UK utilities and pipeline rental company PSS Hire has invested over £3 million (€3.4 million) in new mains pipe cracking tools.

The company said the new Click Stick from Utility Innovation Solutions (UIS) was designed for safely breaking cast iron mains pipes without the need for podger bars. It said it was now available from PSS Service Centres nationwide.

Director of PSS Hire Mark Hamilton said, “We’ve had a number of discussions with our customers about developing safer ways to break pipes. Traditionally when breaking old metallic cast iron gas pipe, contractors needed to enter an excavation or smash the pipe from above with a podger bar, this long established process can bring several health and safety risks for the operator and contractor alike.

“Now, with the Click Stick there is a far more controlled, safer and efficient way. The lightweight Click Stick is manually lowered into the excavation, easily positioned around the pipe and, via the use of the battery powered hydraulic pump, it simply grips the pipe and breaks it in a controlled manner.”

Rosalind Macgregor, a director at UIS added, “We’re delighted to be working with PSS Hire in delivering the Click Stick to their contractors across the UK as we believe this is a very significant innovation to the industry.”

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