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Volume 38 Issue 4

The True Costs of Owning Used Steel Sheet Piling

View the complete article here

By Lee Wilczynski

Any time you use and/or handle steel sheet piling on a project it costs money! But we all know that handling sheet piling is inevitable so the question is–Should you rent or own?

There are a dozen problems you may have when you own your own steel sheet pile, and your accounting department will probably neglect to show you your true costs, which include…

  • NOBODY BOTHERS TO RECORD AN INVENTORY REPORT WHEN IT COMES BACK INTO YOUR YARD.
  • Nobody knows what kind of pile it is?
  • Nobody knows what to do with it WHEN IT COMES BACK from job and just unloads in a stack with no cleaning or trimming.
  • When you need some piling, you need 40’ and all you have in the yard is 20’
  • When you need piling all you have in the yard is all 40’ and the field needs 20’ you chop good valuable pile in half.
  • You have a yard full of 40’ and next job requires a minimum of 45’.
  • You ship the pile you have at the yard and the crew spends two unproductive days just trying to sort stuff out that should have been done in your yard.
  • You ship the pile from your yard and crew finds out that more than half was torn up on last job and pile isn’t usable.
  • You ship the pile back to the yard and everyone forgets you have it and rents more anyway.
  • You need more pile than you have in the yard, but it won’t interlock with anything currently available.
  • You ship pile from your yard and find out that, although it looked like you had enough, you still can’t find enough to build a good cofferdam–You rent anyway to get what you need, and the balance is used for miscellaneous shoring jobs that come up.
  • You need to ship some of your pile from the yard right away, and your yard crane breaks down.
  • The worst problem your accounting system never figures–the true cost of owning pile and that renting could be cheaper and more efficient.


Question: What challenges arise when owning steel sheet pile, and how does it impact project efficiency?

Challenges include inadequate inventory tracking, difficulties in matching pile lengths to project needs, and the risk of unusable or damaged pile, emphasizing the importance of efficient management.

How can the true costs of owning steel sheet piling be accurately assessed?

Accurate cost assessment requires addressing issues like unrecorded inventory, potential damages during usage, and the need for extra pile, highlighting the consideration of renting as a potentially more cost-effective option.

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