Case study - Tunnel Engineering
In the Hole
Wigan's MSST Stuart Clare is accustomed to helping customers out of a hole. But one recent job found him in one of his own. Typically his morning recently started with the collection of two special very high pressure (600bar) power pack hoses for identification and replacement from Liebherr at Ashton. On route he received a call from BAM Nuttall for some adaptors, and a request to look at some fittings on a bunded fuel tank whilst he was on site. On an hour round trip Stuart had delivered the hoses back to Wigan, made and supplied the adaptors and identified the stepped adaptors needed for the fuel lines.
However, his next call was actually to help a customer dig himself into a hole rather than get out of one. After a trek across a field just off the A580 near Haydock Park, Stuart arrived at Tunnel Engineering's site, part of a three-year project to install an 88 kilometre United Utility water pipeline stretching between Liverpool and Bury. Since the project's start in April, Stuart had already helped maintain main contractor Murphy's fleet of excavators, cranes and assorted vehicles on over 50 callouts. However, he soon discovered his talents would be required underground as well as above. The site in question was nine metres down and 320 metres inside the 1.8 metre diameter pipeline where an open face digger shield was operated by a four-man crew. As they excavated the clay, laser-guided 2.5 metre long concrete pipe sections, each weighing around six tonnes, were hydraulically pushed into place. To maintain the hydraulic pressure along the route, five “interjack” stations had already been installed in the pipeline between the surface pump and the excavator deep inside the hill. Stuart Clare has the unenviable task of maintaining these hoses, fittings and ancillary equipment. Senior fitter Paul Harrison who was in charge of the site said “Pirtek Wigan in general, and Stuart Clare in particular, have done a sterling job in the above ground maintenance for Murphy; and they have applied the same dedication and expertise in the tunnelling work,” he concluded. “It’s also worth noting that every piece of hydraulic hose on site is a Pirtek product. In this environment, we can't afford to take chances, so we only fit the best."