The Rig That Can Save Tier-1 Contractors Millions

The Rig That Can Save Tier-1 Contractors Millions

Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd has taken delivery of a second unique, long-reach telescopic leader rig, with even more capabilities than its 2018 groundbreaking rig, as the company continues its march to deliver programme benefits and costs savings to Tier-1 contractors on a wide variety of projects.

The new TM 20 long-reach telescopic leader rig joins the already unique TM 12/15 long reach rig within Sheet Piling UK’s fleet, giving the steel sheet pile specialist two rigs that are peerless within the construction sector.

The TM 20 LR boasts the same long-reach capabilities of its slightly older sister rig, being able to reach a full three metres further than anything else on the market when accessing the pile line. However, it can install and extract longer piles – up to 20 metres in length rather than 16 metres.

This enables the two rigs between them to tackle any sheet piling project with ease, proving their huge financial worth in scenarios where an expensive and project-delaying temporary platform would typically have to be built, just to allow the sheet piling rig to reach the desired pile line.

Other enhancements have been added to the TM 20 LR, including an increase in the size of the vibratory hammer, remote control unloading and loading function, which allows the operator to rig and de-rig the machine working with unhindered visibility on the ground, and a hydraulic rapid-changing docking station. The latter allows for timely interchanging of machine attachments, with any working at height eliminated.

A fixed boom hinge fabrication has been added to the centre slew of the base machine, in order for the long reach capability to be achieved, and the rig comes with a unique infrastructure mode for reduced machine footprint. Specially designed vertically stacked counterweights also reduce machine overhang.

Sheet Piling UK’s managing director, Andrew Cotton, and plant manager, Bill Lloyd, took over possession of the TM 20 long-reach telescopic rig from the managing director of ABI Equipment UK, Mark Lee, at a handover at ABI Equipment UK’s Northamptonshire base. The rig was manufactured to Sheet Piling UK’s specification, at ABI’s base in Germany. It was then transported to the UK.

During the week of handover, the company’s plant fitters and operators underwent familiarisation training with their new giant of a rig, with the Sheet Piling UK order book already impressively full.

The rig is  now fully commissioned, with a full order book until mid-November and started its first project on September 8 2020). Its first projects will be the A421 upgrade scheme for Morgan Sindall, a permanent basement construction project for McLaren Construction, at a manufacturing facility in Warwickshire and the A19 improvement scheme for Balfour Beatty.

Tier-1 contractors working on road and rail infrastructure, marine and river and general construction projects are all likely to benefit from significant time and cost savings, if incorporating the rig’s use into the sheet piling phase. Any type of project normally requiring temporary enabling works can benefit from erasing those from the schedule of works, whether the ultimate project purpose is rail infrastructure widening, SMART motorway Emergency Rescue Area installation or the building of a new quay wall.

The TM 20 and the TM 12/15 LR rigs are both seen as having potentially enormous positive impacts on HS2, the SMART Motorway Alliance project and the Road Investment Strategy (RIS2).

Andrew Cotton says: “The demand for our first long-reach rig, the TM 12/15 has proved so great that it quickly became apparent that we would need to secure a second long-reach machine. We are a forward-thinking business and so the decision to commission the TM 20 LR was almost inevitable. 

“We studied the key performance attributes of the first rig, to further enhance the benefits that can be delivered, and believe we now have two superb long-reach rigs, not just unlike anything else in the construction sector but also as suited to delivering on the requirements of Tier-1 contractors as they can possibly be. 

“We have already demonstrated that we can save around £40,000-£60,000, on average, per Smart motorway ERA where a 100-metre sheet pile installation is required. That is just one example of the financial benefits these rigs can deliver to contractors. At a time when costs are under such scrutiny, it makes no sense to ignore these benefits and stick to old and expensive ways of dealing with earthwork stabilisation, groundworks and infrastructure widening.”

Sheet Piling UK says it wishes to engage further with the construction industry, to make these benefits more apparent and is not ruling out further rig commissioning, if demand continues to be as intense as it has been over the past two years. The rig’s design is patented by Sheet Piling (UK) Ltd within the UK.


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