Crane-pile interaction

Crane-pile interaction

Reaching for the skies

Construction of the 177m tall wind turbines at Wieringermeer, the largest onshore windpark in The Netherlands, required one of the largest crawler cranes - the Superlift 3800. The pressure from its 1.5m wide tracks was large enough to bend the turbine's ring of 28 foundation piles. A check was needed that the piles had sufficient capacity to resist this loading from the crane.

A 3D FEA model of the turbine foundation, crane platform and soft ground beneath was used to simulate crane-pile interaction, all validated by full-scale testing.


  • 3D FEA model of wind turbine foundation piles, crane platform and soft interbedded soils.

  • Crane platform supported on Tensar Stratum system and mechanically stabilised layers.

  • Simulation of crane loading and prediction of resulting forces in piled foundation.

  • Validation by full-scale testing.