Located in Texas’s Galveston County is Piling, Inc., a fourth-generation, family-owned-and-operated business that has specialized in driven pile foundations and marine construction for the past eighty-five years.
The company plays a vital role in Gulf Coast petrochemical and commercial interests from Brownsville, TX, to Louisiana. Their expertise has earned repeat business, including clients who have worked with the company for half a century. Piling, Inc. serves customers from their Texas City, Texas headquarters and a satellite office in Freeport, TX.
Piling, Inc.’s capabilities range from simple pile footings all the way to complete ship docks. The general contracting company is licensed to do business in Texas and Louisiana and has a full-time staff of forty-two. They also work with trusted engineering firms to create entire design/build packages and install a variety of pile types as required.
“Our basic business is pile driving,” says Chief Executive Officer Randy Dietel. He has been with the company 46 years and works alongside a talented crew including his son Kristian, who serves as President of Piling, Inc. and Nunez Construction Co., Inc. Piling’s parent company, Nunez, built numerous ship docks in Texas City and Galveston until 1983. “We’ve built most of the docks over the years in Texas City; this is our homeport.”
The company constructs docks, wharves, bulkheads and fender systems, does maintenance and repair work and provides land and marine crane services. Approximately ninety-five percent of the company’s business involves the petrochemical sector – from plants to refineries – in Texas and Louisiana, and they have been seeing an increase in marine work in recent years.
The respected company has the advantage of owning most of their equipment which is not always the case with pile driving companies. This includes both impact and vibratory pile driving hammers and other specialized machinery. “Our equipment is bigger and heavier, so mobilizing from Texas City to Brownsville, TX or Louisiana takes a lot to get there and back.”
To be successful in the field of driven pile foundations requires a combination of time-tested knowledge and technical skills, keeping up with developments and changes in the industry, and adhering to all safety requirements. To meet client demands and remain a leader in the industry, Piling, Inc. makes a considerable investment in the latest technology, equipment and machinery. The company has a full inventory of cranes and crane barges.
“As one of the Gulf Coast’s leading contractors, we take pride in using the latest equipment and installation techniques to keep up with industry demands,” states Kristian Dietel. He also says, “our extensive line of deep foundation and pile-driving equipment allows us to undertake virtually any project of any size, in any market.” Having barge-mounted cranes, in addition to the land-based type, means the company’s equipment can tackle any project need, whether on land or water, civil or industrial. Having their own heavy-haul truck trailers and trucks means the company gets the equipment where it needs to be in a timely fashion.
“There is more than just concrete pile. There’s steel pile, wood pile, steel-H pile, pipe pile, and sheet pile. So when we say we are a specialty contractor, that’s basically what we do. Sometimes we undertake a project as the general contractor, depending on the scope of the work; if pile driving is only a small part of it, then we are usually a subcontractor.”
Piling, Inc. has earned an industry-wide reputation for professionalism and repair work which is second to none. It partners with several specialists on design/build, and its expertise enables the company to meet all heavy civil and industrial construction requirements of its clients.
Piling, Inc. also has a highly experienced staff, including crane operators, foremen, supervisors, and project managers, who understand and appreciate all aspects of pile driving. Piling, Inc.’s staff includes employees with over four decades of hands-on construction experience.
The company combines craftsmanship with innovation to build quality projects efficiently, effectively, on time and within budget. The team’s understanding of unique client needs and requirements has been applied to massive, complex works for all industries requiring driven pile foundations.
The company is a longtime member of The Pile Driving Contractors Association (PDCA) and has been an integral part of the marine construction industry serving Texas and Louisiana for over eight decades.
Among their recent projects, Piling, Inc. drove 185-foot long, 66 inch diameter x 1.5” wall pipe pile for two new berthing structures for a crude tanker dock. The endeavor presented a host of challenges, says President Kristian Dietel. “We were working off of barges around an existing crude tanker dock still in operation,” he says. One of the many obstacles of the project was scheduling and ensuring that no ships were in the vicinity, which was difficult given the timeline. “It takes several days to set up and drive just one pile, so scheduling with ship traffic can be a challenge.”
Often, the company is called in to repair bulkheads that are failing. One recent project in Texas saw the company replace a failed section with a different steel sheet pile and a different bulkhead system. “It is a failed bulkhead that somebody else had installed,” says Randy Dietel.
Piling, Inc. is also a key proponent and contributor to the new Industrial Trades Center opening in January 2017 for Juniors and Seniors at Texas City Independent School District. For years “trades” had been removed from public schools, which has left a gap in qualified workers coming out of high school. With the completion of the new ITC, students will have the opportunity to learn a trade and find a good paying job right out of high school.
For a construction company needing qualified employees, it is becoming harder every year to find those qualified people. “Since Piling, Inc. is in the industry of needing and using heavy equipment and cranes, we are sponsoring the Heavy Equipment Operation training course which not only trains students to run heavy equipment, but also receive NCCER certification.” With a strong history and an eye toward the future, Piling, Inc. is set to enjoy success for many years to come.