The Baby Giraffa Is the Answer for JTS Geotechnical Solutions

Skelair International has recently supplied JTS Geotechnical Solutions Ltd with a Baby Giraffa for a large-scale project in Brighton. Working as part of the Royal Sussex County Hospital £486million redevelopment (the 3Ts redevelopment), JTS Geotechnical Solutions Ltd was hired by the main contractor, GallifordTry. JTS Geotechnical Solutions Ltd is a specialist geotechnical contractor offering both installation and design, and installation services for such works as ground anchors, soil nailing, drilling and grouting, piling and earth retaining walls.

Prior to the construction of the Clinical Admin Building, JTS Geotechnical Solutions Ltd was contracted to secure the chalk-based wall at the rear of where the new building would be. In order to secure the wall fully, JTS Geotechnical Solutions Ltd had to dig into the chalk banking, which was at a 30° slope to set it at an 80° slope. “The chalk ground presented some challenges,” said James Fram-Taylor, Managing Director at JTS Geotechnical Solutions Ltd.

“Initially we hired a rotary percussive drilling rig to undertake the work but the chalk was soft and wet at approx. 2.5mtrs deep and it was clear that the self-drilling method was going to be an ineffective method,” continued James.

After hearing about the challenge faced, Skelair recommended the Marini Baby Giraffa, a highly flexible and lightweight rig that’s capable of squeezing into tight spaces – perfect for the task in hand. Once on-site, the Baby Giraffa was tasked with drilling 290 ground anchors, 6 metres by 100mm in diameter, in a 1.5metre horizontal and vertical formation.  “The Giraffa was capable of open hole drilling, leaving a perfect hole in the chalk when withdrawn, which was exactly what we needed. I was really impressed with its capabilities, it’s a drilling rig and with its versatile mast that can drill from any position and managed to get into a tight space that no other rig could have managed; it really came into its own on this project,” said James.

Once the drilling was completed, JTS Geotechnical Solutions Ltd retracted the auger and pumped in liquid grout followed by a 32mm reinforcement threaded bar. A black heavy duty drainage membrane was placed on the slope and it was secured in place with a heavy duty 7mm reinforcement mesh then 225mm diaphragms were fitted to the 7mm mesh at 500mm centres then 350mm bearing plates were placed over the nails then a domed load nut was fitted.  At this point a 4mm mesh was then fixed onto the diaphragms which formed a mini gabion mattress that went all the way to the toe of the wall. A 40/75mm stone was then poured into the basket from the top of the slope and formed the newly stabilised wall. James concluded: “The stones tend to be for aesthetics but they can also help with the drainage from the wall,’ concluded James.

John Mayo, Managing Director, Skelair, said: “While we believe in the abilities of our machines such as the Baby Giraffa, it’s always great to hear positive feedback from our clients such as JTS Geotechnical Solutions Ltd. The Baby Giraffa remains one of our most popular rigs, it’s capabilities aren’t hindered by it’s size, in fact it’s the size and flexibility that makes it one of the most versatile rigs on the market.”


Skelair Adds EMCI 4.50 Rig to its Fleet

Skelair, leading supplier of Ground Engineering and Rock Drilling equipment has added a brand new EMCI 4.50 Drill Rig to its rental fleet. Manufactured in 2017, Skelair’s customers will be the very first to road test the machine.

The rig is a small and versatile piece of kit, the fixed crawler width is 1300mm and it’s mounted on a rubber track that is 230mm wide. There is a remote control for tramming, and the steel frame supports Skelair - EMCI 4.50 - Pic 1four hydraulic stabilisers. “We’ve bought this drill for our customers’ specialist geotechnical projects, specifically for rotary, rotary-percussive, coring and soil sampling requirements,” said John Mayo, Managing Director at Skelair.

Designed for projects with restricted headroom, the mast has an overall height of 3700mm and a stroke of 2400mm. The rotary head has a twin hydraulic motor, with a maximum torque of 300daNm and a maximum speed of 480rpm. The 49HP Yanmar diesel engine is more than enough power for the rig’s 2780kg (2.78tonne) weight.

John continued: “Demand for our rental rigs continues to increase, so we not only try to ensure we have a wide range available for our customers, but that we are providing them with the latest models that we can. The new EMCI 4.50 will sit alongside the previous model so clients will have a choice.”



Condor Tests TEI’s Versatility on A1 Project

Civil engineering contractors Condor Projects Ltd, which specialises in restricted access stabilisation, recently put its TEI HEM 550 through its paces on urgent repair works on the busy A1 at Ferrybridge.

Purchased through Skelair International, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of ground engineering and rock drilling equipment, the drill attachment was one of the company’s largest capital investments for some time.

Condor’s Simon Shaw explains: “We initially hired the drill for two to three weeks for an emergency project, but quickly realised that it would be a sound addition to the fleet, so we off-set the cost of the hire against the purchase.”

In November 2016 the TEI was used on urgent repair works on the A1 at Ferrybridge, a busy interchange where the road meets the M62. As a result of weathering, the bank had slipped and cracked and needed to be re-stabilised.

Condor was called in by AECOM and worked alongside PBS Construction (N.E.) Ltd, which was responsible for the initial digging out. The project had a very tight timescale, due to the traffic management required to enable works.

“The project was not huge, but it did have some specific challenges,” explained Shaw.

“The timeframe in particular, which was dragged in by a week due to traffic management issues, plus working alongside another contractor meant that our coordination had to be spot-on.”Condor Projects TEI Mast - A1 Project

With six weeks for clearance and drilling to take place, Condor used the TEI HEM 550 to secure 305 anchors of between four and ten metres. The process was further complicated by the fact that two different diameter nails were required – R32 and R38.

Access was another issue at the site. With no top-access, all of the works had to be done from the hard shoulder, with the added pressure of a lane closure on the motorway. Working at height, Condor switched the TEI between a long-reach machine and a 22-tonne excavator.

“The TEI HEM 550 is a set-up that we know well, and we were able to switch between the two set-ups with just an hour’s notice,” explains Shaw.

“The speed and efficiency of the TEI, coupled with the expertise of our team, meant we were able to deliver on a tight timescale. It is the most efficient drill for anything over ten metres, and we have drilled up to 24 metres with no issues. We don’t have anything that can drill as big as a TEI!” he concluded.

Chris Neighbour of Skelair added: “The TEI drill attachments are incredibly versatile and can be mounted on any conventional excavator, making them adaptable to many different jobs and scenarios.”




Skelair’s Drilling Team Continues to Grow

-New Driller Joins Skelair’s Contract Drilling Division-

Leading supplier of Ground Engineering and Rock Drilling equipment, Skelair, has expanded its Contract Drilling division with the appointment of Andy Cope, who joins the eight strong-team as a Driller.

Based in Leicestershire, Andy brings to Skelair 25 years’ UK-wide general drilling industry experience which includes a two-year overseas contract in Africa for international civil engineering and building company, Dawnus. “I’ve joined Skelair because I wanted to be part of a growing, yet established team,” said Andy. “Skelair is a great, well-renowned company and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.”

As a specialist in machine drilling in quarries, Andy’s industry experience means he’s familiar in operating a wide-range of rigs, including Ingersoll Rand Compressors. At Skelair his role will involve operating the recent addition to the contract drilling fleet, the Atlas Copco D55 down-the-hole rig.

“Andy has already firmly cemented his role, during his first few weeks. Since joining Skelair he has worked on sites nationwide, from the Lakes down to Stanford, drilling hard rock to sand stone. He’s a great addition to the team,” said John Mayo, Managing Director, Skelair.

Skelair’s Rental Fleet Continues to Grow

-New model Silea rig is added to Skelair’s rental fleet-

Skelair International, specialists in ground engineering and rock drilling solutions, has invested in a new Silea II rig to join its rental fleet for geotechnical and environmental applications.

The Silea II is a multi-purpose hydraulic drilling rig specifically for geotechnical projects, its small size means the Silea II is ideal for working in difficult access areas, with the benefit of an overall stroke of 2.40 metres. “We are increasingly finding that clients request equipment that can be used in the smallest of spaces, which is why it made sense to increase our fleet with the Silea II,” said John Mayo, Managing Director, Skelair.

Mounted on a variable width rubber track crawler, the Silea II has a variable width from 790mm to 1200mm. The rotary head has a maximum speed of up to 500rpm and a torque that reaches 300daNm. In addition, the 49HP Diesel engine of the Silea II uses biodegradable hydraulic oil, meaning the rig is perfect for use in environmentally sensitive areas.

Willy Piacenza, CEO, Emci, said: “We are pleased to be working with Skelair again and to provide them with the latest model from our Silea range of rigs. Skelair is an excellent long-term partners of ours and it’s hugely valuable to work with a company with such a broad client reach for our machines.”

John Mayo, Managing Director, Skelair, concluded: “We aim to provide our customers with a diverse range of rigs that will meet the needs of many projects and situations. As the latest addition to our fleet, the Silea II highlights our commitment to continually offer an extensive rental portfolio.”


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