New pile harvester helps Bristol dock project

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The Contig 600 enabled Churngold to cut 600mm and 450mm diameter tare piles in a contiguous wall format

The Contig 600 is a pile puller designed to reduce piles in a contiguous or secant wall formation where only two sides of the pile may be exposed and the space between piles is tight.

For the first two weeks of this month it was used by Churngold Construction, working on behalf of Halsall Construction, to prepare the way for a new harborside office building, Cargo Work, in Bristol.

Over the past few months, significant progress has been made in the development of Wapping Wharf. The concrete floors, load-bearing interior walls and steel frames are now complete, paving the way for the creation of a new workspace.

The 20,270 square foot Bristol development is housed within the stone walls of the former JS Fry warehouse, now fully restored and on display following the removal of the roadside walls which previously lined Wapping Road.

Main contractor Halsall Construction awarded Churngold Construction the contract for the earthworks and reinforced concrete basement. Part of Churngold’s brief was the reframing of the concrete piles used in the development. These had to be dealt with efficiently, quickly and safely, with the resulting concrete residues being reprocessed in an environmentally friendly manner. Churngold turned to National Pile Croppers (NPC). “Churngold invited us to the site to see the difficulties with reframing the piles,” said NPC director Lee Aston. “I have to admit that the complexity of the site and the way the piles were laid was a challenge. Fortunately, we have been working on an updated version of our Contig 600 trimmer. This would prove to be the perfect tool for the job.

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He continues: “With the new Config 600, two hydraulic cylinders mounted in opposition at 180oh offer the option of positioning the trimmer above the wall to reduce heaps. The trimmer’s wall thickness allows it to fit between adjoining stacks with spacing as close as 50mm.

“The original Config 600 was larger than expected, but has the ability to crop 750mm piles, although this is a good problem to have, it also caused problems dealing with a contiguous 600mm pile with a spacing of 150mm (nominal) In order to develop a harvester suitable for Churngold’s requirements, we sought to build a harvester that was reduced in width, retaining its structural strength, whilst keeping the overall dimensions tight to a pile of 600mm.

The design and development of the new Config 600 overcame issues highlighted during stress analysis while trying to achieve the optimum jaw-pile interface angle. NPC has struck the right balance and the latest release has allowed Churngold to harvest 600mm and 450mm diameter tare piles in a contiguous wall format. These were installed leaving a nominal spacing of 150mm between adjacent piles which provided a perfect case study for the use of the new Contig 600 V2.

Lee Aston concluded: “Feedback from the guys (Churngold Construction) on site was very complementary, indicating that the harvester is working better than expected, and should be working well. The width dimension change (from the new Config 600) had a major impact resulting in smaller heaps in the middle of the wall where other harvesters were clogging up on the adjacent heap which required cropping additional from the end of the pile wall. The weight and center of gravity of the new Config 600 have also been shifted to provide significantly better maneuverability – all while maintaining the excellent pile finish expected from the NPC range of pile cutters.

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