When “American Infrastructure” was awarded the new highway 15 bridge in Chester Virginia the existing large overhead power lines looked awful low. They scratched their heads as they kept looking at the headroom situation and how they were going to get machinery under them to drive the piles… can’t do anything till the piles are driven… right?
The management staff knew if any company could help them with this situation it was APE / American Piledriving Equipment. They contacted Jimmy Deemer APE’s Mid-Atlantic manager to come to the jobsite and have a look at what the jobsite conditions were and what recommendations he could make. After looking things over with the onsite staff the only solution was using an excavator. Along with APE’s in house engineering staff & head engineer Joe K they came up with a very productive & slick system. They decided to use one of the APE low-head room hammers. They chose one of the 7.5 series hammers the 7.5C
APE designed a self-contained system with the APE 7.5C hammer, 30’ of APE 21” leads with a 2 line headblock and a hydraulic sled that mounts directly to the tip of a 345 CAT excavator. The hydraulic sled that mates up to the back of the leads has tilt cylinders built into it for the side to side batters they needed to drive. It also batters fore & aft. All functions are run off the excavators hydraulic system “plug & play” This system can do it all!
Part of the design incorporated a Gear master hydraulic winch on the back of the sled for hoisting the hammer & piles. This is run with a foot control form inside the cab of the excavator. The piles are a taper tube MONOTUBE style pile. They pre-drill the 1st 15’ and set & seat the pile 17 foot tater bottom. Then they weld the second section a 20’ mid and drive it and then splice & drive the 3rd and last another 20’ mid or top .
They will drill & set about 15 piles in one set-up. This system is extremely quick & productive and all aspects of safety are incorporated into it. The onsite supervision staff said “We had no idea this low head room nightmare could have worked out so well “That’s why APE has a registered trademark “when a piledriver talks we listen”. We wish American Infrastructure’s Highway 15 job a safe & productive project. Don’t wait till your piledriving job has you backed in to a corner, start off on the right foot… contact your nearest APE branch and see all we can offer to you ! GO APE!