So What is the Force of the Ram?

The whole point of impact pile driving is for a moving mass to be stopped "suddenly" and in the process generate a high peak force impulse which moves the pile into the soil. Pile dynamics people tend to emphasise the force on the pile head, while hammer manufacturers tend to emphasise the peak force of … Continue reading So What is the Force of the Ram?

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There Was a Good Reason To Develop North Sea Oil and Gas

The recent (apparent) sabotage of the NordStream gas line from Russia to Germany--and the effects of the loss of Russian energy to Europe--is a reminder to some of us of some fairly recent history about Europe and energy that bears repeating. Europeans used to be a lot better about remembering history than Americans, but it … Continue reading There Was a Good Reason To Develop North Sea Oil and Gas

The Smelliest Cigars of Them All

In many ways, the world we live in is a different place from when Vulcan went offshore fifty to sixty years ago. Some of the issues remain, such as energy independence and security. But others, in the U.S. at least, have been banished from the public square. One of those issues is smoking. I duly … Continue reading The Smelliest Cigars of Them All

Key Ball Cushion Ring

Vulcan always tried to be responsive to the needs of its customers. Sometimes, however, the way they wanted to do things got in the way of progress, and the Key Ball Cushion Ring was a good example of that in action. Vulcan had used the "standard pot" to hold its cushion material from the beginning … Continue reading Key Ball Cushion Ring

Shortages and Supply Chains, Then and Now

Proud of a job well done: Jesse Perry (left) and Norris Tremmier stand in front of a 3100 hammer they have just completed assembling in a customer's own yard. The 3100 hammer was the last 3' stroke hammer Vulcan produced for the offshore market; compared to the 560 with the same energy, it was heavy … Continue reading Shortages and Supply Chains, Then and Now

They’ve Never Liked the Oil Industry

The incoming administration's cancellation of the Keystone pipeline and its ideas on rolling back leasing on federal land signals its desire to act on climate change. But its assault on the oil industry is nothing new. In a letter to its shareholders dated 19 November 1970, Vulcan's President, H.G. Warrington, noted the following: Incomplete platform, … Continue reading They’ve Never Liked the Oil Industry

The Final Flight of an Influential Airline — Transportation History

December 4, 1991 On the same day that Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) officially came to an end and halted its longtime operations, that airline’s final flight took place. Captain Mark Pyle piloted the airplane Clipper Goodwill, a Pan Am Boeing 727-221ADV, for Flight 436 between the cities of Bridgetown, Barbados, and Miami, Florida. […]The … Continue reading The Final Flight of an Influential Airline — Transportation History

Those Aspirational Small Businesses

Above is something you don't see much of any more: a hand-drawn artist's conception of a building that has yet to be built.  In this case it's Vulcan's last all-new building: the Special Products Division at 2625 Electronics Way, West Palm Beach, FL, which was completed and opened in 1967.  Afterwards some things changed along … Continue reading Those Aspirational Small Businesses

Vulcan 5150, Now With a Revised Design

This site, as it says in the masthead, is to chronicle "Vulcan Iron Works Inc. and the pile hammers it made."  Every now and then, we feature new things about this old product line from Vulcan Foundation Equipment, which currently supports the line with new and used hammers, service and parts. The Vulcan 5150, first … Continue reading Vulcan 5150, Now With a Revised Design

When God Threw His Wallet on the Table

One of the many "characters" in Vulcan's long (144 year) history was Jesse H. Perry, Vulcan's senior field service representative right up until his sudden death.  As I mention elsewhere, it took a very special kind of person to do what Jess did.  Construction is a high risk activity, and that's especially true with offshore … Continue reading When God Threw His Wallet on the Table