‘Back to basics’ is the approach adopted by foundation specialist Bachy Soletanche during development of a new vibroreplacement poker which has recently completed its first commercial trial in the UK forming stone columns for a contract on Merseyside. And the Vibro-Stitcher has, claims operations manager Alec Courts; “performed even better than expected, demonstrating its wide versatility.”
Removing the need for any dedicated support rig and mast, the stand alone poker, and integral stone reservoir, is fixed to the arm of a conventional excavator which holds it vertical during use.
“Unlike standard purpose built vibro rigs, which are large and heavy, our poker can be operated anywhere an ordinary excavator can reach ” Courts explains. “And this excavator is available for other site uses before and after ground treatment is carried out.”
Lighter to transport to site so cheaper mobilisation costs, and the flexibility to work in areas as challenging as rail embankments or confined housing sites, are the main advantages claimed for the new tool.
The emergence of the Vibro-Stitcher coincides with the company’s concerted attack on the ground improvement market, an area seen as offering ‘increasing potential’.