larger than a small box van.  If drivers follow their sat nav then it invariably leads them down from the top of the hill and down Mill Lane, the lane heading East from our plot in that photo above, as the road above that is a continuation of the "main road" through the village, from the A30.  On every single delivery I requested that an instruction be added directing the driver to turn left at the fork by the village hall, ignore his sat nav and then take the first right into the wider road with the Y junction in the photo above.  More than 50% of drivers ignored this. 

 

The worst was a delivery of drive pavers.  I had the contractor on site and was expecting delivery late morning.  By 16:00 the delivery hadn't turned up and I was paying a chap to sit doing nothing.  I rang the company, who rang the driver.  He said he'd not been able to deliver because of the narrow access lane and so had turned around and was half way back to Coventry................

 

Sharp words were exchanged, where I reminded the company of the delivery instructions and asked if they'd put them on the delivery note; they confirmed they had, phoned the driver and told him to turn around and make the delivery according to the instructions he had.  The driver ran out of hours, so spent the night in the cab, with the company calling me to apologise and say that he'd be on site at 07:30 the next morning.  I was on site when he arrived, and it's fair to say he was not at all a happy bunny, and seemed intent on having a row with me.  I let him rant for a minute, then in a break asked to see the delivery note.  He handed me his clipboard, and the delivery instructions were clear, and even circled with a highlighter pen.  I handed it back and asked if he could read, and if so had he actually read his delivery instructions.  He then calmed down and said he didn't usually bother, but just put the post code in his sat nav.  The first sentence on the delivery instructions was "Please ignore your sat nav directions once you enter the village, and follow the directions below"....................

Edited by JSHarris
missed off a "y"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...