It’s the latest offering in the company’s line of excavator
mounted leads (EML) and was a perfect fit for the Cat 349
hydraulic excavator Polaris already had on hand.
Chicoine says the EML 45 was the perfect solution
because it dramatically reduced the mobilization costs
compared to using a crane-mounted system. It also
allowed the excavator to be used for other tasks on the
jobsite once all the piling work was completed earlier
“We are not a specialty contractor in foundations. We
are a general contractor. Pile driving is something we
don’t do all the time. We might do it two, three or four
times a year. That means we need to find equipment that
can do something else (besides driving piles),” he said.
The beauty of the EML 45 is that once the piles have
been driven, the lead can be easily removed and the
excavator can then be used for other jobs rather than
sitting idle as is sometimes the case with many cranemounted
“For us that was a big advantage,” Chicoine said.
One of the primary attractions
of the EML 45 is its portability
– it can be carried in a single
truckload – and the reduced
mobilization costs that come
along with that.
Adding to the degree of difficulty for the bridge project
was the fact that it required batter-style piles to
provide added resistance to any horizontal forces. That
meant those piles had to be located at just the right spot
and at a precise angle.
“We need to be precise and efficient. We don’t have
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any room for error,” he said.
To build the bridge’s foundation, Polaris had to first
construct a cofferdam, which is essentially a large box
made of sheet piling that is built within a body of water
and then the water is pumped out. It controls the flow
of water around a work area while keeping workers safe
and dry. It takes up far less space than a rock dam and
allows water to flow far more freely and easily.
Chicoine says his company was extremely pleased
with how the EML 45 performed as part of the bridge
project. Although it’s not quite as fast as a hydraulic or
diesel hammer, it was easy to operate, he says, thanks to
its simple winch and cable design.
58 Issue 4 2021 www.pilingcanada.ca