Movax Robotic: Hydraulic Vibratory Pile Driver

The Need

Pile sheeting operations need auxiliary equipment and personnel to complete, while  contractors have been concerned in increasing safety for crews, saving money, and efficiency. Environment constraints, such as low headroom, and dense soil conditions make the contractors' concern difficult to achieve in some cases. The introduction of vibratory pile driving equipment have helped contractors to try accommodating these issues. Yet, the needs of additional personnel and limitation of 5-10 feet headroom for operation are still considered as the shortcomings of these methods.

movax.jpg (20506 bytes)

The Technology

Movax is a robotic excavator mounted hydraulic vibratory pile driver. Its unique robotic articulation and side gripping ability allows the operator not only to drive and extract sheet piles, but also to pick a sheet, move it, thread it, and place it. The Movax can pick up a 50-foot sheet without releasing the sheet during these operations. This ability allows the Movax Robotic to help increasing crew safety by reducing the need of personnel in the job site. It is possible to assign only one man to do pile sheeting with the Movax.

The Movax Robotic uses very high frequency hydraulic vibrator, 3000 cycles per minute, and has about 55 tons dynamic drive force. It is perfectly mounted on a 20 ton excavator or above. It also takes advantage of the powerful hydraulic of excavator to add a 15 ton down force. With this power, the Movax can be used to drive sheet piles, I-beams, and pipes relatively for any type of soil condition

With the full automatic steering and side grip ability, the excavator automatically corrects the straightness of the sheet pile during the driving and extracting. When the Movax drives the first pile into the ground, the distance is put into memory. The 'auto' takes the pile to the right distance near the guide and sets pile into the upright position. The 'walking' of the pile wall is eliminated with the side grip and 'auto' steering. The guide directs and the auto drives the pile straight. Addition to these abilities, the side grip allows the Movax to operate in a 4-6 inch headroom environment.

movax3.jpg (18330 bytes)
A stell sheet pile is lifted from a stack easily



movax2.jpg (17285 bytes)
Superior performance in narrow conditions and low headroom areas

The Benefits

  • A side grip allows for low head clearance.
  • Only one man needed for pile driving operation.
  • Semi-auto steering device for exact pile placement.
  • Powered by excavator hydraulics for true one man control.
  • From horizontal to vertical, Movax Robotic places & drives the pile.


The Movax Robotic is manufactured by Unisto Oy, Finland, and distributed by Hercules Machinery Corporation. The versatility of this equipment has been proven in a rehabilitation project under bridge, pile driving inside building, and pile extraction project in Louisville.


While the Movax may reduce the need of personnel on the job site to assist the pile sheeting operation, more technical skill is needed for the excavator operator to perform the operation.

Points of Contact

  1. Mike Downs, Hercules Machinery Corporation, 3101 New Haven Avenue, P.O. Box 5198, Fort Wayne, IN 46895, Phone: (800) 348-1890, (219) 424-0405, Fax: (219) 422-2040,


  1. "Movax SP50D", Video Presentation, Hercules Machinery Corporation.

Disclaimer Statement

Neither the Construction Industry Institute nor Purdue University in any way endorses this technology or represents that the information presented can be relied upon without further investigation.



Division of Construction Engineering and Management
Purdue University, 550 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907 - 2057
Ph: +1 765 494 2240 Fax: +1 765 494 0644
| New Additions | Civil | Mechanical | Internet-based | Electrical | Other |
About This Site | Subscribe | Best Links | Suggest a Technology |
Search | Link to Us | Contact Us | Help | Home |