Category: Utilities

Environmental Case Study with Balfour Beatty

The Challenge

Traditionally, anchorage solutions for backstays use steel sledges with concrete kentledge blocks loaded on to them. This method requires large quantities of concrete blocks to be delivered to the site yard from Balfour Beatty’s Raynesway, Derby stores, then distributed to site using a Man 4×4 wagon with Hiab to install. The maximum number of blocks that can be carried at any one time is 4, meaning several trips are required per location. Additionally, temporary works are required, and Trackway is also needed to get the Man 4×4 to site.


The Measure

Together with the Innovations Team, the project team at ZL Great Missenden OHL pioneered the use of the Vulcan Earth Anchor system (distributed by Anchor Systems International) as an alternative to the traditional method of anchorage. These earth anchors are installed by inserting a drive rod into the anchor driving point and knocking them into the ground. The anchors are driven into the ground by using hand tools or excavators. Ground level anchor plates can be manufactured to the required angle for each individual location as needed.

This innovative alternative meant the reduction of materials used, decreased need for temporary works, removed the need for trakway installation, reduced the construction ecological footprint (for size, setup and delivery) and reduced transport costs. Additionally, the steel drive rods can be removed and reused again. Also recycled wooden pallets are used which are returned to supplier for re-use and the plastic shrink wrap used by Anchor Systems is a Biodegradable wrap.


“Having witnessed the use of this system on site, I found the ease of this installation, very impressive. The logistical reduction and numerous beneficial practicalities speak for themselves and I would like to see the implementation of this system on other schemes where possible”
Andy Robinson, Project Supervisor National Grid.


The Results


  • Reduce relative project ecological footprint through reduction in temporary works and removal of required trakway installation (the need for 915m of trakway was mitigated)

  • Reduced need for possible trakway ecological mitigations (i.e. trakway sealing for Great Crested Newts/reptiles)

  • Delivering a cost saving of £11,849.74 (trackway and transportation costs)

  • Material reuse

  • Reduced project carbon footprint for backstays from 260,775kg to 7,727kg, for a total saving 253,048kg CO2*


*Calculated using National Grid’s Carbon Interface Tool (CIT)


Download this report HERE


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Posted in Civil Engineering & Construction, Utilities
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What Is a Vulcan Earth Anchor?

A Vulcan Earth Anchor® is a percussion driven mechanical ground anchor. It can also be referred to as an Earth Anchor or Percussion Anchor.

Vulcan Earth Anchors are used as a cost effective and rapidly installed system to provide a positive force on a verity or projects.

The Vulcan Earth Anchor range was designed by Anchor Systems (International) Ltd as a simple, reliable and cost-effective ground anchoring solution with the ability to provide immediate loading capacities from 1 – 450kN in displaceable ground conditions with extensive applications.


The concept involves a specially designed earth anchor with a larger surface area, attached to high yield tie bars or tendons to suit a variety of conditions, being driven into the ground where it is locked in position. The tensile load is applied, and the exposed end locked off and terminated.


With their ease of use and speed of installation, Vulcan Earth Anchors provide a time and cost saving alternative to more traditional means of anchoring, particularly where tight programme schedules are involved. This combined with the wide range of sizes available means that the Vulcan Earth Anchor has gained recognition across a vast array of applications internationally.



  • Larger surface area allowing the Vulcan Earth Anchor to achieve the greatest holding capacity in all ground conditions
  • Rapid installation
  • Largest range of anchors in the World ranging from 1 – 450kN+
  • We are the only company globally to manufacture and stock fully stainless-steel systems
  • Bespoke design available
  • Huge stock of plant and products with next day delivery available
  • Made in Britain


If you would like more details on our Vulcan Earth Anchor you can view our brochure or email us.


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Posted in Civil Engineering & Construction, Geotextiles, Horticulture & Agriculture, Marine, Other, Pipelines, Rail & Highways, Uncategorised, Utilities
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Anchor Systems on Site


We have been looking back at the behind the scenes and onsite work that we have been doing over the last year. Offering everything from in person and online CPD Presentations, design of products, installation and on-site training.


CPD Presentations

Want to learn more about our products and find out how they can save you time and money on your next project?

Our CPD presentations explain how our products work, the benefits of using them and also how you could utilise them in your upcoming projects. We have a choice of different topics and can offer live online presentations and face to face presentations when social distancing is relaxed.

Click here to find out more or book your CPD presentation.



We work with several Consultant Engineers that support us in providing fully indemnified designs for your projects whilst taking into account the most cost-effective solutions.

When deciding which systems to use on your projects we will always look at conducting a site test so we can be sure that you get the correct product needed and will determine what plant is required for you to complete the job.

Find out more in-depth information about our design process





Training & On-Site Support

We offer bespoke training for our entire product and plant range which can take place either at our head office in West Sussex or on site. This training will then allow your team to install our products themselves which depending on the size of your project could save you a significant amount of money.

As well as training and design, our on-site support has always been a key service to our clients. We can offer additional advice on site as well toolbox talks and site specific advice, we usually attend for the first day(s) of the installation just to offer some tips and advice and make sure that everyone installing is happy in a practical setting with handling the anchors and equipment. Click here for further information.


Installation and Plant Hire

If you would like a complete supply and installation, then we have our very own list of trained and trusted list approved installers who we can arrange to install for you.

If you would like to install yourself and have taken advantage of our training, then we can supply all the plant equipment that you will need to install our products. This equipment can either be hired or purchased directly though us.

Find out more about our plant hire.



If you would like any advice, support, or have any questions about how we could help on your next project please get in touch.


Tel: 01342 719 362



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Posted in Civil Engineering & Construction, Geotextiles, Horticulture & Agriculture, Marine, Other, Pipelines, Rail & Highways, Uncategorised, Utilities
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Replacing 12 Concrete Kentledge Blocks With a Single Anchor

Our latest site test was for a utility contractor who was looking for an alternative anchoring system for their transmission towers.

They are currently using excessive amounts of concrete to backstay their transmission towers as 8-12 kentledge blocks are needed per anchor point. A single lorry can carry 18-20 blocks so when they need to need to anchor multiple points the cost in transport and storage soon accumulates.

We installed a single AS-120 Vulcan Backstay Anchor which would replace the need for all the kentledge blocks. The anchor is percussion driven into the ground and once used the tendons and accessories can be removed from the anchor and used again at a different site.

The Vulcan Earth Anchors are much easier to transport, over 100 anchors will easily fit into the back of one van. This takes the cost of five lorries off of the budget, saving a huge amount of money and time.

The AS-120 Vulcan Backstay Anchor was successfully installed in front of the utility contractor and relating Distribution Network Operator (DNO). The anchor was driven 3 meters into the ground at a 35 degree angle proof loaded to 60kN which included all the safety factors required for this project.


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Posted in Civil Engineering & Construction, Utilities
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