When American Bridge was awarded the NOAA seawall project in beautiful downtown Norfolk Virginia it seemed like a cut & dry type job. Some pre demolition of the existing structure, install a new steel sheet pile wall and form & pour a cast in place concrete cap. There were some out of the ordinary composite “harbortech” Dolphin piles that had to be installed for the final phase of the marine construction.

Keith Hall, construction manager for American Bridge has driven thousands of piles of all types in his life time. These were somewhat different from what he’d dealt with in the. Keith contacted the Mid-Atlantic branch of APE to see what we could look at to install these piles.

APE has a line of “low-head room” impact hammers that were designed for very low head room applications. These are called the APE 7.5 series. The 7.5 stands for the height of the hammer 7-1/2 feet. Contractors have found out through the years these are the best tool for lowhead room applications, but also for standard jobs as well.

There are 3 versions of these and they are identified by a A, B, & C series. The 7.5A has the heavier ram, 12,000 lbs. of the 3 the 7.5C has the lightest ram 7.600 lbs. and it comes standard to fit in 21” leads. The “B” has a 10,200 lb. ram come standard to fit 26” leads.

Keith & Jimmy Deemer of APE Mid-Atlantic chose the smallest of the 3 for this application, the 7.5C Hydraulic Impact Hammer. We mated this with an APE small pipe pile insert and 60’ of 8” x 21” leads and this combination worked great! I don’t know how we would have done this without this APE hammer. These are not your ordinary dolphin piles said Keith Hall.

Contact your local APE branch for information on these 7.5 hammers, APE is the only ones in the piledriving industry that can offer these lowhead room hammers to you. They can be handled with an APE forklift sled or many other means of lift applications.

We wish Keith Hall & American Bridge a safe & productive project… GO APE!

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