An Essential Guide To Driven Piles

Today I’m going to show you everything about driven piles that include:

  • What are driven piles?
  • Uses of them.
  • Difference between bored piles and driven piles.
  • Their advantages and disadvantages, and
  • Installation method.

Let’s dive right in.

What Is A Driven Pile?

A driven pile is a type of pile foundation.

And It’s installed by impact hammering, vibrating, or pushing into the ground.

Before installing, they are made from preformed material with the desired size and shape.

The preformed material can be precast concrete, timber, or steel.

Driven piles are also called displacement piles.

Uses Of Driven Piles

Commonly, driven piles are used to support buildings, towers, bridges, tanks, and walls.

They are also used in applications such as retaining walls, embankments, bulkheads, anchorage structures, and cofferdams.

What Are The Difference Difference Between Driven Plies And Bored Piles?

When you talk about driven piles you’ll also find another type of pile. That is the bored pile.

To eliminate confusion, let’s see some differences between them.

  • The main difference between driven piles and bored piles is in their installation method.

Driven piles are manufactured off-site and bored piles are manufactured on-site and installed in place.

  • Driven piles are made from preformed materials.

On the other hand, Bored piles are cast-in-place.

  • Driven piles can be physically inspected prior to and during installation.

But you can’t inspect bored piles.

  • Driven piles are installed by impact hammering, vibration, or pushing into the ground.

Bored piles are installed by digging boreholes into the ground then pouring concrete.

  • The equipment utilizes for constructing driven piles includes a crane, hammer, piling rig, etc.

And, for bored piles, a Drill Rig, Helper Crane, Spoil Handling, casing, slurry handling, cage erection template, concrete truck, and concrete pump truck, etc. are used.

Advantage Of Driven Piles

Here are some advantages of them:

  • They can be made of predetermined size and shape.
  • You can inspect tthem prior to and during installation.
  • As the driven piles are premade, it can reduce the construction time.
  • Driven piles increase the bearing capacity of soil as they compact the adjacent soil during installation.
  • They do not bulge in soft ground conditions and are typically not susceptible to damage from the installation of subsequent piles.

Disadvantage Of Driven Piles

  • Advance planning is required.
  • Heavy equipment is required for installation.
  • It may not be possible to determine the exact length required and thus splicing or cut-off techniques may be required which has time and cost implications.
  • They may not be suitable if the ground has poor drainage qualities.


  • They can be noisy to install.

Types Of Driven Piles

Normally, these piles are classified based on the materials used to make them.

And they are:

  • Timber piles
  • Pre-cast concrete piles
  • Steel H-piles
  • Steel sheet piles, and
  • Composite piles

Driven Pile Installation Methods

Mainly, three methods are used to install these piles:

  • Impact driving
  • Vibrating
  • Pressing

Impact Driving Method:

This is the most common method of pile driving.

In this method, a falling weight is used to create the impact.

Nowadays, the hydraulic hammer is mostly used for this as it is higher efficient and far less noisy.

Before that, air hammers and diesel hammers were used.

Vibrating Method:

In this method, an oscillating driver is clamped to the top of the pile, to induce vibrations and reduce friction along the sides of the pile.

This allows the pile to be inserted into the ground with little extra application of force.

Pressing Method:

This is low noise and low vibration method.

In this method, piles are jacking into the ground using the adjacent piles for reaction.

You May Want To Read: Common Pile Driving Problems And Solutions


I hope this post helped you learn about driven piles.

Now I would like to hear from you:

Do you face any problems during Pile driving?

If so, how do you solve them?

Or maybe you have a question about something you read.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.

7 thoughts on “An Essential Guide To Driven Piles”

  1. Anna

    good informative article i have read in recent times

    1. Liton Biswas

      Thank you, Anna.

  2. jenny

    reminds me my college days where we have learned about these piles very well written article

    1. Liton Biswas

      Thanks, Jenny.

  3. carol

    we are building our house and this is one good article that can understand well with out confusion

    1. Liton Biswas

      I’m glad, Carol

  4. Ana Sidorka

    This is really useful, thank you for sharing!