In Vaudeville, early radio, and TV, comedy duos were commonplace and featured the funnyman and the straight man. Some of these entertainment teams were so well known that the mention of one member’s name brought the other half of the team immediately to mind: Burns & Allen, Abbott & Costello, Rowan & Martin. This word association is also true of a couple of site conditions on helical jobs. If access is at issue, then its partner, mobilization, will raise its ugly head. So, Access says to Mobilization: “There is no room in that room to drive piles” and Mobilization responds: “and there is even less room in that room for my varoom!”
A lousy joke, but access issues always predict mobilization problems and, as every contractor knows, that’s no joking matter! This was the case at the Blue Water Condominium in Ocean City, New Jersey. Timber piles, the original foundation, were driven to a dense layer, but an insufficient depth to support the weight of the structure. Foundation settlement was progressive and continuous. Borings indicated that the dense layer experienced at forty feet overlay a soft organic layer. The pilings should have been driven deeper to seventy feet and refusal in a dense, hardpan sand layer. Further complicating matters, the footer was set back underneath cantilevered porches, severely limiting both access (overhead) and machinery. Alternative remediation fixes required the removal of the porches to install piles and additional expense to then replace the porches. Click here to read Limited Access Case Histories.
A quick consultation between Frank D’Angelo from Danbro and Steve Vaspoli from Vaspoli Builders, the installer, eliminated the possibility of using portable hand-held equipment. A machine that could generate enough torque was needed to push through the dense layer at forty feet. Danbro contacted Pro Dig USA, outlined the project challenges, and provided a rough sketch of what was needed to overcome the mobilization issues due to the restricted access. “We get requests like these a lot,” stated Mike Charlton from Pro Dig, “usually for overhead, but in this instance, the reach was also at issue. We produced a 12′ boom with a smaller 10K drive with only 18” to the output flange. This eliminated the Kelly bar, saved space, and reduced the weight,” he summarized. Typically, Mike continued,” it only takes two to three days for our engineer to generate drawings and about one to two weeks for us to produce special orders like this one.”
IDEAL, who produced the helicals, also chipped in. Although IDEAL is one of the largest helical manufacturers, it still retains its original “job shop” focus and produced special-order three-foot lead sections for the 3.5” pipe piles. Otherwise, the contractor, Vaspoli Builders, would have had to excavate the pilot point for the lead sections which, given the overhead restrictions, would have taken more time and further delayed the installation.
Steve Vaspoli was pleased with all the help. “It looked like one of those jobs that may be adding more grey hairs to my head, but the extended boom and drivehead set-up eliminated a lot of headaches and the design didn’t affect visibility one bit.” Steve continued, “I’ve been working with Danbro for 25 years and they always do what they can to help me land the job or facilitate the install, and, most importantly, they will not hesitate to reach out to their suppliers for their input and help when needed.”
Another successful project for long-time installer Vaspoli Builders, who got by with a Little Help from His Friends!
Click here to read Vaspoli Builders Case Histories.