Driving Concrete Piles Wild

Driving piles wild, i.e., without any leader of any kind, is something that takes a great deal of skill and forethought by the contractor. Like piles driven with a stub leader, it is necessary at least to use some kind of template to insure that the pile is on location and in alignment, and also to support the entire hammer-pile system.

Vulcan’s enthusiasm for such an arrangement was, to say the last, restrained, even though the relative shortness of Vulcan’s hammers (relative to a diesel hammer) made such an arrangement more viable. In some cases, however, it worked and worked well. One of those cases is the one featured here, where a Vulcan 020 was used during the test pile program to drive concrete cylinder piles. The project was a connecting link for the Evergreen Point Bridge in Seattle, Washington, specifically the Portage Bay Bridge. The contractor was McCray Brothers Construction Company; the superintendent on the job was Robert Currie, the construction department manager was Ralph Finke, and the job office engineer was Sid Porter. The project cost was $2,291,805.

More information on the Vulcan 020 is here. Vulcan’s dealer for this was Star Machinery. Vulcan was so impressed with these photos that one of them made the back cover of Vulcan’s Data Manual.

Getting the Vulcan 020 ready to drive at the Portage Bay Bridge Project, Seattle, Washington

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