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FUTURE FOUNDATIONS Fall 2010 | Issue 1

Newsletter of American Piledriving Equipment, Inc.



The next generation of pile bucks and bridge workers

FCI Constructors and the great sheet wall of Bethel Island

Darryl, Dan and Ray Heaton are geared up and in full swing in their new, top of the line facility on Annacis Island in Delta, BC. Two times a year I have the honor and great privilege to spend a day with the Local 2404 trainees and journeymen. This day’s topic was a discussion about driver/extractors and diesel hammer systems. The basic workings and operation including technical information needed in the choosing of the right equipment for the job. Every time I have this opportunity I leave very proud of both the attendance, interest piledriving and the excellent class participation. I am always amazed at the constructive questions that are asked. I know the Ray, Darryl and the rest of the group there have created an engaging atmosphere that will bring safety and knowledge to the industry. These people are the next generation of pile bucks and bridge workers and what they bring to the industry is what people like me who live eat sleep and dream piledriving like to see.

There is an art to driving a straight sheet wall and that art takes years to learn. You can’t just look at it and make it stand straight, you have to work it. It takes patience and you got to go slow and easy. As soon as you get in a hurry things start going south in a hurry. Just ask Richard Foster with FCI Constructors! Richard has been driving sheet pile since he was kid, and that was a long time ago! He grew up in the piledriving industry and learned from hard work and determination! To see him work on a sheet wall is like seeing poetry in motion. Richard makes it look easy! “I like to start a sheet wall with the vibro and get myself a good running start” says Richard, “and when I have a nice start and the driving gets hard and I have to pick up the impact hammer, I know I will have a good finish”. The lesson of the day is this: when driving a sheet pile wall you should always have two things, a good crane operator and a seasoned front end man, like Richard Foster!

APE Northwest also services Western Canada. Dave Yingling: Kelly Goranson: Chris Wang:

Steve Cress:

SOUTHEAST Getting on site with APE service

GLF Construction recently purchased a used APE 300 Vibro with a 630 Power unit and a APE Model 50 Drill with a APE 350 Power unit for the Port Galeota project in Trinidad. This is the second purchase by GLF for their continuing business in Trinidad. Project Manager Andy Sosa and Construction Manager Rick Alexander are looking forward to getting started after a year delay. I will be going down for the startup when the Barge arrives. Good luck GLF and thank you for purchasing APE equipment. APE Southeast also services The Caribbean, Central America and South America. Jim Bushyeager: Jim Casavant: Wally Brumsey: Manson Construction rebuilding a ferry dock. McNeil Island Corrections Center, Puget Sound, WA

APE Mexico New Sales Representative for APE in Mexico

Franki Segura is the new APE Director of Sales for the Mexican piledriving market. Mr. Segura is a graduate of Florida International University, Miami, Florida with a degree in International Business, in addition to 3 years experience in the field of deep foundations equipment sales. Mr. Segura is looking forward to bringing the customer care and 5 star service to Mexico’s contractors personally that American Piledriving Equipment has been providing to the industry since 1990. Se habla español! Franki Segura:

The Fall & Rise of Diesel Hammers

APE China

By John White, President

APE China recently successfully produced it’s first 1050HP Power unit engine to operate an APE 200-6 modified hammer. In China many customers are using a technique to drive concrete piles by pulling down on the top of the upper suppressor housing using a winch that is hooked to the bottom of their rig. This is the 3rd modified rig we have used in China. The purpose is to drive a near 8″ thick can through the ground which eventually will be filled with concrete, then extracted out of the ground. It takes about 1 hour to drive a 100 foot pile, install rebar, pump concrete, then extract using an APE model 200. APE hammers can easily do 10 piles per day during the day time while our electric hammer competitor can only do a max of 4. To see a video of this process in action see our videos section on website.


A Xu









John White:

David White: Steve Gough:


Concrete piles cracking while driving in either soft silt or very hard ground? The solution is the same for both problems: Use a thicker cushion block and a hammer with a heavier ram and shorter stroke. We have all been taught this. I remember reading the slogan in the Vulcan tips book that Vulcan Iron Works gave to each of their customers. It was an impressive article written by Professor Hirsch of Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute. He reasoned: The compression wave sent down a pile by the hammer blow rebounds back up the pile when it reaches the end - as a tension wave, if the pile tip is in a soft medium that offers little resistance, and as a compression wave if the pile tip is lodged against something very firm. If the pile is long and the stress waves short, the return wave will meet the compressive wave of the next hammer blow, and the two can add up to a resultant force that is destructive. Professor Hirsch summed up his fundamentals of good pile design and pile driving practices by giving us eleven rules: 1. Use more cushion 2. Reduce stresses by going with a heavier ram 3. Reduce ram velocity during early driving 4. Predrilling or jetting may rob your resistance 5. Make sure your drive cap has room to move 6. Make sure your pile is made straight 7. Square off the top of the pile 8. Cut the ends of steel flush with the top of the pile 9. Use adequate spiral reinforcing at the head & tip 10. Use adequate amount of prestress in prestressed piles or reinforcement in ordinary precast piles to resist reflected tensile stresses. 11. Chamfer the top and bottom edges and corners of the pile to reduce the tendency of the concrete to spall. That was written in 1966. At that time, the air hammer was a popular tool. Then the diesel hammer took over the world, and the mighty air hammer manufacturers are now a tiny fraction of what they were.


Heavy Ram-Short Stroke: Good or bad?

APE China’s First Model 200-6 with 1050 Power Unit




“Waterfront Marine” a Virginia based contractor has begun driving piles on one of the largest piledriving jobs the east coast has ever seen. “AREVA” & “Northrop Grumman” have paired up to construct a $363.4 m. state of the art facility to manufacture critical nuclear components for the ship building industry in Newport News VA. This will consist of a 333,000 square foot building that will sit on approx. 7,500 14” prestressed concrete piles. These piles will vary in length from 59’ to 100’ When it came time to size & choose piledriving equipment Waterfront & the boys from APE put their heads together and decided the APE D-30-42 diesel impact hammer would be the tool of choice. We paired them with an APE Model 20 drill / auger for pre-drilling down through the trash on the top. Jimmy Deemer:


Mascaro Construction, Pittsburgh’s premier general contractor, was awarded the David Lawrence Convention Center Riverside Park job, which included driving steel sheeting, beams and pipe piles. In the past, Mascaro would sub out any pile driving work. But project manager Brad McKibben and Superintendent Bob Yeckel thought this would be the perfect job to self-perform. APE Northeast got the call, providing an APE 200 vibro equipped with a caisson beam, caisson clamps, and a caisson to clamp adapter. This adapter facilitates a fast swap out from a sheet clamp to a dual caisson clamp setup. LU 2235 Pile Driving foreman Bob Kerns was impressed with this set-up. APE Northeast also services Eastern Canada

GULFCOAST JAB Energy Solutions go with APE in the Gulf of Mexico

When the old way of doing things becomes too difficult and expensive Johnny and Brent Boudreaux of JAB Energy Solutions started to rethink the way knocked over wells are “P & A’d” (plugged & abandoned) in the Gulf of Mexico. The current procedures call for massive amounts of excavation on the sea floor of the gulf. Typically, this is done by using large jets and divers to move the mud in order to make access to the knocked over well which is usually bent below the sea floor. The safety issues along with the time and expense of this part of the process is a huge variable when working in deep water, dealing with unknown soil types. Continued at Joe Wright: Vince Ellis:

Paul Kuzik: Bill Ziadie:

MIDWEST APE in the Heartland

In 2009 American Piledriving Equipment opened a branch in St. Peters, Missouri in order to bring their dependable service and sales to the heartland. Heading the branch is Ed Corbett, a heavy construction industry veteran of 30+ years. APE invites Piledrivers from North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky and Tennessee to contact Ed with their piledriving challenges and equipment needs and experience the APE service difference.

APE Midwest also services Central Canada Corbett




Ed Corbett: Ziadie


Bushyeager Casavant







7032 South 196th Street Kent, Washington 98032





Vibratory driver/extractors are used to drive or extract pipes, sheet piles and various pile profiles unto or out of the ground. As the pile is vibrated, the surrounding soil vibrates, reducing the resistance between the pile and surrounding soil. This method of driving pilings is simpler; it can be done quickly and economically. APE vibratory driver/extractors vibrate at a high frequency and very low noise level. This creates a safer working environment and reduces risk of damage to adjacent houses and buildings.



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Future Foundations #1  

The Newsletter of American Piledriving Equipment, Inc.

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