The Other Side of Union Carpentry
 
Published On: Friday, March 02, 2018
Original Publisher: Carpenter Contractor Trust


This critical, early component of the construction project holds back the earth during excavation. This process demonstrates the skills and training of pile drivers who conduct pre-installation inspections and conduct static and dynamic testing.

Authored by: Olaf Olsen, Lead Council Representative, Pile Drivers, Divers, and Dock Builders


The typical image that people see when you mention the Carpenters Union is someone with a hammer and nail working on a wooden structure, but there is so much more to the trade. One area in particular that may surprise some is pile driving. The process is usually in early stages of construction where a pile driver drives steel, concrete, or wood piling into the ground in order to build foundations for skyscrapers, highways, and bridges. 

This critical, early component of the construction project holds back the earth during excavation. This process demonstrates the skills and training of pile drivers who conduct pre-installation inspections and conduct static and dynamic testing. They also determine load-carrying capacities, gauging hammer performance and accommodating lateral, compression or tension loads.

Another integral part of union piledriving is the construction of docks and wharves which usually require commercial divers. These union pile drivers utilize their skillset underwater, which tends to come as a surprise to those who don’t know that the Carpenters Union extends to underwater construction and inspection. Underwater welding is a particular skill set that is more evident in industries that include construction and power generation. It’s safe to say that this ever-growing area of the trade is standing on a strong footing.



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