Steve Vick International has introduced a new pipe pushing machine to its range. The 125Plus has a larger ram than its predecessor giving it increased pushing power and improved performance. The mechanism for changing from pushing to pulling mode has also been improved making it easier to operate.

Designed principally for inserting or sliplining old gas, water and sewer pipes during renewal operations, pipe pushing machines can also be used to push cable into ducting and have been used successfully to pull kilometres of unwanted high-tensile cable from steel ducting before replacing it with fibre optic cable.

The machines work on the principle of grasping the pipe in a set of jaws, thrusting it forward and holding it in that position while the jaws return to the start position ready to push again.

Pushing pipe rather than winching it has several advantages. Firstly it can speed the operation by eliminating the need to feed a winch cable through the host pipe.

It also means that only one excavation need be opened during insertion, reducing disruption to traffic and pedestrians and easing traffic management liabilities.

Pushing also avoids the risk of stretching or exerting excessive tension on the pipe, an important consideration prior to jointing the PE. Another benefit is that the pushing action can be reversed to pull the pipe back if an obstruction is met.

Long sections can be inserted with a pushing machine – 100m to 150m are typical while 1km is possible given the right conditions.

The 125Plus handles pipe diameters from 40mm to 125mm and is pneumatically operated. With a top pushing speed of 15m/min, the machine has a maximum pushing force of half a tonne. An optional back clamp can be fitted to help grip the pipe between pushes on longer insertions.

Steve Vick International manufactures a range of pipe pushing machines to handle pipe from 40mm diameter up to 630mm, although larger machines can be supplied to special order.

The smallest machine is manually operated. The 125Plus operates from a standard compressor while the larger machines are hydraulically operated. Each model can be fitted with shells to accommodate different pipe diameters.

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