In 2019 Wilco’s (Thunder Bay, Ontario) David Cramer contacted Berminghammer about their new line of Excavator Mounted Leads (EML) for pile driving. Having heard about Berminghammer through the Ontario Road Builder’s Association, Cramer was interested in the use of an EML for doing structural work in a market that prohibited the use of a vibratory hammer.
Berminghammer finished production of the EML45 and paired it with a Kobelco 460 excavator that Wilco had purchased and shipped direct to Hamilton. Berminghammer personnel trained Cramer to operate it in our yard. Immediately after training, the excavator and lead system were shipped to Thunder bay for Wilco’s Gorge Creek Project.
PM Travis Jaspers said “We initially had a different design for the project. With the new tool, we could pound 45-foot sheet piles and forget the tie backs that would have made the job more expensive. We were able to change the design and make the job less costly” he remarked that the first day involved a bit of learning and then things took off. “The EML45 will help us with bids as we move into 2020. We have a project already on the boards for next year where we will likely make some changes to the design and use it. This winter, having this excavator-mounted hammer will give us an edge in the bidding process and will help us get those job.”
David Zanchetta, P.Eng., Sales and Field Services Representative at Berminghammer Foundation Equipment points out that the gains of the EML systems are found in the significantly decreased costs to mobilize at the jobsite. Most general contractors require an excavator for on-site work; they can attach an EML to the excavator prior to piling work. Then, when work is finished, contractors can detach the EML and continue using the excavator for its primary use. This means piling contractors can mobilize the system with a single truckload saving money.
What makes the EML45 a good choice for piling contractors? The rigs were designed with several design criteria; to deliver enough energy to drive piles specified for bridge piles, to be extremely mobile, and quick to rig up and eliminate the need for crane mobilizations for small piling jobs. The uses of the EML include bridge piers and abutments, soldier pile and lagging systems for roadway protection and piling location areas that are sensitive to vibration. The EML45 also has a longer drop than most drop hammers that only offer a four-foot drop.
The EML45 can be scaled to feature a seven-foot drop height. Also, there is no wasted space as operators can drive the maximum pile height using the maximum amount of energy to get the job done. Another huge benefit to the EML45 is the side leveling feature. The system works with a tilt of three degrees making it ideal for rugged terrain and challenging sites. Simply, your piles will be plumb even if your pad isn’t. Also, if you have a high quantity of piles, the EML45 is capable of running Berminghammer’s B21 diesel hammer as well!