Russian Impact-Vibration Pile Driving Equipment

L.V. Erofeev, VNIIstoirdormash
D.C. Warrington, Vulcan Iron Works

Note: This article originally appeared in the Second May Issue, 1995 of Pile Buck. Mr. Erofeev retired from VNIIstroidormash after this article appeared and passed away in 2002-3. My memorial for him is here. Dr. Warrington is the webmaster for this site and does consulting work.

This article is also available on Researchgate.

Table of Contents


  • 1 Basic Description
  • 2 Categories of Impact-Vibration Hammers
  • 3 Sheet Pile Extractors
  • 4 Impact-Vibration Soil Loosening


  • 5 Clearance in Impact-Vibration Machines
  • 6 Frequency Ratios
  • 7 Stroke Speed Restoration Ratio
  • 8 Basic Operating Parameters
  • 9 Exciter Parameters
  • 10 Pile Connection


  • 11 Overview
  • 12 Tsaplin’s Hammer
  • 13 Lukomskii’s Work
  • 14 Other Work
  • 15 VNIIstroidormash Test Stand and General Design Comments
  • 16 Model S-467 and S-467M at Stalingrad
  • 17 Model S-836 and Related Units
  • 18 Development of the Hydraulically Adjusted VI-571
  • 19 Machines With Combined Action
  • 20 Development of the Electromagnetically Adjusted SP-53


USSR Author’s Certificates


  • Appendix A: Special Topics on the Soviet System
  • Appendix B: Specifications for Impact-Vibration Hammers


Important Note

Original detailed engineering specifications (drawings, descriptions of operation, etc.) are available for many of the machines described in this article, specifically for the following models:

If you are interested in more information, click here to contact us.


This article is an overview of both the development and present status of impact-vibration hammer, with special emphasis on the situation in the Russian Federation. This last point is significant because the technology was originally developed there. The article is divided into three sections:

  1. an overview of the basic principles of impact-vibration hammers and how these are implemented in current machines
  2. an outline of the theory of design of impact-vibration hammers, and
  3. a history of the development of these machines, especially at VNIIstroidormash.

The purpose of pile driving equipment, be it vibratory, impact, or impact-vibration, is to impart worthwhile energy to the pile and thus to drive it. When pile driving began, the impact hammer was the only type of pile driving machine known to do the job. The vibratory hammer is an alternative to impact driving, and in many cases an efficient one. Nevertheless, it suffers from some limitations, including uncertainties in using the machine as an instrument to determine bearing capacity and difficulties with pile toe resistance and cohesive soils.

Parallel to the development of the vibratory hammer in Russia was the impact-vibration hammer. The impact-vibration hammer is a type of hammer that has not gained the widespread popularity that the vibratory hammer has, nor has it spawned the myriads of manufacturers making it. Nevertheless impact-vibration hammers have capabilities that vibratory and impact hammers lack.

The purpose of this article is to 1) describe the basics of impact-vibration technology as it relates to piles, 2) how the technology has been implemented in the field, and 3) the course of research on this type of equipment, with the aim to improve it.

An appendix to explain unfamiliar aspects of the old Soviet economic system as they relate to this article is also included, as is a bibliography.


This article is the end product of a long process, which is a combination of research, history, and an effort to establish links of cooperation where there were none before.

The authors of this paper first met in 1988; it was three years before their first article on the subject appeared in Pile Buck. Subsequently the cooperation has increased greatly, as has the availability of information on this subject. So it is now necessary to expand on what has been written about before.

Many people have helped make this article possible, and both Mr. Erofeev and myself would like to extend our thanks to Mr. Chris Smoot of Pile Buck, who published the first article; Mr. Alexander Molnar of Novoker, Lucenec, Slovakia, for his translation of much of the material used; and of course to Mr. V.A. Nifontov of Stroifundamentservice, without whose talents none of this would have come about.


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