Pile driving is a method of driving piles into soil to provide foundation support to different structures. An operator of a piling rig can be referred to as a pile driver. There are a few methods and equipment to pile driving that can be used depending on certain circumstances. These include impact driving, vibrodriving, and pressing.
Methods of Pile Driving
Impact driving is the use of a falling weight to create impact to the pile, driving it into the ground. This can be done with a drop hammer or with a hydraulic press. The hydraulic press is known to operate with accuracy, efficiency, and to be less noisy than other hammers.
Vibrodriving is when an oscillating driver is clamped to the top of a pile to induce vibrations and reduce friction on the sides of a pile. The pile is then inserted into the ground with force.
Pressing, or jacking, operates by pressing piles into the ground using adjacent piles for reaction. This method is low noise and low vibrations. It is ideal for sensitive work areas such as near a neighborhood.
Pile Driving Procedures
When beginning the pile driving job, workers should make sure they are prepared for the task and take appropriate safety measures. Workers should always wear steel-toed boots, a hard hat, and a brightly colored safety vest.
Checking to make sure all equipment is in working order is important to avoid accidents. Keep an eye on having enough material and making sure the material is ready to be used. For example, square tips on timber piles are easier to keep in line and pointing the ends isn’t recommended. Workers should make sure the butt and piling fit together correctly to prevent damage. Adding steel tips to timber piles add an extra shield of protection and keel the pile from splintering as it’s being hammered.