Akela Ground Engineering – part of the Glasgow-based Akela Group – is now using a specially modified JCB X Series tracked excavator for its piling and foundations work on new housing developments.
This machine comprises a JCB 220X base machine fitted with BSP-TEX JX25-8 piling rig. The result is an all-British-built combination that delivers a mobile, self-erecting, 28-tonne piling rig capable of driving in steel, wood or concrete piles up to 8m in length.
Supported by dealer Scot JCB, the machine is currently working at a new build development on the former Ruchill Hospital site near the centre of Glasgow – laying the foundations for the construction of 10 blocks of flats and 160 houses.
Akela ground engineering contracts engineer, Dave Warley says that this rig has significant advantages for the project.
“All the piles driven on the site so far have been with the JCB-powered JX25-8 rig. The key benefits for us are a lightweight rig which reduces the thickness required for piling platforms and the high manoeuvrability for accessing and working on busy house building sites.”
The man who has to use the rig all day, piling rig operator Scott Brownlie is also a fan. He is impressed both by its performance on-site – and the comfort of the cab.
“It’s a good machine for this type of application, as it’s just the right size and weight and packs a powerful, productive punch,” he says.
“The cab on the JCB 220X is very quiet and comfortable, just what you need on a piling rig, as the piling rig creates a lot of exterior noise. We need the door and windows shut so the quiet cab, comfortable seat and good heating and ventilation system create a nice operating environment.”