Sheet Piling UK is to take delivery of the world’s first long-reach telescopic leader rig at the end of this month.
The TM 12/15 LR was commissioned by sheet-piling contractors, Preston-based Sheet Piling, as a solution to the issues surrounding the widening of existing earthworks.
The vibratory installation rig is unique as it has an 8.1m maximum horizontal reach, measured from the centre of its cab’s body to the pile-driving position - 3m further than any other rig.
This extended reach will be used for the widening phase of Smart motorway upgrades, which typically requires two weeks of enabling works and platform construction, according to the firm.
With the new rig, no preparation works are required, as the 8m reach rig can stand on the existing carriageway and drive the piles where required. The long-reach telescopic leader rig’s vertical reach is 3.9m and it offers a maximum driven or extracted pile length of 16m.
tm 1215 lr long reach rig 2
According to Sheet Piling, this will speed up a widening project and also reduce the overall cost. Th firm’s predicted savings are between £40,000 and £60,000 on a project within which a typical 100m sheet-pile wall is being installed.
Sheet Piling UK’s Andrew Cotton says: “The long-reach telescopic leader rig (TM 12/15 LR) was specifically commissioned to address the current problems that infrastructure widening schemes face, which is why it is such a godsend for contractors working on SMART motorway, rail, or other infrastructure-widening projects.”
Built by ABI Group in Germany, to a brief supplied by Sheet Piling, the rig also has a MRZV 20VV vibratory hammer and MDBA 4000 auger attachment, plus a Euro Stage IV emission engine. It provides the contractor with an extraction force of 175kN and a crowd force of 100kN.
The weight of the extended arm is balanced by an additional 3t counterweight, whilst a heavy-duty hydraulically extendable undercarriage has a 4.2m overall track width, which reduces ground-bearing pressures.
Cotton said: “We believe this to be the most innovative development within the construction sector in the last 30 years and believe we can change the face of UK infrastructure projects with this new methodology. We have invested heavily in this innovation but believe our faith will be truly vindicated. It ticks every box a contractor could wish for and it is set to revolutionise the Smart motorway programme over the next eight years.”