Piles of work planned

Careys Bay Marine Services owner Eldon Donaldson with his new pile-driver at Deborah Bay. PHOTO:...
Careys Bay Marine Services owner Eldon Donaldson with his new pile-driver at Deborah Bay. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
A Careys Bay marine engineer plans to service Otago Harbour with his new pile-driver.

Careys Bay Marine Services owner Eldon Donaldson saw an opportunity about 12 months ago to get into pile-driving around the harbour.

Most of the piles in the harbour were owned by the Dunedin City Council and the Otago Regional Council, Mr Donaldson said.

"We built it to fix all of the stuffed piles around the harbour that nobody has done anything with for years," he said.

The pile-driver, which sits on a barge, took about three months to build, and the work was done by Dunedin companies Site Weld and Motion Specialists.

Servicing piles around the harbour would be a new division of the marine service business, Mr Donaldson said.

"We have been doing work on wharves and pontoons for a while and there seemed to be a real need for a pile-driver in the harbour.

"People were struggling to get pile-driving work done," he said.

Mr Donaldson’s new driver can install 350mm small end diameter (SED) piles with a 900kg weight that crashes down on to pile, hitting it into the ground.

The first pile was installed with it at the beginning of this week and was designed so it can be taken apart to be transported by truck to other locations, Mr Donaldson said.

When moving between jobs within the harbour, it would be towed by a boat.

The first week had been "trial and error," he said.

"It has been a bit like that but I have been pleasantly surprised with how it has gone.

"The first one we put in went 6m deep and it went really well but there are things I’m learning about the machine all of the time," he said.

The DCC had engaged Careys Bay Marine Services to undertake repairs to the piles supporting the DCC-owned Deborah Bay recreational jetty, council acting group manager parks and recreation Scott MacLean said.

Mr Donaldson hoped to be able to do work on private jetties as well as DCC-owned ones.

The navigation piles through the harbour, which guide ships into port, are owned and maintained by Port Otago.

The port only maintained its own piles and had no responsibility for others around the harbours, Port Otago chief executive Kevin Winders said.



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