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Things To Know About Pile Driving BC And Beyond

By Tamera Simpson

Long ago ancient people built houses on lakes. The building of these villages on stilts required that wooden poles be driven into the lake bottom to create the foundations on which the houses were built. Pile driving BC and early AD usually involved dropping a large heavy stone onto the top of a sharpened pole. Raising the rock to an adequate height required a great deal of animal and human strength as well as some sort of structure that could both elevate and guide the heavy stone. Archaeologists still puzzle over the mystery of how such a task could have been accomplished on water.

Fortunately modern equipment has evolved far beyond what early architects had available to them. If you call a modern service to help with the construction of a boat dock at your lake-front summer cottage you will see no oxen pulling ropes attached to great stone weights suspended on a pyramid shaped wooden frame such as our Roman ancestors might have used.

Early pile driving machinery was powered by the energy stored in the stone weight which converted to kinetic energy when the stone fell. Now machines for this task are capable of moving where ever they are needed, on land or water. Whether they are diesel, hydraulic or sonic they have many times the power of the ancient machines.

Anyone who plans a big construction project or one that will be built on ground that is not solid is going to need deep foundations. Modern equipment can be used to drive wood, steel or concrete pilings deep into the earth. Deep foundations are required when a structure will be unusually heavy or when the surface soil is not stable enough to support a foundation.

Pilings can be sunk into a lake bottom with the help of a barge outfitted with a crane and pile driver. ‘Crawlers’ that carry similar equipment can sink pilings into nearly any kind of soil.

The part of the machine that drives the pile into the earth might be percussive or sonic. The percussive machines are hammers powered by controlled explosions or by steam or compressed air. Sonic drivers use vibration to fluidize the soil around the pile.

There is more to the work of making a deep foundation than just pounding big poles into the ground. Work must be coordinated with environmental agencies and with people who might be involved with other aspects of the same project. It’s a good thing when construction of the boat dock and the boat lift and the stairs to the lake all come together with the least amount of disruption to the environment or the neighbors. Pile driving BC was a far cry from the 21st century counterpart.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Simpson, Tamera "Things To Know About Pile Driving BC And Beyond." Things To Know About Pile Driving BC And Beyond. 4 Jul. 2010. 15 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Simpson, T (2010, July 4). Things To Know About Pile Driving BC And Beyond. Retrieved September 15, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Simpson, Tamera "Things To Know About Pile Driving BC And Beyond"

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