A record 30 meter (98 foot) diameter steel pipe pile was driven by First Harbor Engineering Company of China and APE near Hainan Island for the new international airport for Sanya, China. The massive pile is 30 meters in diameter, 34 meters long and weighs over 600 metric tons. The previous record pile, 22 meters in diameter, was driven by APE’s Octakong on the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Seaway Project in 2011.
Sanya is a growing resort destination in South China, and is currently limited with only one airport and only one runway. The existing airport was designed for 1.5 million travelers per year in the 1990’s but is now seeing an overflow of 13 million people per year, causing unsustainable overburden for the facility. The planned airport is to offer five runways with a projected ability to handle over 20 million people per year comfortably, which is projected to boost the tourism of Hainan island. The only problem? How to create a 5-runway airport where there is no available land for a 5-runway airport, and do so within a 2 year schedule?
Answer – Build a new island for a new airport.
With super large 30 meter diameter piles.
Yeah, but how could you drive piles that large?
Only with the APE Dodecakong, the world’s largest piledriver.
Designed and patented by APE, The Dodecakong consists of twelve APE Model 600 vibros mounted together and powered by twelve CAT 32 – 1200 HP engines supplying 14,400 HP combined. At full power the Dodecakong delivers nearly 4,000 gallons of oil per minute producing a massive 7,200 tons of drive force. There are over 20,000 feet of hydraulic lines (3.8 miles) with an advanced control system to keep all components in perfect synchronization. The roof of the DodecaKong is large enough to accommodate a basketball court with room for nearly 1,000 fans on each side. The total hammer weight is 700 metric tons with 4,200 tons of line pull ability.
In order to complete the project on time (in time for the first flights?), at least 3 APE DodecaKongs will be deployed, making it by far the largest pile driving operation in history.
We thank our supply chain members, the entire APE team on two continents, and the exceptional team at First Harbor Engineering, who all worked tirelessly through the Holiday Season to deliver the world’s largest pile driving machine!
We look forward to sharing more photos and information as this project continues.
I met Gary Kranz in 1987. He was the instructor for a hydraulics course provided by Rucker Fluid Power. My first day of the week-long class was a nightmare because Gary was a serious ass hole teacher and he jumped me for talking in class.
Gary was the best hydraulics person I have ever known. His motto was, “Be cautious of bull shit hydraulic sales people” because he believed they would change their stripes as fast as they changed jobs. Gary told his class that all hydraulic sales people will sell you what they represent that day. In other words the salesman might tell you that Vocac was the best hydraulic motor in the world because that is what their company represents but next week if the salesman leaves the company and now represents RexRoth then of course Rexroth is now the best product in the world. Gary was fired more than once for bad mouthing the sales staff of the company he was teaching. Gary never changed his ways and finally pissed off so many hydraulics suppliers that could not find a job so he ventured into his own business which he named Western Dynamics. APE invested in his company and stayed with him to the end.
I loved Gary for sticking to his principals. Gary was involved in designing the first APE power units which were built in Portland, Oregon at Rucker Fluid Power. Those power units still run and are considered the best units in the industry. Many of the main components on those power units were not products that Rucker Fluid Power represented. The owners and managers of Rucker would beg Gary to use what they represented but Gary would only use what he considered to be the best and was not swayed by pressure from Rucker Fluid Power or anyone else. It was his way or the highway but his final product was golden.
Gary handled APE’s sales staff the same way. He would tell them off in his own strong vulgar words. He would say there is no god and use his experiences in Vietnam as an example. He was hated and loved at APE. I, for one, wanted to choke him several times and I pledged many times never to work with him again when he would do or say things that were so out of line it would make me scream. But I would always come back to him because he was the best at understanding and troubleshooting hydraulic problems.
Gary was a fighter. He hated to lose. He won far more bets than he lost. One time when he lost a bet he could not come to admit the loss and finally said “Ok, you were right this time but that does not mean I have to like it”.
Gary fought to the very end with his battle with cancer. Just a week ago he was still working on a new manifold for our drills. He still had that drive in him, saying “when this f%$king manifold is done it will be the best thing in the world”. That was Gary. He put the fight into it. He was part of APE and we are all going to miss him greatly. Gary- we love you and thanks for keeping APE on top of the world hydraulically. God has to deal with you now and I am sure he has his hands full. We all know he would be too much for the devil to handle.
Everyone in this company has a Gary Kranz story. He touched us all.
J&M Hydrualics stands for John and Mary. The history of how they got into the vibratory pile driver manufacturing business is a crazy story that I plan to write about in the coming weeks. J&M was the source for ICE vibratory machines from the very beginning in 1974. King Evarts Jr. led J&M into the world’s largest manufacturer of pile driving equipment. APE and J&M merged in 2001. King Jr. still heads up all things regarding J&M as well as serving as Chief Engineer for APE. I look forward to writing more about this topic next week. The story is filled with some crazy events that I know you will enjoy learning about.
As many of you know, the APE OCTAKONG will be driving 72-foot diameter steel caissons for the world’s largest bridge – the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. A total of 130 of these giant piles will be driven to form to Islands in the South China Sea (65 for each Island). In addition to the 130 72-foot piles, 260 wing walls must also be installed to join each 72-foot pile together. APE was successful in obtaining this additional contract. We were ordered to build two Model 200-6’s and perform a drive test.
I am happy to report that two APE Model 200-6 Vibratory pile driver extractors joined together to run in Tandem have successfully driven the wing walls in the test performed yesterday. It took just 11 minutes to drive the wing wall to grade. They drove two wing walls so far and plan to drive a third for the final test. Attached is one of the most amazing photos in pile driving history showing the second wing wall as our machine is lowered on to the top.
Newly appointed to serve on the US Trade Committee, Republican Congressman Dave Reichert toured the APE manufacturing facility in Kent, Washington today. Congressman Reichert discussed APE’s sales to foreign countries including China, Russia, Mexico, and Peru.
“We touched on a number of subjects which included APE’s successful bid to supply China with pile drivers to build the world’s largest bridge (see attachments) plus job creation, Washington State’s death tax, trade with China, and issues with the new health care bill” says John White, President of American Piledriving Equipment.
Congressman Reichert took the time to shake everyone’s hand and showed sincere curiosity regarding the pile drivers under various stages of assembly at the APE plant. He then watched a diesel pile driver start up and pound on a pile in APE’s test stand. In addition, he watched as a crew prepared a Vibratory Pile Driver being tested in preparation for shipment to China.
Congressman Reichert spent more than an hour touring the APE facilities. He pointed out that Washington State does more business with China than any other State thanks to companies like APE.
(We had a moment to chat about the Foster Business School EMBA program. I mentioned “Precision Questioning” and “Customer Value Proposition” as well as the “Organizational Performance Model” as three new terms I discovered in class………………………… JUST JOKING!)
Seriously, we did talk about the Foster Business School. Congressman Reichert requested that I supply him with a chart showing all the Washington State suppliers to APE so that he could see how many jobs our company plays a role in creating. I said I would do this after I finish my home work.
There has been new changes to the 5050 and the 55AT to allow the use of the Western Rubber & Mfg. rotary joint. This is the same rotary joint that APE has been using with a lot of success for many years. These swivels have been a great update for the high quality line of augers that J&M have been making for many years.
Zack Henson, APE’s Mid West service tech, set up an APE Model 200-6 with the Tier III CAT C18 700 HP power unit. He did not write anything to tell us any details about the job other than the following words:
“It’s A Beautiful Sight”
Thanks Zack, but can we get some more details please.
In May of 1997 APE began building diesel hammers in China. We teamed up with SEMW (Shanghai Engineering Machine Works). SEMW had been manufacturing diesel hammers since 1962 and specifically Delmag hammers since 1983.
In May of 1997 Delmag Germany filed for Bankruptcy which put SEMW in a bad situation. They were making the diesel hammers but Delmag was directing the sales both in and outside of China. When Delmag’s staff left China it was APE that arrived to fill in the gap. This is when the revolution started. What revolution you say?
In May of 1997 the largest diesel hammer was the Delmag D100. The D100 has a ten metric ton ram. The “D” stands for diesel and the “100” stands for ten metric tons. When you read “D30” the “D” stands for “diesel” and the “30” stands for 3 metric tons.
The D100 was not large enough to compete with the monster hydraulic hammers being made by Menck and IHC. Nearly every big bridge job in both the USA and China was accomplished using Menck or IHC hydraulic hammers. When the San Francisco Bay bridge replacement project arrived, the hammer requirements forced American contractors to go to either Menck in Germany IHC in Holland. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. APE wanted this work so we started thinking bigger.
APE started developing larger diesel hammers. We pushed for the development of the D125 and then the D138 and then the D160 and D180.
Today we are building the D300. This is the world’s largest diesel hammer. The ram weight is, as you may have guessed, is 30 metric tons.
Here are some photos of the world’s largest diesel hammer. There are two logos on this hammer: APE and SEMW. APE and SEMW are now one. As you can see, the bore of this D300 is so big that I can fit inside the cylinder. This is a monster hammer build by Chinese with American help. American drive and know-how is teamed up with Chinese know-how to jointly develop these monster hammers for the world’s largest bridge projects.
It is our mission to lead the world in the development of diesel hammers. With the D300 there is no question that we lead. The fact is that we have been leading since May of 1997.
If you own one of our hammers then please be advised that we provide free service and check up of your hammer for as long as you own it.
Our eight branches strategically located, are fully equipment with test stands and qualified personnel to test, repair, and certify your diesel hammer. In addition, we repair all Delmag, ICE, and Pileco hammers which are all made in China.
SEMW/APE’s diesel hammer factory is the largest in the world. If you are interested in buying one of our hammers we invite you to visit our facilities in China or in Kent, Washington USA.
John L. White
As you know, accidents can be prevented if we take the time to train. We have worked very hard to come up with the APE Safety Tips. This is a video of all the safety tips we can think of. I am sure there are more. We need your safety tips. Send them in by emailing directly to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
All the old guys are retiring and along goes the experience. This includes experience in how to handle and operate pile driving and deep foundation equipment in a safe manner. We are looking for older, experienced, possibly retired pilebucks that can help us with safety issues.
Our APE 125 Safety Tips video is available on our website by clicking the link in the left navigation bar labeled “Safey Video”. The video will be broken down into seperate small clips in the coming weeks for quicker viewing of each tip and then uploaded to youtube.
Welcome to the first post to the new Noise and Vibration section of the APE Website. This section has been created to inform the public about projects and research in relation to the noise and vibration of piledriving hammers (vibratory, diesel and hydraulic). Some current and prospective clients may find this information useful when deciding and researching what kind of effects a hammer will have on the surrounding environment and wild life.
This post references the pictures on the right from top to bottom.
1. The first picture is a Fraser River Pile and Dredge using a sheet of carpet to hold back diesel smoke.
2. Here is an example of a “Hat” that has been done to make a diesel hammer quite on a jobsite in Florida. These are sound deadening mats that offer a considerable amount of noise prevention on around a jobsite.