CASE STUDY – Custom Steel Template for Manson Construction


Manson Construction was searching for an effective way to systematically drive king piles for the berth 5 construction project at the Port of Port Arthur, Texas. Cogbill fabricated a custom steel template that enabled Manson to drive productivity and deadlines.



Manson needed a sturdy and precise template that would hold the alignment and spacing of the piles while simultaneously providing a safe access platform for the crew to work from.

Their challenge was developing something that would allow the 101’ x 48” Dia. steel pipe piles to be driven plumb so that the 87’ sheet piles could be driven all the way to grade without binding up. 

structural steel fab shop berth project port sea wall


Cogbill project manager, Steve Hartt, worked closely with Manson’s project superintendent, Doug Lowe, and project engineer, Ilias Sgourides in developing the original design into the final fabrication. 

The template is a two-tiered system of guides made from rolled 1.5” thick steel plate fitted with 1.5” thick UHMW plastic bumpers. The bumpers were secured using a flush elevator bolting system to allow the seamless movement of the pilings. 

The top deck was fitted with piano-hinged grating for placement and alignment during the driving operation. After a group of king piles was driven to grade, the grating between them could be swung open to allow sheet piles to be driven between them. This provided easy, safe access for the crew while threading the sheets into the king piles. 

Four pad eyes with shackles were strategically placed to assist in lifting the template from each set of pilings. This helped distribute the load evenly, creating an optimal 30-degree angle for crane rigging.



The template guided 53 king piles and 52 sheet piles with precision accuracy. It enabled the Manson team to complete their task with greater ease and efficiency.

Manson was allowed a tolerance of 2” in pile location, we built to 1/16th of an inch allowable tolerance. The Manson crew was able to safely position the pilings from the grated platform deck.

The project completion timeline was allotted for six weeks, we completed and delivered the template one week ahead of schedule at five weeks. Our team was able to improve Manson’s design, schedule, cost and overall productivity.  



More Blog Posts

Cogbill Facebook 

Cogbill LinkedIn