A Scottish ground engineering specialist is using a specially modified JCB X Series tracked excavator for its piling and foundations work on new housing developments.

Akela Ground Engineering – part of the Glasgow-based Akela Group – has purchased the new machine which comprises a JCB 220X base machine fitted with BSP-TEX Ltd JX25-8 piling rig. The all-British-built combination delivers a mobile, self-erecting, 28-tonne piling rig capable of driving in steel, wood or concrete piles up to 8 metres in length.

Supported by dealer Scot JCB, the machine is currently working at a new build development on the former Ruchill Hospital site near the centre of Glasgow – laying the foundations for the construction of 10 blocks of flats and 160 houses.

Akela Ground Engineering Contracts Engineer, Dave Warley said: “All the piles driven on the site so far have been with the JCB-powered JX25-8 rig. The key benefits for us are a lightweight rig which reduces the thickness required for piling platforms and the high manoeuvrability for accessing and working on busy house building sites.”

Piling rig operator, Scott Brownlie added: “It’s a good machine for this type of application, as it’s just the right size and weight and packs a powerful, productive punch. The cab on the JCB 220X is very quiet and comfortable, just what you need on a piling rig, as the piling rig creates a lot of exterior noise. We need the door and windows shut so the quiet cab, comfortable seat and good heating and ventilation system create a nice operating environment.” 

Established in 2003, Akela Group is a leading Scottish construction services company providing civil engineering, construction, property development and training solutions to the private and public sector. Headquartered in Glasgow, it has over 300 employees. Akela Ground Engineering features a team of professionally trained engineers and experienced site operatives who have a proven history of successfully delivering geotechnical projects, including residential and commercial building substructures, underpinning and piling.