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IFS Equipment Ltd.’s introduction of “The Game Changer” is set to revolutionize the future of piling rigs

Submitted by Innovative Foundation Solutions Equipment Ltd.

There has got to be a better way to do it,” is the thought process of many companies in the foundation business, but for Jason Linley of JD Piling Ltd., it’s a thought that never quite leaves him. As president of a mid-size piling company located in British Columbia for over 25 years, the idea hits home a little harder.

The piling business is challenging on any level, but when you throw in the terrain and remoteness of locations in northern Canada, it comes with its own special challenges. The main ones are keeping labour and transportation costs in check for jobs that are located in remote areas – which really is a consideration of all piling companies, however more cost intensive in certain geographic areas. Contracts with terrain complications and multiple foundation types on the same site require multiple equipment moves and extra labour.

Ten years ago, Linley started to make the equipment design in his head and built the first prototypes of what he would eventually dub, “The Game Changer” (GC). Each version was built in his shop and promptly put to work in his fleet with hundreds of hours accumulated. Constantly tweaking the design, he incorporated any necessary changes on subsequent versions. Over 10 years of development put him in a position to finally bring the unit to market.

After selling off JD Piling Ltd. in the fall of 2016, he put his full focus on his new company, Innovative Foundation Solutions (IFS) Equipment Ltd., which has a new vision for versatile and multi-purpose foundation equipment. It is the home of the GC, a completely bi-directional machine, for both aboveground and underground operations. This unit performs auger cast, displacement pile, drilled shaft, driven pile and helical pile on a single platform. It’s the machine that drills, drives and screws. Boom extension and rotation technology coupled with an end of boom actuator allows the GC a considerable working envelope with less environmental impact and is available as a truck or excavator mount.

Being built by a piling contractor for piling contractors makes the GC a “go to” machine for complete job site performance. In this effort, Linley brought Jim Lawrence, formerly of Superior Truck Equipment (STE) Inc. in Calgary, Alta., on board. Lawrence started STE in 2003, bringing in a couple of business partners early on. Through their cumulative efforts with staff, they have turned IFS into one of the leading truck equipment companies in Canada.

Lawrence left STE in the spring of 2015 to start UticonSA Inc. It’s a sales agency with a focus on construction attachments mainly for the helical pile industry in North America and abroad. During the last five years, Lawrence has been calling on almost all of the piling foundation companies in North America and listening to their concerns and needs. With business start-up experience and industry contacts, Lawrence’s addition to IFS Equipment Ltd. will assist Linley in recognizing his vision of the GC being used to improve the bottom line for foundation piling companies in North America and beyond.

Industry events

Their first indoor show in the industry that IFS Equipment Ltd. attended was the Deep Foundations Institute’s Annual General Meeting held in New Orleans, La., Oct. 23 to 27, 2017. The response from customers and potential dealers was very encouraging, solidifying the concept for the marketplace. The first full-fledged outdoor show that IFS Equipment Ltd. will participate in is the International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo (IFCEE) 2018, where they will be introducing the truck-mount version of the GC.

This unit will be an XL4200 series upper with a proprietary telescoping boom assembly mounted on a Kenworth T800. The truck-mount version allows 11 feet of “front to back” hydraulic sliding action on the carrier with a 10-foot extension of telescoping boom. Two sets of outriggers, front and rear, give the unit a high degree of stability. A patented hydraulic actuator at the end of the boom allows for a large articulation envelope for the 40-foot lead assembly.

On the lead are two winches – a service winch and a crowd/hoist winch for the chain driven sled assembly, which will feature an Eskridge Top Drive assembly capable of 70,000 ft/lbs of torque in high torque and 100 rpm spin off at high speed. This is an electric shift, two-speed system that allows the unit to shift “on the fly” from high to low and back.

The piling business is challenging on any level, but when you throw in the terrain and remoteness of locations in northern Canada, it comes with its own special challenges.

The Top Drive will swap out on site to a hydraulic hammer built by Endeavor Equipment in Western Canada. The MHX12 will supply up to 16,000 ft/lbs of down force and up to 100 bpm, all adjustable. The in-cab control system will switch parametres between the mast configurations. Upper and lower hydraulic grippers will allow for safe pile handling and locating.

IFS Equipment Ltd. is very excited about the bringing “The Game Changer” to the marketplace. 

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.