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New mast lifting system makes for lighter rig

UK FOUNDATION contractor Westpile last month took delivery of the latest addition to its piling fleet. After final commissioning, the Soilmec CM70 machine was immediately set to work on a contract in Reading .

The Italian-built continuous flight auger rig boasts a new mast lifting system that uses the mast foot as a counterbalance for its erection, halving the number of hydraulic rams and greatly reducing weight.

The rig will fill the gap between the firm's CM120 and the CM48 machines, with the benefits of higher power and depth capabilities. The new rig can install between 300mm and 900mm diameter piles down to 25m, and boasts a pull down of 70t.

Erection begins by partially lifting the mast to allow the foot to be hitched into place. The mast is then dropped back down and the 6m extension swung out. The entire assembly can then be lifted up by two, instead of the more normal four, hydraulic rams.

Because the rig does not have an A-frame for lifting or a parallelogram to adjust the mast's position, it is much lighter than other rigs of a similar size.

In line with new safety guidelines, the rig will be fitted with two auger cleaning systems and auger guards. A conventional cleaner will be used for the large diameter augers but for the smaller diameters, a cleaner being developed by the Federation of Piling Specialists and the Health & Safety Executive will be used.

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