TM 20 LR on the St. Louis River

Northland Constructors of Duluth, Inc. relies on the precision and long reach of the ABI MOBILRAM TM 20 LR (Long Reach) for sheet pile work on the St. Louis River.


ABI MOBILRAM TM 20 LR with Vibrator MRZV 30VV on the St. Louis River


Date: Dec. 4, 2023

Project: Relocating a transshipment point on the St. Louis River, USA


Machinery: ABI MOBILRAM TM 20 LR with vibrator MRZV 30VV

Procedure: Pile driving for installation of sheet pile wall

Challenges: Water construction site, precise sheet piling

The Project

Northland has been operating primarily in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin for over 50 years. Over the years, the company has grown into a team of over 200 dedicated employees committed to building stronger and more connected communities in the region.

Northland hired a TM 20 LR from ABI sales and service partner Hammer & Steel for a project to relocate a transshipment point for the C. Reiss company. C. Reiss currently operates a transshipment terminal on the Duluth side of the St. Louis River. Due to rising water levels resulting in annual flooding at their current facility, the company is seeking to relocate over to Superior to an existing dock. The project costs which amount to approximately 22 million dollars, includes the repair and replacement of 770 linear meters (2525 ft) of quay wall, as well as the levelling of certain areas, plus a new maintenance building. C. Reis handles over two million tons of bulk goods annually at a total of four dock locations, goods include coal, limestone and petroleum coke and salt. Of those two million tons, 650,000 tons are shipped from Duluth. 

Charlie Bell, Project Engineer Northland:

"We were delighted at the prospect of being able to perform this work without requiring the use of a template. We are thrilled to see that we are also able to double our production rate. Overall, this machine is safer, requires less manpower, and allows us to perform the work in less time.”

The Machinery

The Northland team used the TM 20 LR to install a 770 m (2525 ft) long sheet pile wall consisting of NZ-22 profiles with lengths of almost 16 m (52 ft). To ensure a longer service life, the upper 5 m (17 ft) of the profiles surface were treated with a special coating. 

ABI MOBILRAM TM 20 LR with Vibrator MRZV 30VV on the St. Louis River


When selecting the machine, it was important that the piling work could be carried out without the requirement of any template. The TM 20 LR offers precise positioning and control of the leader with a significantly increased reach. This allows the machine to be moved stably at a safe distance from the pile driving axis. The sheet piling could be controlled, checked and installed using a laser and a straight line, reducing the time and cost of the project. 

Northland Constructors construction manager Don Renne highlighted the excellent collaboration with Todd Maxa from Hammer & Steel, who made the perfect choice for this project with the TM 20 LR.

Trey Drougas, operator Northland:

"The ABI TM 20 LR is a very technical machine with lots of great features and capabilities as opposed to installing sheet piling the traditional way. The self-auto alignment is a great feature for operator and crew.”

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