GB2533691A - An overhead line crossing guard system, a method of assembling an overhead line crossing guard system and a method of disassembling an overhead line - Google Patents

An overhead line crossing guard system, a method of assembling an overhead line crossing guard system and a method of disassembling an overhead line Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2533691A
GB2533691A GB1520074.4A GB201520074A GB2533691A GB 2533691 A GB2533691 A GB 2533691A GB 201520074 A GB201520074 A GB 201520074A GB 2533691 A GB2533691 A GB 2533691A
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United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
support
overhead line
guard
line crossing
foundation pile
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GB1520074.4A
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GB2533691B (en
GB201520074D0 (en
Inventor
Charles Cassidy John
Matthew Dye Daniel
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Tower Safety Systems Ltd
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Tower Safety Systems Ltd
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Priority to GB1520074.4A priority Critical patent/GB2533691B/en
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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02GINSTALLATION OF ELECTRIC CABLES OR LINES, OR OF COMBINED OPTICAL AND ELECTRIC CABLES OR LINES
    • H02G7/00Overhead installations of electric lines or cables
    • H02G7/18Devices affording mechanical protection in the event of breakage of a line or cable, e.g. net for catching broken lines
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H02GENERATION; CONVERSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF ELECTRIC POWER
    • H02GINSTALLATION OF ELECTRIC CABLES OR LINES, OR OF COMBINED OPTICAL AND ELECTRIC CABLES OR LINES
    • H02G1/00Methods or apparatus specially adapted for installing, maintaining, repairing or dismantling electric cables or lines
    • H02G1/02Methods or apparatus specially adapted for installing, maintaining, repairing or dismantling electric cables or lines for overhead lines or cables

Abstract

An overhead line crossing guard system for guarding an asset 102 crossed by an overhead line 104 comprises a first support means 106 coupled to a first screw piling foundation pile system 112, a second support means 108 coupled to a second screw piling foundation pile system 114, and a guard means 110 connected between and supported by the first and second support means to guard the asset. The first and second foundation pile systems are adapted to be screwed into the ground on each side of the asset to anchor the first and second support means. The use of screw piling foundations means that less land area is required, and the system can be made from a small number of prefabricated parts.

Description

AN OVERHEAD LINE CROSSING GUARD SYSTEM, A METHOD OF ASSEMBLING AN OVERHEAD LINE CROSSING GUARD SYSTEM AND A METHOD OF DISASSEMBLING AN OVERHEAD LINE CROSSING GUARD SYSTEM The present invention relates to an overhead line crossing guard system, a method of assembling an overhead line crossing guard system and a method of disassembling an overhead line crossing guard system. The overhead line crossing may in particular be an overhead electrical power cable crossing an asset to be guarded.
Overhead electrical power lines are common in modern life. Power transmission lines can be seen all over the countryside supported from pylons. These electrical power lines can sometimes cross various different structures beneath them. For example, they can cross a road, motorway, building, a railway line, canal, or river. in particular, there are many overhead electrical power lines used in railways Overhead electrical power lines are connected to their supporting pylons, typically via large insulators -these are heavy objects that are suspended high in the air. These insulators (and other components) can wear out over time and may need servicing or replacing. When they are being replaced, or when maintenance work is being done on the overhead power line (e.g. to replace a power line itself, or to adjust its height, or when the supporting pylon is replaced, modified or repaired) objects can sometimes fall off. If they land on an asset below the power line there can be serious consequences. For example, if a group of insulators weighing an average 60 kg lands on a motorway, or a railway line, it can cause death or other injury, and can close the transport route for many hours.
When working on overhead electrical power lines, it is known to suspend a large net beneath the supporting pylons or power lines in order to catch things that may inadvertently fan off. The net therefore guards the asset that is being crossed by the overhead line. Such a net needs to be raised up over the asset and supported at both ends. This is done in the UK, and overseas, by erecting a scaffolding support on one side of the asset being crossed by the line, and another scaffolding support on the other side of the asset, and suspending the net between them. An example of such a prior art scaffolding structure is shown in Figures la and lb. There is a large inbuilt prejudice in the field of guard systems for overhead line crossings to use scaffolding structures either side of the asset being crossed. That is what has been done commercially, 100% of the time (or thereabouts) for the past 50 years or so. it is what customers expect (those customers being, for example, a railway infrastructure-owning company, a motorway-owning governmental body, some other asset-owning large company). It is what the engineering company contracted to perform the maintenance expects to do. The guard system is a safety system and large companies are inherently conservative when it comes to altering safety systems.
We have realised, unexpectedly, that the known way of providing guard systems for overhead line crossings, actually have a number of disadvantages. They put the health and lives of workers at risk, cost more money, take a long time to assemble, require a considerably (e.g. 10 times) larger footprint of land and take more time to plan and ensure quality control of the assembly. The guard system of the present invention improves in at least some of, and sometimes in several or all of these areas, in comparison with the known scaffolding system art.
In a first aspect, the present invention provides an overhead line crossing guard system for guarding an asset crossed by an overhead line, the system comprising: a first support means coupled to a first foundation pile system; a second support means coupled to a second foundation pile system; and a guard means connected between and supported by the first support means and the second support means to guard the asset below the overhead line, wherein the first and second foundation pile systems are adapted to be driven into the ground on each side of the asset to anchor the first and second support means.
By securing the support means using foundation piles the guard system of the present invention has a number of advantages over the scaffolding structures of the prior art. Known scaffolding structures rely on their weight, a backstay securing the structure to the ground every metre and a large footprint to provide structural stability and stop the structure from falling over. Such scaffold structures are therefore large and costly to transport; complicated to design; time consuming and dangerous to assemble and disassemble; and take up a large area of valuable land. in contrast to this, the foundation piles of the present invention grip the ground into which they are driven and anchor the guard system in both tension and compression, rather than relying on the weight, backstays and footprint of the structure for stability. The guard system of the present invention can therefore have a smaller and more compact footprint compared to the scaffolding structures of the prior art. This allows the guard system to be quickly assembled and disassembled. it also means that a smaller area of flat or stable ground is required. The guard system can therefore be positioned where required without being limited to requiring large flat areas of ground as would be required by a prior art scaffold structure.
The best foundation piles in many embodiments are screw piling foundation piles that are screwed into the ground. Although screw piling foundation piles are known in and of themselves, it is surprising that they have never been used in the narrow field of guard systems for overhead line crossings -especially in view of the large number of technical and commercial advantages discussed above. The present invention therefore provides solutions to the long existing problems of the prior art. These solutions cannot be obvious to the skilled person in the narrow field of guard systems for overhead line crossings because Ile or she is biased towards the use of scaffolding structures and their advantages are so great that they are too good to miss, once the invention has been made.
Optionally, the first support means and the second support means may each comprise a first support mast and a second support mast, the first and second support masts being connected by a transverse truss. This reduces the overall footprint of the support means and allows it to be built on smaller areas of flat ground and around any obstacles that may be close to the asset.
Optionally, any one or more of the support masts and transverse trusses may comprise one or more prefabricated modular sections. Preferably, the number of prefabricated modular sections making up each support mast or transverse truss may be: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or more, or any range chosen between any one or more of those values. The guard system is therefore not formed by a scaffolding structure with hundreds or thousands of nuts and bolts. Because the guard system is assembled from a small number of pre-fabricated modular sections of considerable length (rather than a much larger number of scaffolding poles), the quality of the structure is largely determined by factory-build quality, rather than the quality of assembling thousands of nuts and bolts by unskilled workers. The guard system of the present invention also requires less components and may therefore be perhaps 30% lighter than the equivalent prior art scaffolding structure. This means a reduction in fuel usage and emissions in transporting the guard system to the site of construction. Furthermore, the support masts of the invention can be erected far more quickly than prior art scaffolding structures. For example, a scaffolding structure with a similar height and length (for example having a height of 12m and length of 20m) may take weeks to assemble, rather than the few days required to assemble the guard system of the present invention. A guard system of the present invention having a width of about 20 m may take around 3 days to erect. Any further 20 m sections may be added, each taking a further day each. This is much quicker than the time taken to erect a scaffolding structure.
Optionally, each of the first support mast and the second support mast may be made up of no more than 2 prefabricated modular sections; or no more than 3 prefabricated modular sections; or no more than 4 prefabricated modular sections, or no more than 5 prefabricated modular sections or any number of prefabricated modular sections that is less than 20, less than 30, less than 50 or less than 100. This is significantly less than a prior art scaffolding structure.
Optionally, each of the prefabricated modular sections may be between about 1 m and 12 m in length, and preferably each of the modular sections may be about 6 m in length.
Optionally, the overhead line crossing guard system may have less than 100 joints between prefabricated modular sections and preferably may have no more than 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 14 joints between prefabricated modular sections. This is significantly less than a prior art scaffolding structure.
Optionally, each of the joints between the prefabricated modular sections may be provided by one or more connectors (such as nuts and bolts), and the overall number of connectors in the overhead line crossing guard system may be of the order of 10, 20, 30 or 40, and is not greater than 100, and preferably the overall number of connectors may be 16. This is significantly less than a prior art scaffolding structure.
Optionally, one or both of the support means may comprise a lifting mechanism arranged to move one or more of the transverse trusses between a ground level position and a raised position during assembly of the overhead line crossing guard system. This allows the transverse trusses to be assembled at or near ground level. This reduces the amount of assembly carried out at height by construction workers in comparison with a scaffolding structure. This improves safely during assembly and disassembly Optionally, the lifting mechanism may comprise at least one pulley or winch mechanism coupled to any one or more of the first and second support masts. In some embodiments, the lifting mechanism may comprise a pulley connected to one of the support masts and a separate ground-based winch, for example on a tractor or excavator being used to assemble the guard system. This allows the transverse truss to be safely lifted into position from ground level once it has been assembled.
Optionally, one or more of the transverse trusses comprises a truss latch mechanism arranged to engage with a support mast latch mechanism provided on the first and second support masts when the transverse truss is moved into the raised position. This allows a quick coupling to be made between the support masts and the transverse trusses This reduces the amount of time the transverse truss is at a height above ground and not yet supported by the support masts. The quick coupling may be weight-bearing and may be taking some or most or all of the weight of the transverse truss before the transverse truss is finally secured in place.
Optionally, one or more of the transverse trusses may comprise a gantry arranged to allow access to the guard means. This allows the guard means to be safely accessed during assembly and disassembly of the guard system, and allows objects which have fallen onto the guard means to be safely recovered.
Optionally, one or both of the support means may comprise at least one rigid stay, the at least one rigid stay comprising a first end coupled to a stay foundation pile adapted to be driven into the ground to anchor the stay and a second end coupled to one of the support masts. A rigid stay acts in both tension and compression and may therefore provide independent support to the structure. This is advantageous over back stay cables of the prior art which act only in tension in combination with the net connecting the scaffold structures.
Optionally, the second end of the at least one rigid stay is pivotally coupled to the support mast. Optionally, the at least one rigid stay is pivotable between a stowed configuration in which it lies parallel to the support mast to which it is coupled and an extended position in which it is angled relative to the support mast to which it is coupled. This allows the rigid stay to be conveniently, quickly and efficiently put in place during assembly of the guard support to ensure the support masts are quickly supported.
Optionally, in the extended position the at least one rigid stay and stay foundation pile forms an angle of about 100 to 20° to the support mast to which it is coupled, and preferably the at least one rigid stay and stay foundation pile forms an angle of about 15° to the support mast to which it is coupled. These angle provides efficient coupling between the stay foundation pile and the ground into which it is driven.
Optionally, the least one rigid stay is adjustable in length to alter the distance between the first end of the stay and the second end of the stay. This allows the angle of the stay to be conveniently selected to provide optimum support to the guard means.
Optionally, the first and second foundation pile systems comprise one or more helical foundation piles. Helical foundation piles act in both tension and compression and so provide improved coupling to the ground compared to smooth sided foundation piles.
Optionally, any one of more of the support masts has a footprint in the range of about 0.5 m2 to 3 m2, and preferably about 1.25 m2. This footprint is significantly smaller than the footprint of scaffolding structures of the prior art.
Optionally, a first one of the prefabricated modular sections may have a different weight, or a different weight per unit length if the prefabricated modular sections have different lengths, or a different material density, or a different relative strength, compared to a second one of the prefabricated modular sections. Optionally, each of the support means may comprise a first portion comprising a first material, and a second portion comprising a second material, the second material having a different density to the first. Optionally, the first material comprises steel and the second material comprises aluminium. This allows the choice of material or modular section to be tailored to its position within the support means. For example, lighter, weaker, materials can be used for sections that are to be at a greater height above the ground compared to heavier, stronger, materials used for sections used at or near ground level.
In a second aspect, the present invention provides a method of assembling an overhead line crossing guard system, the method comprising: installing a first foundation pile system at a first side of an asset crossed by the overhead line; assembling a first support means connected to the first foundation pile system; installing a second foundation pile system at a second side of the asset; assembling a second support means connected to the second foundation pile system; and connecting a guard means between the first and second support means to guard the asset below the overhead line.
In a third aspect, the present invention provides a method of disassembling an overhead line crossing guard system, the method comprising: removing a guard means arranged to guard an asset below the overhead line, the guard means connecting between and supported by a first and second support means; disassembling the first support means by disconnecting it from a first foundation pile system at a first side of an asset crossed by the overhead line; disassembling a second support means by disconnecting it from a second foundation pile system at a second side of the asset; excavating or otherwise removing (e.g. by unscrewing) the first foundation pile system; and excavating or otherwise removing (e.g. by unscrewing) the second foundation pile systcm.
Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figures la and lb show a scaffolding guard system according to the prior art; Figure 2 shows a cross section view of an overhead line crossing guard system according to an embodiment; Figure 3a shows a side view of a first support means of the overhead 1 ne crossing guard system of Figure 2; Figure 3b shows an end view of the first support means of a first support means of the overhead line crossing guard system of Figure 2; Figure 3c shows a helical screw piling used in the overhead 1 ne crossing guard system of Figure 2; Figure 4 shows a detailed view of an adjustable coupling mechanism of the overhead line crossing guard system of Figure 2; Figure 5a shows a detailed top view of a rigid stay of the overhead line crossing guard system of Figure 2; Figure 5b shows a first detailed side view of a rigid stay of the overhead line crossing guard system of Figure 2; Figure Sc shows a sccond detailed side view of a rigid stay of the overhead line crossing guard system of Figure 2; and Figures 6a to 9b show side and end views the overhead line crossing guard system of Figure 1 during assembly.
A guard system 10 of the prior art is shown in Figures la and lb. The prior art guard system 10 comprises a first scaffolding structure 12 erected on a first side of an asset crossed by an overhead line, and a second scaffolding structure 14 erected on a second side of the asset. A net 16 is connected between the structures 12, 14 by guide ropes 18, 20. As can be seen in Figures la and lb. each of the scaffolding structures 12, 14 may be made up of a plurality of interconnected scaffolding poles. For an example guard system 10 used to guard, for example, a road, each scaffolding structure may be 40 m in span, 40 m in width and 12 in in height. Such a scaffolding structure may comprise around about 11,280 metre-lengths of scaffolding poles and take 8 weeks to assemble. The scaffolding poles may be interconnected by using clamps used to grip two or more scaffolding poles to form a connection between them. The clamps may each be secured to the scaffolding poles by hand tightened nuts and bolts. There may therefore be thousands of nuts and bolts that must be tightened when assembling the structure. While constructing the scaffolding structures 12, 14, much of the work must be done at height because the structure is built layer by layer, by installing the scaffolding a pole at a time. This is dangerous and a serious risk to the safety of the construction workers tasked with assembling the scaffolding. Assembling the scaffolding structure of the prior art is therefore an expensive, time consuming and dangerous processes.
An overhead line crossing guard system 100 according to an embodiment of the invention is shown in Figures 2, 3a, and 3b. The overhead line crossing guard system 100 (referred to as the "guard system" in the following) is suitable for guarding an asset 102 crossed by an overhead line 104 such as an overhead electrical power cable or the like. The asset 102 may be anything that lies beneath the overhead line 104 that should be shielded from objects falling from the overhead line 104. The asset 102 may, for example, comprise a road, motorway, building, railway line, canal, river or farm land etc. Such valuable assets must be protected from falling components of the overhead line 104 while the overhead line is being serviced or replaced.
The guard system 100 comprises a first support means 106 and a second support means 108. When the guard system 100 is assembled, the first support means 106 is located on a first side of the asset 102, and the second support means 108 is located on a second side of the asset 102. For example, where the asset 102 is a road or railway track, the first and second support means 106, 108 may be located on the land either side of the road of railway track (e.g, on an embankment next to the road or railway track). The guard system 100 further comprises a guard means 110 connected between and supported by the first support means 106 and the second support means 108 to guard the asset 102. The guard means may comprise a net, mesh or fabric or the like that is suspended between the first and the second support means 106, 108. The guard means 110 is arranged to extend between the asset and the overhead line to shield the asset from falling objects. The guard means 110 is therefore adapted to catch any objects falling from the overhead line 104. In some embodiments, the span of the guard means 1 10 may be about 10 in, 20 m, 30 m, 40 m, 50 m, 60 in, 80 m or more, and any range defined between any of those values depending of the specific application. The overall size of the guard means may be about 10 in or more in height, m or more in width (e.g. distance extending along the length of the asset) and 30 in or more in span (e.g. the distance in a direction crossing the asset). in some embodiments, the mass of the guard system 100 may be about 3 tonnes or less, 5 tonnes or less, 8 tonnes or less or 10 tonnes or less. This is significantly lighter than a scaffolding structure of the prior art. in some embodiments, the guard system 100 may meet the drop test requirements of National Grid guidance note DH25 which provides specifications for overhead line crossing guards. For example, the guard system 100 may pass a drop test in which a 55 kg mass is dropped from a height of 15 m onto the guard means, indeed, engineering models show that our system does pass the DH25 drop test.
The first support means 106 is coupled to a first helical screw-piling foundation pile system 112 and the second support means 108 is coupled to a helical screw-piling second foundation pile system 114. The first foundation pile system 112 may be installed on a first side of the asset 102 while the second foundation pile system 114 may be installed on a second side of the asset 102. Each of the first and second foundation pile systems 112 114 may comprise one or more helical screw foundation piles adapted to be driven into the ground to anchor the first and second support means 106, 108.
By securing the first and second support means 106, 108 using helical screw foundation piles the guard system 100 of the present invention has a number of advantages over the scaffold structures of the prior art. For example, because helical screw foundation piles grip the ground into which they are driven they anchor the guard means in both tension and compression. A prior art scaffolding structure on the other hand simply rests on the ground and relies on its mass and footprint to resist tension forces. For this reason, scaffolding structures of the prior art are large in size and may require additional concrete masses to weigh them down. The use of foundation piles allows the guard system 100 to have a small and compact footprint compared to such scaffolding structures. This allows the guard system to be quickly assembled and disassembled. It also means that a smaller area of ground is required. Furthermore, the guard system 100 need not be built on a flat area of ground as is required for a scaffolding structure. The foundation piles of the guard system 100 may allow it to be used on sloping or uneven ground. For example, the foundation piles can be elevated above ground (e.g. having an end protruding out of the ground) to enable a flat grillage connection system to be installed. The guard system can therefore be positioned where required without being limited to where a large flat area of ground is available.
Furthermore, the flat ground needed for a scaffolding structure can be a further distance from an asset being crossed than a more agile guard system such as that of the present invention can achieve. For example, if a road or railway line has a bank to one side, or both sides, scaffolding systems need to find a flat place, typically above the bank, for their location. This can mean that the length of the net beneath the line being guarded can be longer than one firsts thinks -for example, the scaffolding to one side of the asset may be displaced along the length of the motorway/railway line, relative to the scaffolding to the other side of the railway/motorway, because that is where the two areas of flat ground occur. The guard system 100 is more agile in that it can be positioned on only a small area of flat land or even on a slope. The guard means 110 can therefore be shorter, because the first and second support means can be close to the asset 102 being crossed and dose to each other.
Each of the first support means 106 and the second support means 108 comprise a first support mast 116a, a second support mast 116b and a transverse truss 118a connecting the first and second support masts 116a, 116b. The transvers truss may be connected at or near to the top of the support mast I16a, 1 16b. The support masts in some embodiments may be 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15 or 20 m in height, or in a range chosen between any one or more of those values. In some embodiments, the first and second support means 106, 108 may each comprise any number of additional support masts and transverse trusses. For example, in the embodiment shown in the figures, each support means 106, 108 comprises a first support mast 116a, a second support mast 116b and third support mast 116c, connected by a first transverse truss 118a and a second transverse truss 118b. The number of support masts may, for example, be chosen according to the size of the guard means to be supported.
In some embodiments, each of the first and second support means 106, 108 may have the same number of support masts and trusses. In other embodiments, each of the support means 106, 108 may have different numbers of support masts and trusses as would be apparent to the skilled person Each of the support masts II 6a, 116b, 116c may have a footprint of 0.5 m2, 0.75 m2 1 m2, 1.25 m2, 1.5 m2, 1.75 m2, 2 m2, 2.5 m2 or more, or may be in a range defined by any one or more of those values. The support masts 116a, 116b, 116c of the guard system 100 therefore have a significantly smaller footprint compared to a prior art scaffolding structure. By producing the first and second support means 106, 108 from a combination of masts and transverse trusses rather than scaffolding the footprint of each support means 106, 108 can be reduced (e.g. the footprint of the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c may be significantly less than the footprint of a scaffolding tower of the prior art). The guard system 100 therefore obstructs the view far less than a large scaffolding structure -it is more aesthetically pleasing to passers-by and has less of an environmental impact. This can be illustrated by considering that an example prior art structure, such as a 12 m by 20 m scaffolding structure requires a 12 in by 20 m area of footprint i.e. 240 m2. The guard system 100 of the present invention however may, in one example embodiment having two support masts each with a rigid stay (as described later), have a footprint of 2x6x2m i.e. only 24 m2. This is because the guard system 100 uses individual support masts each having a footprint of only, for example, 2 in2. Furthermore, in some embodiments rigid stays at an angle of about 15° may be used to further reduce the footprint. The footprint of the guard system 100 may therefore, in this example embodiment, be 10% of the footprint of a prior art scaffolding structure.
This also means that less land must be rented from the landowner who owns the land next to the asset to be guarded. Typically, a scaffolding structure of the prior art requires quite a lot of land to be rented, for a long time. It needs a significant width of land in a direction away from the asset to accommodate the scaffolding structure. It also leaves the land scarred when it is removed -because the scaffolding sits on planks and kill the grass upon which they are placed. There arc also a great many back stay cables required by a scaffolding structure, and this means that even more land is unusable to the landowner behind the scaffolding structure, in comparison with the guard system 100. Being able to use the guard system of the present invention with a smaller footprint means that it can get into areas where the prior art cannot work properly, and so the guard system 100 is a more flexible system. Once the guard system 100 has been disassembled it is much harder to tell that it was ever there in the first place in comparison with the prior art. This means that it does less damage to the environment and keeps land owners happy and willing to rent land.
The first and second foundation pile systems 112, 114 may each comprise any number of foundation piles suitable to anchor the first and second support means 106, 108. For example, each of the foundation pile systems may comprise a first foundation pile connected to the first support mast 116a, and a second foundation pile connected to the second support mast 116b. in the described embodiment, two foundation piles 120a, 120b, 120c, 120d, 120e, 120f are provided for each support mast as shown in Figure 3b. In other embodiments, any number of foundation piles may be chosen for each support mast according to, for example, the height of the support mast and the stability of the ground in which the foundation piles are to be driven.
In the described embodiment, each of the foundation piles 120a, 120b, 120c, 120d, 120e, 120f comprise a helical foundation pile as is known in the art (e.g. as described in UK Patent Application Numbers GB2397327 and GB2360809). An example of a helical screw piling 121 suitable for use with the present invention is shown in Figure 3c. Such helical screw pilings may comprise a number of modular sections 121a, 121b. In some embodiments, a first of the modular sections may be provided with a helical screw 12Ic to allow the screw-piling to be screwed into the ground. The additional modular sections may be straight sided tubular sections that can be attached once the first section has been screwed into the ground to extend the length of the screw piling. These additional modular sections may, or may not, also have a thread or screw formation on them to grip the ground in compression or tension. In some embodiments however, other types of foundation piles may be used. The foundation piles may, for example, be non-helical screw piles or may be driven tubular piles or other suitable foundation piles that are known in the art.
The first and second foundation pile systems 112, 114 may be coupled to the support masts 116a, 1164), 116c via a grillage and grout box system as is known in the art. For example, a grillage formed from a framework of struts may be coupled to the end of the foundation piles at ground level. The grillage may include one or more grout boxes to cover any screws or bolts used to connect the grillage to the foundation piles to prevent tampering. This is however only one such example, and the support masts may be coupled to the foundation pile systems according to any suitable means that would be apparent to the skilled person. For example, they could be directly attached to the foundation piles. in some embodiments, the support masts (or one of the modular sections forming the support masts) may be integrally formed with a screw pile foundation.
The support masts 116a, 116b, I16c and transverse trusses 1 I 8a, 118b each comprise one or more prefabricated modular sections. in the described embodiment, each support mast comprises three prefabricated modular sections 122a, 122b, 122c (labelled only for the first support mast in Figure 3b). Similarly, in the described embodiment, each transverse truss comprises three prefabricated modular sections 124a, 1246, 124c (labelled only for the first transverse truss in Figure 3b). in other embodiments, the number of prefabricated modular sections making up each support mast or transverse truss may be: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or more, or any range chosen between any one or more of those values. In some embodiments, each of the modular sections of the support masts or transverse trusses may have a length of about 2 m, 4 m, 6 m, 8 m, 10 m or any range chosen between any one or more of those values. In some embodiments, the length of the modular sections may be the same, or in other embodiments they may be different according to their location within the guard system [00. In some embodiments, the guard system 100 may have less than 20, less than 50 or less than 100 joints between prefabricated modular sections. In some embodiments, the guard system 100 may have no more than 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 14 joints between prefabricated modular sections. This is significantly less than the hundreds or thousands of joints in a scaffolding structure.
By forming the support masts and transverse trusses from prefabricated modular sections, the guard system 100 can be largely pre-manufactured before being transported to the site of the overhead line, rather than requiring a large amount of onsite assembly as is required for a scaffolding structure of the prior art. Each of the modular sections may be attached together using connectors such as bolts or screws or the like. The support means 106, 108 of the present invention are therefore made up of significantly fewer components and have significantly fewer connectors than a scaffolding structure of the prior art. For example, the number of connectors (e.g. nuts and bolts) used overall in the guard system 100 may be of the order of 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or more, or any range defined by any one or more of those values. In some embodiments, there may be less than 80, less than 100, less than 150, less than 500 or less than 1000 connectors. In some embodiments, there may be 16 connectors. This is significantly less than the thousands of nuts and bolts that are typically required for a scaffolding structure. In some embodiments, the connectors (e.g. nuts and bolts) used to connect the modular sections may be tightened to a torque of, for example, about 450 Newton metres (Nm). This is significantly greater than the torque applied to tighten the nuts and bolts of a scaffolding structure, which are typically hand-tightened.
The first and second support means 106, 108 can therefore be more quickly and safely assembled. The reduction in time taken to assemble and/or disassemble the guard system 100 is important because it reduces the time that an asset such as a motorway, for example, needs closing or having traffic flow reduced (e.g. by coned off safety lanes). This therefore reduces the time that the capacity of the transport network is reduced. It also reduces the frustration for drivers, and reduces extra carbon emissions produced by slow-moving and stationary traffic.
The quality of the assembly and manufacture of a prefabricated modular structure can also be more easily controlled by using offsite fabrication. The safety can also be more easily assured. Scaffolding structures of the prior art require bespoke designing and then onsite quality control by an engineer to check the structure has been built according to specification A scaffolding structure must first be designed by a first engineer, before the designs are checked by a second engineer. Once the scaffolding structure has been built by a subcontractor perhaps employing unskilled workers, it must again be inspected by an engineer to check it has been built to the approved design. Regular, (perhaps monthly) checks on the structure must also be performed by an engineer to ensure that it has not been tampered with or the design changed. This process is difficult, expensive and very time consuming with a large and complex scaffolding structure built by unskilled workers. The prefabricated modular sections of the guard system 100 can be quality checked before leaving the factory where they are made to ensure high levels of manufacturing quality. This ensures that the guard system 100 is safe and fit for purpose without the need for time consuming onsite inspections. Any onsite inspection of the guard system 100 can be done quickly because the guard system 100 comprises few components and connection means to hold it together and so is quick to inspect.
In the described embodiment, each of the modular sections of the support masts I 16a, 116b. 116c and the transverse trusses 118a. 118b may comprise a pre-fabricated framework of elongate bars or struts. In other embodiments, each of the modular sections may comprise any suitable pre-fabricated structure as would be apparent to the skilled person. The guard system 100 is therefore not formed from scaffolding.
In some embodiments, each of the connecting means used to couple each of the prefabricated modular sections forming the guard systcm 100 (e.g. coupling the support masts to the transverse trusses, and the couplings between prefabricated modular sections of the support masts and the transverse trusses) may be adjustable coupling mechanisms 126 as shown in more detail in Figure 4. Each of the adjustable coupling mechanisms 126 may be arranged to be adjustable in length to allow varying separation between the parts of the guard system 100. This may allow for tolerances in the manufacture and assembly of the guard system. For example, one or more adjustable coupling mechanisms 126 may be provided at a joint between one of the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c and a respective one of the transverse trusses 118a, 118b. This allows tolerances in the positioning of the foimdation pile system used to anchor the support mast and the vertical orientation of the support mast to be accounted for during assembly. in the described embodiment, each of the adjustable coupling mechanisms 126 comprise a threaded bar 128a attached to a first plate 128b. The first plate 128b is adapted to be coupled to a second plate 128c attached to a neighbouring component of the structure via coupling means such as screws and bolts or the like. The threaded bar allows the separation of the plates 12813, 128c to be adjusted. The adjustable coupling mechanism may be used to connect any of the prefabricated modular sections of the support masts and the transverse trusses. In other embodiments, alternative forms of adjustable coupling mechanisms may be provided. In yet other embodiments, some or all of the couplings between modular sections may be direct couplings rather than adjustable couplings.
In some embodiments, one or both of the support means 106, 108 may comprise a lifting mechanism arranged to move each of the transverse trusses 118a, 118b between a ground level position and a raised position during assembly of the guard system 100.
The lifting mechanism may, for example, comprise one or more winch or pulley mechanisms 130a, 130b, 130c coupled to either one or more of the support masts 116a, 1 16b. The lifting mechanism may be operated from ground level during assembly of the guard system 100. This allows the transverse trusses 118a, 118b to be assembled at ground level before they are raised into position at or near the top of the support masts 116a, 116b. This reduces the amount of assembly work that must be carried out at height and so may make the guard system 100 safer to assemble.
In some embodiments, one or more of the transverse trusses I I 8a, 118b may each comprise a latch mechanism (not shown in the figures) arranged to engage with the first and second support masts 116a, 116b, 116c when the transverse truss 118a, 118b is moved into the raised position. The latch mechanism may be moved from a disengaged position to an engaged position in which the transverse truss 118a, 118b is coupled to the respective support masts 116a, 116b, 116c. The latch mechanism may move automatically from the disengaged position to the engaged position when the transverse truss 118a, 118b is moved into contact with a respective pair of support masts 116a, 116b, 116c. A biasing means such as a spring or the like may be provided to maintain the latch mechanism in the engaged position once contact has been made between the transverse truss 118a, 118b and the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c. In other embodiments, the latch mechanism may be a mechanism comprising two or more interlocking fingers adapted to interlock in an engaged position. Such a mechanism requires no moving parts and may therefore be simple and easy to make and use. This may allow a quick and efficient temporary connection to be made between the transverse trusses 118a, 118b and support masts 116a, 116b, 116c during assembly of the guard system 100. Once the temporary connection has been made, a further connection can be made using a screws or bolts or the like or the adjustable connecting mechanism described above. This reduces the difficulty in attaching the truss to the masts while working at height and also the amount of time that work at height must be carried out during assembly of the guard system.
In some embodiments, any one or more of the transverse trusses 118a, 11 8b may each comprise a gantry 132 arranged to allow access to the guard means 110. The gantry 132 may be arranged to run along part or all of the length of each transverse truss and may be a prefabricated part of the transverse truss to allow easy assembly. The gantry may comprise, for example, a raised platform or walkway. The gantry may, for example, be suitable for supporting the weight of one or more people so that they may access the guard means 110 from the gantry. The gantries 132 provide a walkway that allows easy access to guard means 110 so that it can be coupled to the each of the support means 106, 108 during assembly. Access is also provided to allow any objects that have fallen onto the guard means 110 to be recovered. In some embodiments, one or more of the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c may be provided with a ladder, possibly running from ground level to the gantry to allow access. The ladder may provide safe, easy access to the upper part of the support masts and gantry 132. In some embodiments, the ladder may not reach the ground level in order to deter casual passers-by from climbing the structure. in some embodiments, a portion of the guard system, for example a lower portion of each support mast 116a, 116b, and/or support stay, may be wrapped in a protective covering of sheet material arranged to protect the structure from tampering or vandalism, and/or to make it harder to climb. As the guard system of the present invention has a smaller and compact footprint, less protective wrapping/covering may be required in comparison with a prior art scaffolding structure. Furthermore, scaffolding structures may require 24 hour security monitoring, perhaps using onsite security guards, to prevent tampering and vandalism. This may not be required for the guard system 100 because of the protective covering, which can be made to a strength adequate to resist vandalism, which is more difficult for a large scaffolding structure.
In some embodiments, one or both of the support means 106 108 may comprise at least one rigid stay 134. The at least one rigid stay is arranged to connect between the ground around the support means at first end of the stay via a stay foundation pile 136, and a point on the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c or transverse trusses 118a, 118b at a second end of the stay. The first end of the rigid stay may be adapted to couple to a stay foundation pile 136, the stay foundation pile being adapted to be driven into the ground to anchor the stay. In the described embodiment, a rigid stay is provided on each support mast whereas in other embodiments any number of rigid stays may be provided on each support mast 116a, 116b, 116c. In other embodiments, one or more rigid stays 134 may additionally or alternatively be provided on one or more of the transverse trusses 1 I 8a, 1 I8b, in some embodiments, the rigid stay (or stays) may be provided at or near to the top of each support mast to aid structural stability. In some embodiments, the rigid stays may additionally, or alternatively be provided at the top of the first (or lower) modular section of one or each of the support masts. In the described embodiment, the rigid stays 134 are arranged to extend away from the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c in a direction opposite to the guard means 110. in other embodiments, the rigid stays 134 may extend in any direction away from the support masts II 6a, II 6b, II 6c or transverse trusses II 8a, 1 1 8b. By providing a rigid stay 134 anchored by a foundation pile the stay 134 may act in both tension and compression to provide further structural strength to the support means 106, 108. This is advantageous when compared to prior art tether ropes which act only in tension. By using rigid stays 134 the number of stays may be reduced. This reduces the complexity of the guard system 100, reduces the overall footprint and makes the guard system quick to assemble. By acting in compression and tension, the rigid stays 134 may also provide independent support to the support means 106, 108 before the guard means 110 is connected between them. By acting independently of the guard means, the use of rigid stays allows the guard means to be adjusted in height without removing any of the stays supporting the structure. This is not the case with the prior art, where the guide ropes used to secure the scaffolding are typically also used to hold the net in place. In some embodiments, the first and second support means 106, 108 may be provided with additional strengthening means such as one or more rope or wire cross bracers as shown in Figure 3b, As shown in more detail in Figures 5a, 5b, and 5c, the second end of each of the rigid stays 134 may be pivotally coupled to one the support masts I I 6a, I I 6b, I I 6c, in other embodiments, each of the rigid stays 134 may be pivotally coupled to one or more of the transverse trusses 118a, 118b. Each of the rigid stays 134 may be pivotablc between a stowed configuration, in which the stay lies parallel to the body of the support mast 116a, 116b, 116c to which it is coupled (e.g. parallel to a longitudinal axis running along the length of the support mast), and an extended position, in which it is angled relative to the support mast 116a, II6b, II6c to which it is coupled. In some embodiments, when in the extended position, each stay 100 forms an angle of about 100 to 20° to the support mast (or transverse truss) to which it is coupled. In some embodiments, each of the stays forms an angle of about 15° to the support mast (or transverse truss) to which it is coupled. The stay foundation pile is angled at an angle corresponding to that of the rigid stay. These angles are advantageous because they provide a high level of grip between the stay foundation pile 136 and the ground. Furthermore, the use of a rigid stay at a smaller angle relative to the support mast may further reduce the overall footprint of the guard system 100.
For example, a scaffolding structure of the prior art may require support ropes which are typically at an angle of 450 and so extend a greater distance from the structure they support. This means that the overall footprint of a scaffolding structure is greater than the footprint of the guard system 100 of the present invention.
In some embodiments, each of rigid stays 134 may be adjustable in length to increase or decrease the distance between the point of connection to the support mast and the point of connection to the stay foundation pile 136 (e.g. the distance between the first end and the second end of the rigid stay). This allows the angle of the rigid stay relative to the support mast to be altered according to the height of the support mast. In some embodiments, each of the rigid stays 134 may be formed from one Or more prefabricated modular sections 134a, 134b, 134c. These modular sections may, in some embodiments, be chosen from a set of modular sections each having different lengths. This allows the length of each rigid stay 134 to be adjusted by choosing sections of the appropriate length from the set. In other embodiments, each of the rigid stays 134 may be provided with a telescopic portion so that they are adjustable in length. In some embodiments, a screw length adjustment mechanism (e.g. the adjustable coupling 126 described above) may be provided to alter the length of the rigid stay. The length may also be adjusted once the rigid stay 134 has been coupled to the stay foundation pile 136 to tension the stay 134.
In some embodiments, a first one of the modular sections of the guard system 100 may have a different weight (or a different weight per unit length if the sections have different lengths) compared to a second one of the modular sections. The weight of the modular sections may be varied in a number of ways. For example, some of the modular sections may be made from a less dense material compared to other modular sections (e.g. aluminium may be used for some modular sections rather than steel used for others). In other embodiments, the quantity of material may be reduced in some of the modular sections in order to reduce their weight. For example, the wall thickness of the tubular struts used to form the modular sections may be varied in order to alter the weight of the modular sections. In yet other embodiments, the weight per unit length of the modular sections may vary within each modular section (e.g. along the length of each modular section) This allows the materials of the guard system to be tailored to their position within the system. For example, lighter modular sections may be used at points in the guard system 100 where they will be at a greater height. In some embodiments, the strength of the modular sections may also be altered. Stronger modular sections may be used at points lower to the ground whereas modular sections that are weaker may be used at greater heights where their strength is less important.
A method of assembling the guard system 100 is shown in the sequence of Figures 6a to 9b. The method begins by installing a first foundation pile system at a first side of an asset crossed by the overhead line as shown in Figures 6a and 6b. Installing the first foundation pile system may comprise driving (e.g. screwing) foundation piles 120a, 120b, 102c, 120d, 120e, 120f into the ground. In the described embodiment, two foundation piles are provided for each support mast of the first support means. Once the foundation piles are installed, the first support means 106 may be assembled as shown in Figures 7a and 7b. Assembling the first support means 106 may comprise connecting the first support means 106 to the first foundation pile system. This may be done via a grillage and grout box system as is known in the art and described above.
Assembling the first support means 106 may further comprise connecting one or more prefabricated modular sections to form each of the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c as shown in Figures 7a and 7b. in some embodiments, the prefabricated modular sections may be assembled using a hydraulic excavator, but this is only one example. This allows the prefabricated sections to be assembled quickly and efficiently while minimising the work that must be done at height to improve safety for the construction workers. The support masts 116a, 116b, 116c may be assembled by attaching a first prefabricated section to its corresponding foundation piles 120a, 120b, 102c, 120d, 120e, 120f, followed by attaching a second (or more) prefabricated sections to each first prefabricated section as shown in the figures. This is however only one such example. and sections of the support masts 116a, 116b, I 16c may be assembled in any order. For example, the first support mast 116a may be entirely assembled before moving on to the assembly of the second and third support masts 116b, 116c. Each support mast may, for example, be assembled by connecting the modular sections at ground level before lifting the assembled support mast and connecting it to the foundation pile system. Furthermore, the foundation pile system may be entirely installed in a first step of the assembly method as shown in the figures. However, in other embodiments, the installation of the foundation piles 120a, 120b, 102c, 120d, 120e, 120f may be interspersed with the assembly of the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c.
In some embodiments, the support masts and transverse trusses of each support means may be assembled at ground level by connecting all of the modular sections forming the transverse trusses and mast sections. Once assembled, this structure may be raised into position and connected to the foundation pile systems. This may further reduce the amount of work done at height.
In some embodiments, the amount of work done at height during assembly of the guard system 100 may be reduced by between 80% and 90% in comparison with assembling a scaffolding structure of the prior art. This therefore improves the safety of the workers tasked with carrying out the assembly. The completed support masts 116a, 116b, 116c are shown in Figures 8a and 8b.
Once at least two of the support masts 116a, 116b, I I6c have been assembled, the assembly method may continue with coupling a transverse truss 118a, 118b between the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c. As can be seen in Figures 9a and 9b, each of the transverse trusses I I8a, Ilttb may first be assembled at ground level from one or more prefabricated modular sections. The method further comprises lifting each transverse truss 118a, 118b between the ground level position and a raised position via the lifting mechanism provided on each support means, The method of assembling the guard system may further comprise installing (or screwing into the ground) at least one stay foundation pile 136 and coupling a rigid stay 134 between the at least one stay foundation pile and any one of the support masts I I6a, 1166, I I6c. in the described embodiment, the stay foundation pile 136 is installed as part of the first foundation pile system, but in other embodiments, the stay foundation pile 136 may be installed separately. The rigid stay 134 may be installed once the support masts and transverse trusses are fully assembled, or in other embodiments the rigid stay 134 may be added before the transverse trusses are coupled to the masts to improve the stability of the support masts I I 6a, 116b, 116c while attaching the transverse trusses I I 8a, I 18b. The method may further comprise extending the length of the rigid stay 134 to achieve the correct angle relative to the support mast 116a, 116b, 116c to which the rigid stay 134 is coupled. Extending the length of the rigid stay 134 may comprise coupling one or more modular sections of differing lengths to achieve the desired overall length of the rigid stay 134. In other embodiments, the rigid stay 134 may be telescopic or have some other length altering mechanism to &ter its length as described above.
The process shown in Figures 6a to 9b and described above may be repeated for the second foundation pile system 114 and the second support means 108. In some embodiments, the first and second foundation pile systems 112, 114 may be installed before moving on to the assembly of the first and second support means 106, 108 as shown in the figures. However, in other embodiments, the first foundation pile system 112 may be installed, followed by the assembly of the first support means 106. This may then be followed by installation of the second foundation pile system 114 and second support means 108 on the other side of the asset 102.
Once the first and second support means 106, 108 have been fully assembled, the guard means 110 may be connected between the first and second support means 106, 108 to arrive at the completed guard system shown in Figure 2. In some embodiments, the guard means 110 may be connected via the transverse trusses 118a, 110 of each support means, which may be accessed via the gantries 132. In other embodiments, the guard means 110 may be connected via the support masts 116a, 116b, 116c. In some embodiments, a further lifting mechanism may be provided to winch or pull the guard means 110 into position from ground level.
Once the guard system 100 is no longer required, it may be disassembled using the reverse of the assembly method described above. The foundation pile systems may be removed by excavating (e.g. unscrewing, digging or pulling) the pile from the ground.
A method of disassembling an overhead line crossing guard system may for example comprise: removing a guard means arranged to guard an asset below the overhead line, the guard means connecting between and supported by a first and second support means; disassembling the first support means by disconnecting it from a first foundation pile system at a first side of an asset crossed by the overhead line; disassembling a second support means by disconnecting it from a second foundation pile system at a second side of the asset; excavating the first foundation pile system; and excavating the second foundation pile system.

Claims (17)

  1. CLAIMS1. An overhead line crossing guard system for guarding an asset crossed by an overhead line, the system comprising: a first support means coupled to a first screw piling foundation pile system; a second support means coupled to a second screw piling foundation pile system; and a guard means connected between and supported by the first support means and the second support means to guard the asset below the overhead line, wherein the first and second foundation pile systems are adapted to be screwed into the ground on each side of the asset to anchor the first and second support means.
  2. 2. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 1, wherein the first support means and the second support means each comprise a first support mast and a second support mast, the first support mast being connected to the second support mast by a transverse truss.
  3. 3 An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 2, wherein any one or more of the support masts and transverse trusses comprise one or more prefabricated modular sections.
  4. 4. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 3, wherein each of the first support mast and the second support mast is made up of: no more than 2 prefabricated modular sections; or no more than 3 prefabricated modular sections; or no more than 4 prefabricated modular sections; or no more than 5 prefabricated modular sections or any number of prefabricated modular sections that is less than 20.
  5. 5. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 3 or claim 4, wherein each of the prefabricated modular sections is between about 1 m and 12 m in length, and preferably wherein each of the modular sections is about 6 m in length.
  6. 6. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 3 to 5, the overhead line crossing guard system having less than 100 joints between prefabricated modular sections and preferably having no more than 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 14 joints between prefabricated modular sections.
  7. 7. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 6, wherein each of the joints between the prefabricated modular sections is provided by one or more connectors (such as nuts and bolts), and wherein the overall number of connectors in the overhead line crossing guard system is of the order of 10, 20, 30 or 40, and is not greater than 100, and preferably the overall number of connectors is 16.
  8. 8. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 2 to 7, wherein one or both of the support means comprises a lifting mechanism, such as a pulley, arranged to move any one of the transverse trusses between a ground level position and a raised position during assembly of the overhead line crossing guard system.
  9. 9. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 8, wherein the lifting mechanism comprises at least one winch mechanism, the winch mechanism being coupled to any one or more of the first and second support masts or provided on a machine used to construct the overhead line crossing guard system.
  10. 10. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 8 or claim 9, wherein one or more of the transverse trusses comprises a truss latch mechanism arranged to engage with a support mast latch mechanism provided on the respective first and second support masts when the transverse truss is moved into the raised position.
  11. 11. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 2 to 10, wherein one or more of the transverse trusses comprises a gantry arranged to allow access to the guard means.
  12. 12. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 2 to I I, wherein one or both of the support means comprises at least one rigid stay, the at least one rigid stay comprising a first end coupled to a stay screw piling foundation pile adapted to be screwed into the ground to anchor the stay and a second end coupled to one of the support masts.
  13. 13. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 12, wherein the second end of the at least one rigid stay is pivotally coupled to the support mast.
  14. 14. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 13, wherein the at least one rigid stay is piyotable between a stowed configuration in which it lies parallel to the support mast to which it is coupled and an extended position in which it is angled relative to the support mast to which it is coupled.
  15. 15. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 14, wherein in the extended position the at least one rigid stay and stay foundation pile forms an angle of about 100 to 20° to the support mast to which it is coupled, and preferably the at least one rigid stay and stay foundation pile forms an angle of about 15° to the support mast to which it is coupled.
  16. 16. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 12 to 15 wherein the at least one rigid stay is adjustable in length to alter the distance between the first end of the stay and the second end of the stay.
  17. 17. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any preceding claim, wherein the first and second screw piling foundation pile systems comprise one or more helical screw foundation piles 18 An overhead line crossing guard crossing system according to any of claims 2 to 17, wherein any one of more of the support masts has a footprint in the range of about 0.5 m2to 3 m2, and preferably about 1.25 m2.19. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any preceding claim, the overhead line crossing guard system having a height of about 10 m or more and/or a width of about 20 m or more and/or a span of about 20 m or more.20. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 3 to 19, wherein a first one of the prefabricated modular sections has a different weight, or a different weight per unit length if the prefabricated modular sections have different lengths, compared to a second one of the prefabricated modular sections.21. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 20, wherein the first one of the prefabricated modular sections comprises steel and the second one of the prefabricated modular sections comprises aluminium, or wherein the wall thickness of a plurality of tubular struts used to form the first one of the prefabricated modular sections is greater than the wall thickness of a plurality, of tubular struts used to form the second one of the prefabricated modular sections 22. A kit of parts arranged to be assembled into the overhead line crossing guard system according to any preceding claim. 10 23. A method of assembling an overhead line crossing guard system, the method comprising: screwing into the ground a first screw piling foundation pile system at a first side of an asset crossed by the overhead line; assembling a first support means connected to the first foundation pile system; screwing into the ground a second screw piling foundation pile system at a second side of the asset; assembling a second support means connected to the second foundation pile system; and connecting a guard means between the first and second support means to guard the asset below the overhead line.24. A method according to claim 23, wherein screwing each of the first and second screw piling foundation pile systems into the ground comprises screwing a first screw foundation pile and a second screw foundation pile into the ground, and wherein assembling the first support means and the second support means comprises assembling a first support mast coupled to each first foundation pile, and a second support mast coupled to each second foundation pile.25. A method according to claim 24, wherein assembling each of the support masts comprises connecting one or more prefabricated modular sections to form each support mast.26. A method according to claim 25, wherein assembling each of the first and second support means comprises: joining one or more of the prefabricated modular sections horizontally at ground level to form each support mast or at least a section of it; tilting each support mast or mast section into a generally vertical orientation once the modular sections are joined together; and connecting each of the support masts or mast sections to the respective foundation pile system.27. A method according to claim 24 or claim 25 or claim 26, wherein assembling each of the first and second support means further comprises coupling a transverse truss between the first support mast and the second support mast of each support means.28. A method according claim 27, wherein coupling each of the transverse trusses comprises lifting each transverse truss between a ground level position and a raised position via a lifting mechanism provided on each support means.29. A method according to claim 28, further comprising assembling each of the transverse trusses from one or more prefabricated modular sections before moving each of the transverse trusses to the raised position.30. A method according to any of claims 24 to 29, further comprising screwing into the ground at least one stay screw foundation pile and coupling a rigid stay between the at least one stay foundation pile and any one of the support masts.31. A method according to any of claims 24 to 30 further comprising wrapping at least lower end regions of the support masts and /or stay ( if provided) with a wrapping to hinder attempts to climb the masts and/or stays.32. A method of disassembling an overhead line crossing guard system, the method comprising: removing a guard means arranged to guard an asset below the overhead line, the guard means connecting between and supported by a first and second support means; disassembling the first support means by disconnecting it from a first screw piling foundation pile system at a first side of an asset crossed by the overhead line; disassembling a second support means by disconnecting it from a second screw piling foundation pile system at a second side of the asset; unscrewing the first screw piling foundation pile system from the ground; and unscrewing the second screw piling foundation pile system from the ground.33. A mcthod according to claim 31, wherein disassembling each of the first and second support means comprises disassembling a first support mast coupled to a first screw foundation pile, and a second support mast coupled to a second screw foundation pile.34. A method according to claim 32, wherein disassembling each of the support means comprises disconnecting one or more prefabricated modular sections forming each support mast 35. A method according to claim 32 or claim 33 wherein disassembling each of the support means comprises: disconnecting each of the support masts from the respective screw foundation pile systems; tilting each support mast from a generally vertical orientation into a generally horizontal orientation at ground level; disconnecting one or more of the prefabricated modular sections forming the support mast to separate the modular sections.36. A method according to claim 32 or claim 33 or claim 34, wherein disassembling each of the first and second support means further comprises uncoupling a transverse truss extending between the first support mast and the second support mast of each support means.37. A method according claim 35, wherein uncoupling each of the transverse trusses comprises lowering each transverse truss between a raised position and a ground level position via a lifting mechanism provided on each support means.38. A method according to claim 36, further comprising disassembling each of the transverse trusses from one or more prefabricated modular sections after moving each of the transverse trusses to the ground level position.39. A method according to any of claims 32 to 37, further comprising uncoupling a rigid stay between at least one stay screw foundation pile and any one of the support masts, the method further comprising unscrewing the at least one stay screw foundation pile.31. An overhead line crossing guard system, a method of assembling an overhead line crossing guard system and a method of disassembling an overhead line crossing guard system substantially as described herein with reference to any one of Figures 2 to 9b.Amendments to the Claims have been filed as follows:CLAIMS1. An overhead line crossing guard system for guarding an asset crossed by an overhead line, the system comprising: a first support means coupled to a first screw piling foundation pile system; a second support means coupled to a second screw piling foundation pile system; and a guard means connected between and supported by the first support means and the second support means to guard the asset below the overhead line, wherein the first and second foundation pile systems are adapted to be screwed into the ground on each side of the asset to anchor the first and second support means.2. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 1, wherein the first support means and the second support means each comprise a first support mast and a second support mast, the first support mast being connected to the second support mast by a transverse truss.Cr) 3 An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 2, wherein any one or more of the support masts and transverse trusses comprise one or more CO 20 prefabricated modular sections.4. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 3, wherein each of the first support mast and the second support mast is made up of: no more than 2 prefabricated modular sections; or no more than 3 prefabricated modular sections; or no more than 4 prefabricated modular sections; or no more than 5 prefabricated modular sections or any number of prefabricated modular sections that is less than 20.5. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 3 or claim 4, wherein each of the prefabricated modular sections is between about 1 m and 12 m in length, and preferably wherein each of the modular sections is about 6 m in length.6. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 3 to 5, the overhead line crossing guard system having less than 100 joints between prefabricated modular sections and preferably having no more than 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 or 14 joints between prefabricated modular sections.7. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 6, wherein each of the joints between the prefabricated modular sections is provided by one or more connectors (such as nuts and bolts), and wherein the overall number of connectors in the overhead line crossing guard system is of the order of 10, 20, 30 or 40, and is not greater than 100, and preferably the overall number of connectors is 16.8. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 2 to 7, wherein one or both of the support means comprises a lifting mechanism, such as a pulley, arranged to move any one of the transverse trusses between a ground level position and a raised position during assembly of the overhead line crossing guard system.9. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 8, wherein the lifting mechanism comprises at least one winch mechanism, the winch mechanism being coupled to any one or more of the first and second support masts or provided on r a machine used to construct the overhead line crossing guard system.CO0 10. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 8 or claim 9, CO 20 wherein one or more of the transverse trusses comprises a truss latch mechanism C\J arranged to engage with a support mast latch mechanism provided on the respective first and second support masts when the transverse truss is moved into the raised position.11. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 2 to 10, wherein one or more of the transverse trusses comprises a gantry arranged to allow access to the guard means.12. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 2 to I I, wherein one or both of the support means comprises at least one rigid stay, the at least one rigid stay comprising a first end coupled to a stay screw piling foundation pile adapted to be screwed into the ground to anchor the stay and a second end coupled to one of the support masts.13. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 12, wherein the second end of the at least one rigid stay is pivotally coupled to the support mast.14. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 13, wherein the at least one rigid stay is pivotable between a stowed configuration in which it lies parallel to the support mast to which it is coupled and an extended position in which it is angled relative to the support mast to which it is coupled.15. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 14, wherein in the extended position the at least one rigid stay and stay foundation pile forms an angle of about 100 to 20° to the support mast to which it is coupled, and preferably the at least one rigid stay and stay foundation pile forms an angle of about 15° to the support mast to which it is coupled.16. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any of claims 12 to 15 wherein the at least one rigid stay is adjustable in length to alter the distance between r the first end of the stay and the second end of the stay.CO0 17. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any preceding claim, CO 20 wherein the first and second screw piling foundation pile systems comprise one or C\J more helical screw foundation piles 18 An overhead line crossing guard crossing system according to any of claims 2 to 17, wherein any one of more of the support masts has a footprint in the range of about 0.5 m2to 3 m2, and preferably about 1.25 m2.19. An overhead line crossing guard system according to any preceding claim, the overhead line crossing guard system having a height of about 10 m or more and/or a width of about 20 m or more and/or a span of about 20 m or more.20. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 3, or any of claims 4 to 19 when dependent on claim 3, wherein a first one of the prefabricated modular sections has a different weight, or a different weight per unit length if the prefabricated modular sections have different lengths, compared to a second one of the prefabricated modular sections.21. An overhead line crossing guard system according to claim 20, wherein the first one of the prefabricated modular sections comprises steel and the second one of the prefabricated modular sections comprises aluminium, or wherein the wall thickness of a plurality of tubular struts used to form the first one of the prefabricated modular sections is greater than the wall thickness of a plurality of tubular struts used to form the second one of the prefabricated modular sections.22. A kit of parts arranged to be assembled into the overhead line crossing guard system according to any preceding claim.23. A method of assembling an overhead line crossing guard system, the method comprising: screwing into the ground a first screw piling foundation pile system at a first side of an asset crossed by the overhead line; assembling a first support means connected to the first foundation pile system; screwing into the ground a second screw piling foundation pile system at a CO second side of the asset; 0 assembling a second support means connected to the second foundation pile CO 20 system; and C\J connecting a guard means between the first and second support means to guard the asset below the overhead line.24. A method according to claim 23. wherein screwing each of the first and second screw piling foundation pile systems into the ground comprises screwing a first screw foundation pile and a second screw foundation pile into the ground, and wherein assembling the first support means and the second support means comprises assembling a first support mast coupled to each first foundation pile, and a second support mast coupled to each second foundation pile.25. A method according to claim 24, wherein assembling each of the support masts comprises connecting one or more prefabricated modular sections to form each support mast.26. A method according to claim 25, wherein assembling each of the first and second support means comprises: joining one or more of the prefabricated modular sections horizontally at ground level to form each support mast or at least a section of it; tilting each support mast or mast section into a generally vertical orientation once the modular sections are joined together; and connecting each of the support masts or mast sections to the respective foundation pile system.27. A method according to claim 24 or claim 25 or claim 26, wherein assembling each of the first and second support means further comprises coupling a transverse truss between the first support mast and the second support mast of each support means.28. A method according claim 27, wherein coupling each of the transverse trusses comprises lifting each transverse truss between a ground level position and a raised position via a lifting mechanism provided on each support means.29. A method according to claim 28, further comprising assembling each of the CO transverse trusses from one or more prefabricated modular sections before moving each of the transverse trusses to the raised position. CO 20C\J 30. A method according to any of claims 24 to 29, further comprising screwing into the ground at least one stay screw foundation pile and coupling a rigid stay between the at least one stay foundation pile and any one of the support masts.31. A method according to any of claims 24 to 30 further comprising wrapping at least lower end regions of the support masts, and /or stay ( if provided) with a wrapping to hinder attempts to climb the masts and/or stays.32. An overhead line crossing guard system, a method of assembling an overhead line crossing guard system and a method of disassembling an overhead line crossing guard system substantially as described herein with reference to any one of Figures 2 to 9b.
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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN104037661A (en) * 2014-06-25 2014-09-10 国家电网公司 All-dimensional multifunctional installation and maintenance auxiliary device for power transmission and transformation

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