Two American E-Z pedestrian controlled drilling rigs are making things easier for Mackley Construction, a key supply chain member for the Environment Agency's national framework contractor Van Oord ACZ, on the third and final phase of a £7.6M sea defence project on the Kent coast.
Some 3km of the existing concrete sea wall between Littlestone on Sea and St Mary's Bay needed to be raised by up to 1m to cope with a 1 in 100 year storm - which involved the installation of 10,000 vertical and horizontal steel dowel bars up to 25mm in diameter.
Anxious to avoid the known risks of vibration white finger associated with the use of hand held percussive drills, Mackley opted for the new rigs, and is said to be delighted with their success.
The contractor purchased two E-Z models from UK concessionaire Milton Keynes based Castellan Group to cope with both vertical and horizontal applications.
Running on rubber wheels and powered by compressed air the two rigs have been achieving production rates of up to 480, 300mm deep holes in an eight hour shift. This compares very favourably with the expected rate of just 150 holes per day.
Work on the scheme is due to finish in November.