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DIGGA’s SD80 60K Anchor Drive Equipped with the Ryno Hitch was Just What the Contractor Needed to Install (120) PierTech 8.625” O.D. Hercules Piles in Tough Texas Caliche Soils

by Doug Amerman

Fall, 2016

Oil Field Equipment Pads – Middleton, TX

The project was a requirement for a series of oil field equipment pads for a major oil and gas contractor in Middleton, Texas. The Texas caliche soil created challenges for the installation of (120) helical piles to support these equipment pads on site. To meet this challenge, the contractor selected a Digga SD80 helical anchor drive to install 8.625” O.D. PierTech Systems Hercules Piles 10-15 feet below grade. Each pile was designed for 44,000 lbs. in compression and needed to have lateral capacities of over 1,500 lbs.

The PierTech certified installer selected the Digga SD80 to combat the tough conditions installing piles in caliche, a material that is primarily calcium carbonate that can be as hard as rock and nearly as difficult to penetrate. The Digga SD80, with its high efficiency radial piston motor, has a theoretical torque rating of over 60,000 ft-lbs, and was critical for penetration through the tougher ground conditions encountered on the job site. The SD80 was mounted on a Komatsu PC200LC-8 excavator. To speed up the installation process, the installer equipped the SD80 with the unique Digga Ryno Hitch that allowed the operator to angle the drive unit up to 90 degrees for faster connection of the piles and quicker installation.

The SD80 was also equipped with the company’s patented Anti Kick-Back valve (ECR) to control the rapid decompression of oil at the completion of the installation of each PierTech Hercules pile. This resulted in increased efficiency while lengthening the working life of the anchor drive.

With the high torque performance of the SD80 combined with the efficiency of the Ryno Hitch, the contractor was able to complete the (120) PierTech Systems Hercules pile installations in record time even with the difficult caliche soil conditions.


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