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FCI Constructors Attack on the “Low – Low”

FCI Constructors of California is in the process of the seismic retrofit of NHD Bridge in Sandiego, CA. The project consists of widening existing pier footings and constructing pier infill walls. The footing widenings consist of installing a total of 180 CISS Concrete piles. Due to the low vertical clearance of 20 feet, pile installation required the use of hydraulic impact hammers of low operating lengths. This is why we chose APE! The APE models 7.5 & the APE model 9.5 hydraulic impact hammers with operating lengths of 7.5 ft and 9.5 ft are used to install piles with 9′ and 6′ sections, depending on which hammer was in use, and welded to total lengths varying from 56 ft to 70ft. After piles were installed, precast waste slabs were set in place on kip brackets welded to the pile casings, to support pier footing construction. “This project was all done off of flexi floats in the water and we had very little space to work with. Using the APE hammers, working off of excavators, we were able to accomplish the task and thanks to APE we are able to drive pile in the toughest situations!”

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S.F. Bay Bridge Knows MCM Construction

MCM Construction of Northern California is one of the largest bridge builders in California. Traveling from north to south on the freeways & highways of California we can drive with confidence knowing that these bridges are built on solid foundations! Foundations driven with APE equipment! Here on the S.F. Bay Bridge MCM Construction drives 7’ diameter pipe pile 180’ long into bedrock formations using an APE D180-42 diesel hammer! When it comes to the BIG piles, APE has the right equipment to get them in the ground.

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Dutra Construction of Northern California “PILEDRIVING HISTORY”

Dutra Construction of Northern California knows what it takes to get the job done! Especially when it comes to pulling concrete pile. They also know where to go to get the greatest foundation equipment in the world! APE! Why? As you can see in the pictures, Dutra Construction is one of the leading Marine Contractors in California as they pull fifty year old concrete pile in the Oakland Harbor. “These pile have been in the ground for a long time” says Terry Murray, Piledriving Superintendent for Dutra. “These are not even pre-stressed concrete pile and I didn’t know how they would react to vibrating them out.” Terry consulted with Steve Cress of APE California to come up with a plan of action. “I tried a dry pull on a couple of these pile and all they did was break” Terry said. So with this in mind Dutra attacked the pulling with a plan. The plan was to use the APE 300 vibro and the patented APE concrete clamp hooked up to the APE 630 power unit pushing 630 horses to get the job done. “We chose the 300 vibro because it has a tremendous amount of amplitude and that is what was needed to overcome the deflection of these old concrete piles” says Steve. Pulling concrete pile is an art Terry found out, and then perfected as he got the groove of it. “You can’t just grab the pile and yank it out” he says. “You need to handle it with finesse, easing into the pulling by lowering the engine rpm’s and “waking” the pile up first! After this the pulling is a dream!” Terry Murray was excited as he pulled pile after pile after pile without any complications. One of Terry’s best days in his life was pulling over one-hundred concrete pile in one day! That is an all time record ever recoded in piledriving history! That is what APE is all about, working with contractors like Dutra Construction, with people like Terry Murray to make PILEDRIVING HISTORY!

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MCM Hits Hard

MCM Construction of Northern California is one of the largest bridge building contractors on the West Coast. They just landed the S.F. Bay Bridge Touchdown project in Oakland, CA. Jim Carter, President of MCM Construction, chose a APE D180 diesel hammer to drive his 6’ diameter pipe pile for the foundation of this project. George Stevenson, MCM Lead Engineer, designed the Bottom Drive System to accommodate the tight clearances of the pile to trestle tolerances. The complete driving system with the APE 54” leads, the APE D180 and the MCM Bottom Drive all work together for a clean piledriving set up.
The APE D180 is set up with a hydraulic tripping system that pushes the trip from the bottom of the hammer. This unique design keeps the hammer shorter, enabling them to use a shorter section of leads. This is critical when you have 130,000lbs of piledriving equipment hanging from your hook.
In addition to the driving system it was decided to operate the APE D180 using Bio-Fuel and Bio-Oil making this hammer environmentally friendly. Randy Smith, MCM Superintendent, consulted with APE on the critical specifications to ensure maximum performance of the D180 using this bio-fuel.
Randy Notnegel, Piledriving Superintendent for MCM Construction, put the D180 into action using an APE 260 Power Unit to operate the tripping device. With this power unit it takes approximately 12 seconds to trip the hammer from start to finish and Randy knows his business as he set the first 6’ diameter pipe pile in the template and drove it home with the APE D180 Bio-Diesel Hammer. Absolutely Flawless!
Keep in touch for more to come!

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The APE 250V Rattles California

The APE model 250V (Variable Moment) vibro is a work of modern wonder with it’s 4,500 in-lbs of eccentric moment producing an abundant 250 tons of driving force. Yes, this modern wonder of excitement is a beauty to see in action. With the APE model 630 power unit (C-18 Cat, Tier 3 Certified with 630 horse power) pushing this beauty, it has a splendid action of ease and comfort. So smooth during start and stops that the crane doesn’t even know it has anything on the hook. This is all due to the APE phase shifter. The phase shifter enables you to start the vibro at full speed with no vibration at all. As you phase the vibro into action the smooth and efficient moment comes as the vibro shakes the pile in the ground. Hit the “Turbo” button this Baby shakes to a massive 2,000 vibrations per minute! Great for the difficult clay soils, the extra speed helps to penetrate the toughest ground. This machine is perfect for those sensitive driving conditions where you need to eliminate the vibrations to the surrounding area, thanks to the exciting new phase shifter. Talk about exciting, just ask my wife Kristi, who was on hand to watch this puppy in action! Even as the 250V was phased out to eliminate the shake out of the boom during stopping, My Gal was still revved up! Guys, I encourage you to take your Gal on a vibro date, it could be interesting and exciting, especially when stacked up with an APE 250V Variable Moment Vibro!
*Special thanks to Mike Brenner Jr. of American Civil Constructors for putting the 250V into action on the West Coast in California!
Thanks Mike!
Steve Cress

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When KING KONG Isn’t Big Enough!!

Dutra Construction of Northern California is a heavy contender in the piledriving industry. They know what it takes to get a job done even when the going gets tough. Tough like the Port of Oakland Merritt Sands can be tough, and you know how it goes: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”! And that is exactly what Dutra Construction did! They got going to APE to come up with a solution to the Port of Oakland Merritt Sand.
Todd Bruce of Dutra Construction came to APE with a special request to drive sheets using a 55’ long, heavy duty follower, to drive the sheets up against the existing dock with very little room and strict tolerances. Todd wanted to do the job right and used his knowledge of past Port Projects. With APE in Dutra’s corner Todd and the Dutra Group knew the project would be successful.
After careful consideration the Vibro of choice was the APE model 600B Vibro, because when King Kong just isn’t big enough “Super Kong” sets the new standard. Dutra Fab, out of RioVista California fabricated the heavy duty follower that bolts to the bottom of the 600B vibro and turns the sheet clamp 90 degrees to enable the driving of the sheets in series of steps that keeps the wall straight.
This is a hard enough job in it’s self, but add a water depth of 45 feet deep and you have a situation when you can’t even see the tops of the sheet pile. A special pile guide was fabricated to the bottom of the clamp that enables it to slip over the interlocks so the jaws can clamp evenly on the sheets even with out having to see the tops of the sheet pile.
Driving sheet pile in the Port of Oakland is tough enough, but when you add a 55’ long follower to the bottom of the Super Kong weighing in at 34,000lbs and backed up by the powerful APE model 1000 Power Unit charging ahead with 1000hp, you get one heck of a driving gorilla with enough driving force and energy to get the job done and Dutra is here to show us how. King Kong is one hard hitting vibro, but in a case like the “Tough Oakland Merritt Sands” it takes King Kong’s big brother, “SUPER KONG”, for the finishing touch!

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The Mighty APE 9.5

The Mighty APE 9.5 Low Headroom Hydraulic Impact Hammer is the most powerful hammer in its class! Why is that? Because there are no other hammers in its class! With over 43,000ftlbs energy and only nine and a half feet tall the 9.5 hydraulic impact hammer is perfect for low headroom projects! Especially when you load it onto an APE ST75 low over head leader system. Running on a 245 Cat excavator and using the excavators hydraulics eliminates the need for a power unit which makes this package totally mobile! There is no hammer available like an APE low head room hammer which comes in many sizes to fit your most difficult situations. Just ask ACC West Coast and they will tell you the results!

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Kiewit Benicia Bridge

Kiewit Pacific of Northern California is one of the biggest General Contractors in the world. The ongoing Benicia Bridge Project has been one of their challenges with huge pipe pile to template piling. In these final stages of the project Kiewit must pull the template piles that are approximately 170’ long with 100’ of embedment into the tough Bay Mud soils. “These pile have been in the ground for over two years with a tremendous set-up” says Ed Taylor, Superintendent of this phase. The tough Merrit Sands proved more than a match for the APE 300 vibro which only proved to shake the portion of pile that wasn’t embedded into the merit sands. Even the new work horse of the industry, the powerful APE model 200-6 proved to be unworthy by itself to do the job as it ripped the tops off of the piles. This test was a prelude to the second phase that will come soon. “We manufactured a welded plate with high flow water jet pump at put 500psi which gave us approximately 300 tons of uplift” Says Ed, “even with this method and the vibro we still could not overcome the merit sands.” Phase two will consist of an APE D62-22 to smack the pile and jar it free of the merit sands and then pull using the APE 200-6 vibro. Look to the next story soon to come.

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Vortex Marine Attacks Oakland Merit Sands

Mike Brenner of Vortex Marine Construction understands obstacles and when recently faced with an obstacle of huge proportions Mike went into action! Driving sheet pile at the Port of Oakland into tough Merit Sands is never an easy job, especially when driving sheet pile 35 feet under water against an existing dock. Using a vibro to set the sheets with a 30 foot long follower bolted to the bottom, Vortex would then drive the pile to the tip elevation using a single acting diesel impact hammer with a 60 foot long follower. This method enables them to place the face of the sheets up against the existing dock and drive them down keeping them in the exact location needed. This is common practice and works well. However, there is a slight problem with this operation. The impact of the diesel hammer was reaching upwards of 210+DBA 40 feet away and 20 feet deep under water. This was scaring the fish in the port and the DBA’s had to be reduced to an acceptable 185 DBA.
This is where Mike Brenner went into action. Taking into consideration the equipment being used on the job and calculating what it would take to drive the sheet pile in the tough Merit Sands, Mike called APE. “Build me a 60 foot long follower, make it strong enough to drive under a APE model 400B Vibro and mount it in a set of swinging leads to maximize the stabilization for driving” says Mike Brenner. “and with 13,000inlbs of eccentric moment and 55,000lbs of driving monster, we can get these sheets down and meet the DBA requirements!” That is exactly what APE did! Using the 400B vibro (King Kong) and coupling it up to a 990 horse power unit (APE model 990) and fabricating a follower 60 feet long using a beam with 375lbs per foot, this beast is the tool to get the job done. And all at 175 DBA. The fish can now swim safely in the Port of Oakland and Vortex can continue to drive sheet pile on their project. The results? Success! When a superintendent like Mike Brenner talks, APE listens! Thanks Mike, Jason, Tony, Ben and the rest of the Vortex crew that enabled this project to be another joint venture success!

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GMR-JV and APE in Southern California

GMR-JV (Granite, Meyers, Rados) hit it big with the SR22 project in Southern California widening freeways and building bridges. That means PILRDRIVING and with Superintendent “Kevin Tipton” as the engine driving this piledriving machine, he has his work cut out for him with over 6,500 pile to drive. “I knew we needed some big guns to get this job done, so I called in APE” says Tipton. “We needed to hit this project hard and fast and I knew I could count on APE to meet my piledriving needs”. With four diesel hammers pounding away daily, GMR has been advancing this project right down the road and choosing APE as their Foundation Equipment Supplier was a great move! “Not only does APE supply the equipment, they supply the service to follow it up with” says Tipton as he watches another pile being driven. Another winning combination to the GMR-JV group and APE!

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