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Timber piles have been the most widely used pile foundations in history with known structures being supported by timber piles dating back thousands of years. However, with the development of steel and concrete piles, the use of timber piles has steadily declined as they are generally considered to be less versatile. Heavy equipment mechanized pile drivers have also required a rethink as timber can split under pressure.
Over the years engineering codes have been written to limit the use of timber piles. This has primarily been done due to the belief that timber piles are not as consistent in strength as the steel or concrete pile alternatives.
Timber piles are still used today, however pile drivers need to be more precise in the way they drive these timber piles into the ground. Heavy equipment can, at times, be just too heavy for this kind of work.
Pile drivers themselves have a long history starting with huge mechanical devices that relied on human or horse power to raise the hammer before it was released to drive the piles. These days, heavy equipment in the form of motorized pile drivers do the job in far less time using far less in the way of resources.
For a career in this age old profession, check ATS Heavy Equipment Training Schools for a start in the heavy equipment industry.