Photo Credit: Alex Mead
Seen above is a steel H pile that will be used on a bridge project. The end of the pile is not strong enough to be directly driven into the ground so a protective tip, called a pile point, is welded on the end. Without the pile point the flanges could separate from the web and greatly affect the strength of the pile and make driving it further into the ground very difficult. In soft ground many times pile points are not needed, however, as a precaution some firms use them almost always when driving piles.