- Read the terms of trade before signing. Many of us do not and it is too late to negotiate terms after a problem occurs.
- Inspect the piles as soon as they arrive and report and document any damage or questionable pieces immediately. Better still, inspect the piles before they leave the hirer’s depot and mark them – this saves the cost of transporting unsuitable piles to the job site.
- Avoid hiring some of the newer, wider, deeper sheet pile as they distort quicker in tougher driving conditions. 700mm width max.
- Avoid use of corners for watertight conditions unless necessary. More damage has been caused to sheet pile than anything else by forcing the pile in when the box is out of alignment.
- Plan for and be aware of loss due to damage, unable to extract, shortage and liquidation. Figure a percentage of loss into your pricing on the project.
- Allow for cleaning costs of the sheets and dealing with the wash water on the job site.
- IMPORTANT: If you anticipate a significant loss of piles during the project, pre-purchase a percentage of pile.
- Discuss pile driving techniques with your site foreperson prior to driving and emphasise the caution they must take to not damage sheet pile. Many site people don’t understand the consequences of poor handling, driving and pulling techniques to the potential expensive damage cost it can cause. All damage to sheet piling during installation and extraction is caused by operators.
- Select the appropriate pile and pile driving equipment for the job.