Cotswold Canal Trust – Bank Stabilisation

Cotswold Canal Trust got in touch via our website in regards to a bank on the Thames and Severn canal that needed stabilising. They had heard about us from one of our previous customers, who we helped with the Dursley Tree House project featured on Grand Designs in 2016.

One of our team visited the site at Ham Mill Lane in Stroud to discuss a solution to stabilise the failed canal bank with the volunteers from the trust. A screw piling solution to support the gabion retaining structure was developed with their Structural Engineer to install 60R screw piles both vertically and raked at 45 degrees using our 400H handheld anchor driver. This stabilisation would allow the Thames and Severn canal to be dredged. The work also formed a small part of a wider effort to eventually reopen the canal for public use.

As a result of our solution and the volunteer team's hard work, more material was prevented from falling into the canal, and they were able to support an adjoining neighbour’s garden from falling further down the hill.

The volunteers were inexperienced in screw piling so an engineer attended site to provide training on the safe use of the equipment. We assisted them with safe working methods to allow them to pile at 45 degrees on a steep slope.

“We had a good session of familiarisation training with one of your engineers on Wednesday . I would just like to say how pleasant and helpful he was, it was a pleasure to work with him.”

Bob Ambury, Cotswold Canal Trust

We enjoyed working with the Cotswold Canal Trust as the team are all volunteers, so they were keen to learn and get stuck in.

We are now assisting the trust with the design of a further 4m high gabion retaining wall which will be supported on screw piles. We are keen to see how this second project progresses and hope to continue to be involved with the wider project of re-opening the Thames and Severn Canal for public use.

If you have a project in mind and are considering using screw piles due to their many benefits, please don't hesitate to get in contact with us.

Garden Structure – Karen’s Childcare

ABC Anchors were approached to assist in a solution for foundations at Karen’s Childcare. They wanted to expand the outdoor area for the children and the available space had a few challenges to overcome.

Site access and foundation positioning was limited, so screwpiles were identified as the best solution by the Client. The piles were to be installed behind a retaining wall and next to a boundary wall; therefore they needed a vibration free and non-destructive installation method to prevent damage.

We used our 400H Handheld pile installer due to a lack of space, ensuring a smooth installation. There was no damage to the wall, as the piles transferred load from the structure to below the wall to prevent it failing due to the additional load of the garden structure.

Our lightweight garden piles were specified by the team here as they were ideal for supporting the low loads (up to 2 tonnes per pile) and are suitable for most soil conditions. The 8 pile system was installed in a day and once finished, the structure could be built instantly, as screw piles are unique in not requiring any wet trades. This removes the time delay in the build for curing.

Our customer was happy we were able to find a solution to building on this tricky site and we are pleased to say they have now completed their garden structure.

“ABC Anchors provided an 8 screw pile solution in a difficult location that was installed by a very professional team of two. it is a great system that is providing support to our Outdoor Structure which was designed, manufactured and installed by Beyond Timber of Dinnington.”

David Ellison, Karen's Childcare

For more information on our services, or to talk to us about your own project, please feel free to contact us. If you have any questions on using a screw pile system, our FAQs may provide the answer!

RD Residential – Garden Studio

This project involved the construction of a timber-built garden studio in West London.

Screw piles were a preferred choice for the foundations, as the proposed location for the structure was at the base of a mature tree and in a tree root protection area.

The access to the site was also restricted allowing only hand held equipment to be used.

Both the customer and contractor for the build were new to screw piles and had been referred to us by their structural engineer, all the information was provided to each party and the system and method was approved.

The 60R product range was chosen due to the loading and the structure, and the unique 400H Hand Held anchor driver was chosen for the installation. The ground conditions varied across the site so additional extensions were used to achieve the required torque for the design load.

The foundations for the garden studio were successfully completed and the contractor was very happy with the service received:

“From start to completion ABC Anchors were a pleasure to deal with, very supportive, and easy to talk to when queries arose.  We would highly recommend both their products and service and will definitely be using them again for any piling needs we have.”

Ed O'Donnell, RD Residential

Underpinning from Inside a Building


The Customer has experienced subsidence of the property due to trees in the back garden and fluctuations in ground moisture levels, causing the walls to move and cracks to appear.

Access to the outside wall was not possible so underpinning needed to be carried out inside the building. In addition to the subsidence, the customer was also looking to redevelop the extension from single to two storeys. 


Using the ABC 400H hand held torque and keeping the powerpack outside the house. The Piles were installed quickly and quietly, underpinning brackets were then fitted and pre-loaded to design load. This was then back filled around the piles and the floor reinstated. The building is now ready to be developed to a two storey.

Julia’s House Children’s Hospice

This project involved installing 6 quantity 60RL* screw piles to support a small wooden Cabin.

Screw piles were the preferred choice of foundation for two reasons, firstly as there were tree roots and secondly, the ground dropped away by up to 1meter in some pile positions.

Using our 400H hand held torque head 2 rows of 3 piles were installed with the front 3 piles being installed to ground level and the back 3 protruding above ground level by approximately 1m.

As a precaution a cross brace of the 3 rear piles was designed to be used to ensure lateral stability.

The piles were terminated with a flat 200mm x 300mm plate which allowed easy connection of the steel ring beam for the cabin to sit on.

Once installation was complete it was found that the stability of the piles was adequate and cross bracing was not required on this occasion.


Customer’s feedback-

 A brilliant system which I wouldn’t hesitate to use in the future

Maurice Fishlock


*the 60RL is a light duty of the 60R, a cheaper option for low loadings, the difference between the 60R and 60RL is the tube thickness.

CLM – Ferry Bridge

Ferry Bridge is an historic suspension bridge in Burton on Trent which was in need of refurbishment work during October 2015.
In order to carry out the repairs to the bridge a scaffolding system was required to be set up to allow access for the contractors. The Scaffold system would rely on the screw piles to act as the full support. The loading on the anchors would be both the weight of the system and also the side loadings from the river current and any debris floating down stream.

Read More

Conservatory Underpinning – Cooke Brothers

The conservatory had dropped approximately 60mm and opened up the brickwork. When I installed the Screw-Piles and used the underpinning bracket and jacks, I was able to lift the complete structure back to original height.

I used my own Micro Digger as a powerpack for the 400H driver head.

The gap in the brickwork was closed, windows and doors that were jammed out of alignment all now work perfectly.

I was very happy with the serviced provided by ABC Anchors, they were very accommodating with shipping the equipment over to me in northern Ireland. I would recommend the screw pile system to anyone with similar foundation issues. it worked very well.

Allistair Cooke

Installation Packages

Package Choices

We can offer several packages for the supply and installation of our screw piles.

We can supply the piles and offer full installation with this you get a full installation pile log with guarantee of work

We can supply the piles and hire out the installation equipment for you to install.

Training courses at our premises or onsite (How to correctly use our equipment to install screw piles)

Onsite guidance


Torque Heads


500X / XG
500X / XG



2500X / XG
2500X / XG

All our torque heads are manufactured by our sister company Autoguide Equipment and can be either purchased or hired from us. This can be on a daily or weekly basis.


ABC Torque Heads

Equipment Hire

Screw Pile Installation Equipment Hire

ABC Anchors offer a range of Autoguide’s screw pile specific torque heads for hire. All torque heads come equipped with torque gauge for driving screw piles to the required installation torque.

Installers for 60R Piles

400H Hand-held Anchor Drive

Our 400H portable anchor installer is available with or without the hydraulic power pack and is ideal for use in confined spaces or areas of limited access. We hire this machine for installing our 60R screw piles, to accommodate loads up to 48kN.

500X / XG Torque Head

We have a range of mounting brackets to attach the 500X to excavators from 1.5 to 6 tonnes. This allows anchor installation at a wide range of angles. When access is not an issue, installation using the 500X instead of our handheld equipment allows our 60R screw piles to accept loads up to 60kN.


500X / XG
500X / XG

Installers for 76R Piles

650H Hand-held Anchor Drive

The 650H portable anchor installer is available with or without the hydraulic power pack and is ideal for use in areas of limited access much like the 400H. This larger handheld machine can accommodate loads up to 73kN with our 76R screw piles.


The 1600X is the torque head of choice for installing our 76R screw piles, accepting loads up to 180kN. It can be mounted using a range of brackets to excavators from 4 to 7 tonnes.



Installers for 89R Piles


The 2500X is an excavator mounted torque head for use with 89R screw piles. Our largest pile can accept loads up to 250kN and must be installed using an excavator from 4 to 10 tonnes. The torque head is shown here with the Gimbal bracket, which allows installation when head room or the excavator boom arm length is an issue; mounting on the side of the head rather than the top.

2500X / XG
2500X / XG

Soil Test Probe

The soil test probe is used to determine the soil conditions on site where no soil investigation information is available. Torque readings are recorded at 250mm intervals to provide an indication of the properties of the soil. These readings can be easily correlated against SPT value charts to determine the soil type and it’s suitability for accepting screw piles.

As a general rule, screw piles are not designed to penetrate solid bedrock, nor are they able to penetrate through obstructions such as boulders or buried concrete. However most other soil types are acceptable.

Being hand driven or with a high torque battery drill, the data produced allows the engineer to design the most suitable pile configuration for the calculated loads.

On many small projects use of this equipment can result in overall price reduction (especially compared to a full ground investigation), with a high level of confidence in the finished result.

Soil Test Probe
Soil Test Probe

Access all areas – Underpinning with Helical Piles

Using helical screwpiles to underpin buildings suffering subsidence offers an alternative solution to concreting.

The practice of underpinning buildings with pumped concrete can, in some circumstances, disturb the ground and, in extreme circumstances, make the original problem of subsidence worse.

Using steel screw piles to overcome subsidence is a popular solution, since they can sit in good competent soil at depths of 2m-3m or deeper.

Director of screw pile supplier ABC Anchors Richard Robinson explains: “Subsidence generally occurs in soils that are ideal for screw piling. If the ground is so hard that a screw pile won’t go in, it is unlikely that subsidence will occur. A simple handheld soil probe will determine soil classification data allowing the most economical pile for the job to be designed.

“Where contaminated soils are overlaid with good soil, screw piles can also provide an excellent solution without arisings. In areas sub· ject to flooding, the screw pile will also resist multi-directional loads.”

One of the biggest issues surrounding underpinning projects is that of access. There is often limited room for equipment, and for home owners there is understandable concern if the work must be carried out from within the building. For these jobs, work has been made easier through the introduction of handheld drivers for the installation of screw piles.

Robinson, who has 25 years’ experience of designing handheld drivers coupled with eight years’ experience of manufacturing screw piles, has developed a handheld screwpile driver that uses a hydraulic drive system to overcome installation problems.

“Existing drivers use a heavy motor/gearbox unit at the top of the pile,” he says. “This means that not only do operators have to lift the heavy pile into a near vertical position, but the drive and torque reaction arm has to be lifted 2m in the air as well. This procedure is potentially hazardous and usually taxes the strength of operators to the limit.

“As the pile travels further into the ground, and especially when an extension has been added, the increasing torque reaction tends to force the head of the pile towards the operators. This is a further hazard and exacerbates the problem of using foot controls in muddy, slippery and uneven sites.”

Electric handheld 110 volt mains or lower voltage battery-powered units can provide lighter and more convenient solutions, Robinson says, but they can lack the oomph needed to construct deep foundations.

Robinson’s new ABC 400H Hydraulic Driver uses a standard 301 140Bar power pack with a hydraulic drive system. Having a separate hydraulic power pack with long hoses allows the operator to still work in confined spaces.

“While the 400H Hydraulic Driver still isn’t super light, it’s much easier to operate,” says Robinson. The handheld controls permit logical operation and offer immediate control, making for safer and more accurate installation rather than chasing foot controls in muddy trenches, which can be dangerous.

The new driver permits the installation of 3m or even longer piles in one piece without the use of extensions, saving money and time.

Robinson adds: “Because the handheld hydraulic control is so sensitive too, piles can be installed within +/-1.5mm of correct depth. This makes the formation of precision foundations much easier.”