Blog | Concrete Pile Cropping | Reducing Integrity Test Failure

Best practice to avoid damage to piles


Choice of Equipment

The right choice of cropping equipment is essential when it comes to delivering a successful piling project, particularly when working within tight contractual time frames. By far the most frustrating and time consuming problem associated with concrete piling is the occurrence of fracturing or spalling, especially when it occurs beneath the surface. The financial implications of replacing damaged piles, together with the time spent sourcing additional concrete mix or installing pre-cast replacements, makes it in the contractor’s best interests to avoid damage to piles at all stages of work. Exploratory bore holes and preliminary site information all play a part, but once piling is installed, damage control is largely dependent on the equipment being used during the cropping process.

Traditional Cropping Methods

Pneumatic breakers or the use of heavy excavators make the cropping operation a lengthy process, with the inherent lack of control dramatically increasing the risk of sub surface concrete fracturing; ultimately leading to Integrity Test Failure and a costly programme of pile replacement. As well as the risk of developing Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), the use of traditional manual pneumatic equipment increases the cropping phase by up to fifteen times than when using hydraulic croppers.

Preferred Cropping Methods

Having meticulously followed best practice to achieve a successful installation of pre-cast or in-situ concrete piles, it follows that the same vigilance should be applied to the cropping process, and this can easily be achieved by the use of fast, efficient hydraulic croppers. These not only crop concrete and rebars in a fraction of the time, but cleanly trim to the final height in a much more controlled way; effectively reducing the risk of concrete spalling or rebar damage. As well as providing accuracy and speed, the probability of Integrity Test Failure is greatly diminished. In addition, the use of hydraulic croppers also alleviate risk of injury, reduce environmental impact and are increasingly the preferred option of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Mr Cropper

Mr Cropper offers the largest range of Pile Croppers in the market to suit many applications. Operating throughout the UK, highly skilled and experience personnel are on hand to offer advice on the type of cropper required to get the job done quickly, efficiently and with minimal noise and damage.