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Our expert team can advise you on the best piling methods and materials from the moment we are engaged. Our advice will be pragmatic and result in the best solution for your specific project, considering both depth and marine conditions as well as usage and wear/damage. This will ensure the piling is suited to the site and your needs.

Knowledge of which piles to use for each site can save you considerable sums and we are confident in assessing whether steel sheet piles, timber piles or even plastic piles are appropriate.

Once the piles are in place there are a variety of options for backfilling and reinstatement which we are able to advise and carry out for you, including boat dock pile drivers.

The Rothen Group Piling
The Rothen Group Piling Examples
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Wide beam hopper carrying piles, with 2.5t excavator on bank to install backties & anchor
RG Piling Hammers

What is canal and marine piling?

As the name suggests, this relates to piling works in a water environment. It can be called many different things depending on the location, and may occasionally be referred to as aqua piling. Going back to basics, a pile is a post-like object that is driven into the ground to support building works. In the context of waterways, it is commonly used to provide a retaining wall between the bank and the water. It can also be used to provide support to marine structures, as is the case with wharf piles.

What is marine sheet piling?

A phrase that you will hear a lot of in this type of work is sheet piling. This refers to a wall of interlocking steel sheets that prevent river and canal banks from collapsing into the water. Sheet piling in water helps to secure the integrity of the banks, and can be a long-term solution that lasts for upwards of 20 years.

What are the most popular marine piling materials used?

As they are often submerged in water, piles are exposed to a number of different substances and chemicals which can cause long-term damage. It is important, therefore, to get the right material to ensure longevity of any piling project.


Steel offers fantastic load capacity, as well as durable corrosion resistance. It is important to ensure that you only use marine grade pilings, which is achieved through galvanising the steel to make it more resistant to corrosion and prevent it from breaking down and degrading in the water.


A concrete pile system is extremely strong, and wood piles offer a visually attractive option, with the low oxygen levels in water meaning they can last for a long time.

What are the most popular types of marine piling tools?

There are a range of factors which need to be considered for piling, and therefore marine piling machinery. These include soil and water conditions, presence of nearby construction and type and weight of piles to be driven. What type of equipment is used depends on these variables. Marine piling is therefore one of the most complex environments in which this process can occur. Specifically, the pressure placed on these waterway structures and the challenge of manoeuvring around difficult territories requires the use of advanced machinery.

Hydraulic Piling Hammers, Air Hammers, Vibratory Pile Hammers, Excavator-mounted Vibro Hammers and Free Hanging Vibro Hammers are our most popular canal machinery - read more in our Definitive Guide To Marine Piling Machinery. The Rothen Group offer Plant and Piling Hammer Hire as leading waterway specialists on the UK's canals.

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