Pile cropper: use, work steps, advantages & disadvantages

This is a pile cropper

The Pile Cropper is a mechanical solution for processing concrete piles. It works by pressing a horizontal crack into the pile body through horizontally arranged cylinder heads in order to break the concrete and then remove the pile head.

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Work steps for the pile cropperPile Cropper

  1. After pile production, the pile cropper – a ring-shaped arrangement of hydraulic cylinders – is lifted over the pile head to be removed using an excavator or construction crane.
  2. The extending cylinders press a horizontal crack into the pile body.
  3. The resulting chunks can then be lifted away and disposed of.
  4. A 10-20 cm thick layer remains, which is removed by hand.

Advantages of the Pile Cropper

The pile cropper is particularly efficient when removing unreinforced overconcrete and small piles. The pile cropper can also massively reduce the risk of HAVS (hand-arm vibration syndrome).

Disadvantages of the pile cropper

Pile Cropper

The use of a pile cropper has some disadvantages:

  • Insufficient quality: The lateral pressing energy causes the reinforcing bars to be pressed in laterally. Reinforcing bars are bent and, in the worst case, torn off. The functionality of the reinforcing bars is no longer guaranteed.
  • Diamond cut to removal height: To avoid spalling, an additional cut must be made with a diamond saw, which means additional work.
  • Cladding of reinforcing bars: In order to ensure that the broken concrete block can be lifted away over the reinforcing bars, the reinforcing bars must be clad in advance. This means additional material costs and additional labor.
  • Not suitable for use on pile walls: Due to the ring-shaped arrangement of hydraulic cylinders, the Pile Croppers cannot be used on pile walls.
  • Requires a lot of working space: Due to the ring-shaped hydraulic cylinders, a lot of working space is required around the concrete pile. This means that it cannot be used in confined spaces and a lot of excavation work has to be done.
  • Cannot be used if the reinforcement cage is set too high or too low: If the reinforcement cage is set too high during pile construction, the spiral reinforcement prevents the blasted concrete block from being lifted away over the reinforcement bars. If the reinforcement cage is moved too deep, the remaining pile contains packing material from the reinforcement, which must be removed separately.
  • High cleaning effort: The last 20-30 cm of the pile must still be removed by hand due to the inaccurate crack edge of the pile cropper.

Brextor®as an alternative to pile croppersPile cutter for cropping piles

The Brextor® can be used as an alternative to the Pile Cropper.

  1. Once the pile has been concreted over, the excess concrete is removed with the milling disk until the reinforcing bars are visible. The reinforcing bars are marked, the center of the reinforcement cage is located and a small guide hole is drilled.
  2. It is milled to the desired height profile. The inner cutter breaks the core tension to prevent cracks in the pile body. The outer cutter breaks the surface tension to prevent spalling on the outer skin of the pile.
  3. The residual concrete is then broken away using the specially developed BRC pile head crusher with longer biting arms.
  4. Finally, the areas between the reinforcements are cleaned with an electric hammer.

The advantages of Brextor®

The use of Brextor® offers the following advantages over the pile cropper:Pile breaking of piles with a diameter of 2 meters

  • Perfect quality: The reinforcing bars are not damaged or torn off during pile head processing and therefore fully fulfill their functionality. In addition, Brextor® processes the piles extremely gently, without spalling and cracks in the pile body.
  • No diamond cut necessary: With Brextor® there is no need for a diamond cut to avoid spalling at the pile head house.
  • Height accuracy +/- 1 cm: Thanks to its milling technology, Brextor® can guarantee a height accuracy of +/- 1 cm without any additional manual effort.
  • No preparatory work necessary: When using Brextor®, no reinforcing bars need to be clad in advance.
  • Can also be used for pile walls: Unlike the Pile Cropper, Brextor® can be used for single piles as well as for all types of pile walls (tangential, secant and split pile walls).
  • Less working space required: With Brextor®, significantly less working space is required around the pile. Only 20 cm on one side is required. This saves excavation work.
  • Reuse of demolition material: 80% of Brextor® demolition material consists of gravel (0-30 mm) and can be reused directly on the construction site without having to be disposed of.
  • Can also be used with poorly produced piles: Even if reinforcement cages are too high, too deep or laterally offset, Brextor® can be used without restrictions or additional effort.

Increase efficiency, safety and quality with Bextor®

Are you ready to increase the efficiency, safety and quality of your construction projects?

Contact us for more information and find out how you can benefit from this revolutionary pile head processing method. Call +41 41 495 05 20 or send an e-mail to info@brc.swiss. We look forward to working with you and taking your construction projects to the next level.

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