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Taking a short cut

VAN ELLE has developed a new short precast pile which the contractor hopes will be particularly appropriate for small one-off contracts where access is restricted.

The 2.5m long VeMech sections, manufactured by Charcon, have an engineered tension joint that is fully compliant to European standards. Should demand arise, Van Elle will also start producing 1.25m and 5m long versions.

Van Elle is currently assembling a tracked rig to install the piles. This will need an access width of only 3m and working headroom of 6m. And because the rig can be transported around without using specialist carriers. Simon Day, managing director of Van Elle's eastern region, which developed the short pile, says he expects to charge only £1 a mile for site mobilisation.

Following trials, Van Elle is shortly to undertake its first contract within a warehouse at Erith in Kent.

For larger precast piling contracts using conventional 12m long sections, says Day, the company will continue to buy in piles from Aarsleff.

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