Soldier Piling

Soldier Piling

What Is Soldier Piling?

Soldier Piles are typically steel universal column sections used in conjunction with timber planks to create retaining wall structures.

The steel universal column (UC) sections, or “soldiers”, are generally spaced between 1.5m and 3m apart.

At soldier locations, a pier hole usually ranging from 450mm to 600mm diameter is drilled to the soldier piles’ toe level. The UC soldier is then lowered into the pier hole and backfilled with concrete up to the proposed excavated level.

Each “bay” between soldier pile locations is dug out to the excavated level, one bay at a time to allow placement of timber infill or “lagging”. Timber lagging is placed between the flanges of the UC sections and is restrained by backfill behind the wall.

Emanon Shoring Capabilities

We can install steel UC section soldiers up to 10m long in most ground material including rock, with our range of percussion drill heads, augers and drilling tools. Using our range of 30 tonne excavators, we excavate between soldiers to allow placement of timber lagging. In some situations, sheet piles or steel plates can also be used.

Applications of Soldier Piling

  • Soldier piles are generally used when ground conditions are too dense to efficiently use sheet piles, such as in hard clays and where rock is present within the embedded length.
  • Temporary shoring allowing excavations for basements, lift pits, pump wells, valve pits, underground tanks, gross pollutant traps, or pipework where no ground water is present.
  • Retention of fill to provide level work platforms for cranes, piling rigs and other construction plant and equipment.
  • For shallow excavations, soldier piles can be cantilevered - where the length of UC section exposed by excavation is restrained by the length of UC section embedded below the excavated level.
  • For deeper excavations, soldier pile walls can be braced with structural steel waler-beams and struts, ground anchors or dead-man tie-backs.

Advantages of Soldier Piling

  • A fast, simple means of providing temporary or permanent support for excavations.
  • Cost-effective in relatively dense, self-supporting ground with little or no ground water present and where the rock level is too high for suitable embedment depth to be achieved with sheet piling. Installation costs are less than for Bored/CFA concrete contiguous pile or secant pile walls.
  • After completion of finished works the tops of UC sections can be trimmed to a height just below finished level and timber lagging can be removed to a height just below finished level. The works usually remain in-situ.
  • In softer ground with relatively low excavated heights it is generally more economical than sheet piling. In some cases, UC soldiers can be installed with vibratory hammers, producing further cost saving options.

Working on a project that requires a specialist sheet piling contractor? Get in touch
Our in-house engineers can help you determine the most cost effective solution for your project, then undertake its design and provide certification on completion.
Emanon Shoring - Sheet Piling Contractors