One Year On: UK’s First Long Reach Piling Rig

It is now just over a year ago that we officially handed over a brand new ABI Mobilram TM12/15 H-LR to  our colleagues at Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd. We were involved in the creation of this ground-breaking rig from intial concept, to design, and ultimately to manufacture at our factory in Germany.

This is the first long reach rig of it's kind in the UK, and has very quickly made a great impact on restricted access piling projects. Back in August GeoDrilling International magazine ran an article featuring this rig, spotlighting on the M62 smart motorway and carriageway widening works. This was the fifth highway improvement project for this rig in less than 12 months - and it has since gone on to a further such project on the M1.

The innovative design of the rig encompasses a total reach of 8.1m, three metres longer than the average standard rig, and additional stability features including an extra 3 tonnes of counterweight and a total track width of 4.2m. And yet there have been no compromises in performance - the rig offers an extraction force of 175kN and a crowd force of 100kN, and coupled with the ABI MRZV 20VV variable moment, variable frequency vibro gives a maximum driven pile length of 16m.

The highway projects that this machine has worked on have demonstrated both the need for a concept rig such as this, as well as the benefits it brings. The additional reach means the rig can work from the existing carriageway or hard shoulder, negating the need for costly and time-consuming enablement works. Working in cuttings or on embankments is also made easier, and excavation and backfill at these types of sites is no longer required either. In addition, since the rig has been in use, the equipment operators themselves have reported a significant improvement in their field of vision - which is great for health and safety too.

These benefits are all reflected in saved costs by shortening the length of time needed for contract works, as well as the cost of erecting or enabling access for the rig to the piling area. Less working time also means less disturbance to traffic - so less congestion, which in turn leads to less pollution. Here at ABI Equipment we are very proud to have been involved in the creation of this rig.