Rules for driving/extracting piles


Brought to you by American Piledriving Equipment (APE)


  1. Never stand under foundation equipment.
  2. Start with piles in good condition.
  3. Put all clamp teeth in contact with pile.
  4. Drive in steps eight feet or less.
  5. Keep sheets plumb.
  6. Come up to speed before doing work.
  7. No dancing – avoid densification.
  8. Drive past obstacles and then go back.
  9. Backhoe on site to remove obstacles.
  10. Lead with the ball of the sheet pile.
  11. Probe the pile if it appears stuck.
  12. Never rush the sheet pile foreman.
  13. Slow and plumb and the job will get done.
  14. Melted inner locks = piles out of plumb.
  15. Low clamp pressure means jaw failures.
  16. Wait for vibro to get to full speed then pull.
  17. Don’t over excavate – lower the ring.
  18. Look at the jaws during driving.
  19. Beware of cracked or broken sheets.
  20. In sandy soils drive faster.
  21. In clay amplitude is everything.
  22. Low drive pressure means easy work.
  23. High pressure means friction on piles.
  24. Over 4500 psi means bigger hammer needed.
  25. No amplitude means bigger hammer needed.
  26. Caissons need heavy wall to avoid flex.
  27. Check clamp bolts each morning.
  28. Read the manual – know your machine.
  29. Attach whip line to pile when pulling.
  30. Know your line pull.
  31. Extract straight – look at boom and cable.
  32. Give boom stops some room.
  33. Stalled engine means dirty fuel filters.
  34. Never stand under foundation equipment.