Vibro to CFA, Kelly to MSM: How RTG Sets the Standard for Versatility and Performance

Apr 16, 2024

RG19 RG21 1

When it comes to the complicated world of foundation construction, having equipment that can adapt to various challenges can be a gamechanger. Imagine having a single tool that can tackle multiple tasks efficiently– enter RTG Rammtechnik GmbH (RTG) pile driving rigs, the epitome of versatility and innovation in the foundation construction world.

As part of the Bauer Maschinen Group of companies, RTG has consistently pushed boundaries through innovation, experience, and cutting-edge technology. At the heart of its product line lies its pile drivers, with telescopic or fixed leaders designed to manage high crowd forces and torque. These rigs are incredibly adaptable and excel in diverse construction scenarios, making them ideal for applications such as impact driving systems, pressing, rotary drilling, soil mixing systems, and sheet pile driving.

“Many customers take advantage of the multipurpose character of the rig,” said Gordian Ulrich, VP of BAUER Product Sales, and Service at ECA. “They use it for pile driving on one job, soil mixing on the next, stone columns after that and finally they might do some auger cast piles after that. All jobs can be done using the same machine, just different attachments. One rig which can do it all, it’s like having a Swiss Army knife in your pocket.”

What sets RTG apart is its modular design, allowing for easy adaptation to different profiles and applications when driving sheets, beams or pipe pile. With 360° rotatable and shiftable clamps, these rigs offer unparalleled flexibility, saving both time and resources on the job site. In addition, the Automatic Coupling System (ACS) reduces the chore of changing out the hydraulic and mechanical attachment to a simple button push, improving operational safety on the job site. Instead of taking the time to get out the wrenches, change out multiple hydraulic hoses, electrical disconnects and reconnecting all that with the new attachment, the ACS reduces that time by consolidating those hydraulic and electrical connections, allowing the operator to make the switch while still in the cab. With an RTG, an operator can go from driving a pile to proofing the pile within about 20 minutes.

Sheet pile driving, a crucial aspect of foundation construction, can be executed with its high-frequency vibratory hammers. Whether it's driving steel beams, constructing retaining walls or using the vibro to install stone columns (VIPAC), RTG rigs deliver exceptional performance with minimal noise thanks to its patented silent vibro technology and vibration emission, ensuring both efficiency and environmental sustainability. RTG has held a patent for a dry sump lubrication for many years, giving it a crucial edge over competitors in the vibratory hammer market. This significant technological advantage allows our customers to run our hammers at full power all day without needing to let the oil cool down. The dry sump lubrication also allows the use of regular hydraulic oil, which can be kept at a constant max temperature of 176 degrees Fahrenheit, even under high load and hot ambient temperatures.

Moreover, RTG rigs serve as excellent base machines for various drilling systems, thanks to their parallelogram kinematic linkage system and torsion-resistant mast construction. Whether it's Front of Wall (FoW) piling, classic rotary drilling methods, or predrilling for sheet pile installation, RTG delivers consistent performance across different drilling applications.

The introduction of the fixed leader series has further expanded the capabilities of RTG rigs, enabling the use of traditional drilling methods such as Kelly drilling, Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) piling and Full Displacement Piling (FDP). Additionally, RTG's soil mixing systems, including Cutter Soil Mixing (CSM), Single Column Mixing (SCM), Single Column Mixing Double Head (SCM-DH) and Multi-Shaft Mixing (MSM), offer unparalleled versatility in soil improvement and wall construction, catering to a wide range of soil conditions.

“To see the progression from the friction rigs and diesel hammers to what we’re working with now with these RTGs,” said Gus Delfarno, ECA BAUER and KLEMM Service Engineer. “Utilization is everything. That’s the name of the game. The more a rig can do, the more valuable it is to our customers, especially with the rise of mobilization costs.”

Delfarno said the RTG rig’s ability to work in tight spaces while keeping the decibels down has been a major reason for the brand’s popularity. With the MR150AVM Silent Vibro, huge reductions in noise pollution make driving piles near city centers or urban environments that much easier.

Innovation is not just limited to functionality but extends to environmental sustainability as well. RTG rigs are equipped with fully automatic ventilation flaps for integrated noise protection and hydraulic coolers with integrated fan control, reducing fuel consumption and noise emissions. Maintenance and serviceability are also streamlined with electronically monitored operational functions and continuous data recordings for quality control purposes. RTG rigs use the same renowned B-Tronic System found in Bauer’s line of BG drill rigs, making training new operators even easier and allowing greater visibility for any project the rig is tackling. The B-Tronic System is based on dozens of sensors placed at critical points throughout the machine. These sensors continuously collect data, allowing operators and management a real-time look at how a machine is functioning on the job. The manager in the office 100 miles away can view the RTG rig’s performance in real time, seeing the exact same thing as the operator at the controls. Everything from penetration rates to pull rates, fuel consumption to operating times can be monitored, allowing foundation contractors to catch issues sooner to prevent down time as well as improving the time it takes to complete a project.

“RTG stands for innovation and that is why ECA loves representing them in North America,” Ulrich said. “The fact that they all come with a CAT engine, which makes it easy to get parts or service anywhere, just adds to the list of what our customers appreciate on those RTG machines.”

HUB Foundation, one of the leading foundation construction companies in the Boston area, found remarkable success with RTG rigs on a number of jobs. Alan Watka, Director of Earth Retention and Ground Improvement at HUB Foundation said the RG’s ability to take on multiple application types on a single job has been a life saver.

“That rig has flipped my world upside down in a very positive way,” Watka said. “The way we’re able to do Kelly drilling now is a game changer.”

On a recent project in Boston, Watka said HUB’s RTG rig was put to work doing aggregate piers on the edge of the Charles River Estuary. As the project evolved, HUB was able to switch quickly and effortlessly to stone columns with the RTG. Finally, as the work found its way to the edge of an existing building, HUB once again switched to a different application, the rigid inclusion method, because of ground vibration worries. Like the previous two methods, the RTG performed flawlessly. This kind of scenario showcases precisely what the RTG line of rigs are designed to do. Watka said high production output and efficiency is what HUB Foundation has come to expect from its RTG rig.

Watka said the value HUB Foundation gets from the RTG rig, especially with the B-Tronic System on board and the condition monitoring that comes with it, makes it a crucial piece of equipment for their operation.

“That’s the type of stuff that rig offers up,” Watka said. “All the technology and analytics that comes from this rig is huge for owners and engineers. All the tests and proofs we’ve done have gone very well.”

The RTG’s adaptability not only pays dividends on the job site, but owners find the utilization rate of RTG rigs to be higher because of the variety of applications they can tackle.

RTG pile driving rigs stand out as the Swiss Army Knife of foundation equipment, offering unparalleled versatility, efficiency, and environmental sustainability. Whether it's driving piles, drilling, or soil mixing, RTG rigs are the go-to solution for construction professionals seeking reliability and performance in every project.

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