A Lancashire-based steel sheet-piling contractor is set to revolutionise the construction environment around Britain’s SMART motorway network, having commissioned the world’s first long-reach telescopic leader rig, due to land on British soil at the end of September.
The TM 12/15 LR is a state-of-the-art vibratory installation rig, specifically commissioned by Preston-based Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd, as an innovative solution to the issues surrounding the widening of existing earthworks.
Operating with a rig with this extended reach provides a contractor with distinct advantages. Currently, the widening phase of SMART motorway upgrades typically requires two weeks of enabling works and platform construction, so as to support a rig with the standard five-metre reach. With the new TM 12/15 LR, no such preparation works are required, as the 8-metre-reach rig can stand on the existing carriageway and drive the piles where required.
This world first has been built by German-based ABI Group in Germany, to a brief supplied by Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd, whose director, Andrew Cotton, has recently inspected the innovative rig at ABI’s headquarters in Bavaria, prior to taking delivery of it.
Despite the reach capacity of the rig being greatly enhanced, the innovation has not been achieved by making any compromise when it comes to other capacities. The long-reach telescopic leader rig’s vertical reach is 3.9 metres and it offers a maximum driven or extracted pile length of 16 metres.
Sheet Piling UK’s Andrew Cottonm, said: “The long-reach telescopic leader rig (TM 12/15 LR) was specifically commissioned to address the current problems that infrastructure widening schemes face, which is why it is such a godsend for contractors working on SMART motorway, rail, or other infrastructure-widening projects.
“We used SPUK’s 20 years of expertise in the construction sector to analyse the problem and then develop a solution. We shall be proud to introduce this huge innovation to the UK and enjoy the exclusivity that we have with the concept design until the end of 2019. Over the next 16 months, we shall be further reinforcing our positioning as the UK’s number one sheet-piling contractor.”