Why the Hydraulic Cropper has replaced more traditional methods!

In years gone by, concrete piles were reduced using more traditional methods, usually by hand with manual breakers.

However, this gave rise to associated health problems such as HAV (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome), and laws were then applied to allow the use of only one breaker in a 20 minute shift per day.

As a result hydraulic pile breakers came into development making the task of reducing piles much safer and more efficient.

First iterations of pile croppers were developed in Holland, with the Dutch being leaders in the development of the piling industry as a result of having to use piles to build on the land that they had reclaimed from the sea.

In the UK, basic cutters became available during the late 1990’s, and over a period of 20 years new and market leading equipment has been developed for the various types of piles and applications that are found within the construction industry.

NPC hydraulic croppers are the most advanced, efficient and time-saving system in the world for reducing concrete foundation piles.

Working with the pile cropper results in a perfect horizontal finish, undamaged reinforcement and no cracks or spalling below cut-off level when used as advised by our team of professionals.

Our innovative thinking utilises the latest technologies making it possible to break square, hexagonal, octagonal and circular shaped piles.

Easy availability spare parts which can be shipped quickly,

Our unique patented designs and continuous product improvement program ensures customers get a reliable robust machine which reduces greatly the need for personnel to be directly involved in the breakdown of piles therefore reducing the risk of injury – the safety of site operatives is given top priority in the design of each National Pile Cropper model.

Advantages of using a Hydraulic Cropper

• Considerably faster than conventional methods and up to 200 piles per day
• Very compact dimensions
• Low cut-off level
• Easy to operate
• No noise, no vibrations
• No cracks below cut level when used with reinforced debonding methods
• The reinforcement remains fully undamaged and intact
• Leaves a perfect horizontal concrete fracture at pile cut off level
• Easy adjustment
• Complies with Health and safety guidelines for hand arm vibration injuries

Using a Hydraulic Cropper for you concrete pile

Connection is made via quick release fittings on Excavators ranging from 6t to 21t – both flow and return being required with pressures ranging from 150bar to 275bar

The excavator lifts the pile cropper over the pile and addresses the pile cut off level where a complete horizontal fracture is made.

The chisels penetrate in a horizontal direction up to the re-bars to make the fracture.

On bonded piles the chisels will then penetrate further and due to the shape of the chisels and the reaction forces by the rebars, the concrete will break in pieces and can easily be lifted off the pile.

When using a pile cropper, it is advised that the piles should be cast higher than the desired finish level. This is to ensure that any impurities or damage at the top of the pile is removed as part of the cropping process.

In addition to this, it’s important to consider whether a protrusion of the rebar (a reinforced steel bar that is contained within the concrete to offer extra stability) is required for the final height in order to allow for construction to take place.

In order to avoid damage to piles during cutting, it’s important to ensure that the right type of cropping equipment is chosen.

This is something that is essential for a successful pile cutting project, especially when specific time frames need to be considered.

A common problem often experienced during pile cutting is when fracturing or spalling occurs beneath the surface of the concrete.

This is something that is very frustrating and time consuming for construction teams to put right, as well as expensive from a financial point of view.

Therefore, damage to piles should be avoided at all costs, which is something that using the correct pile cropper for the job can help to avoid.