The drivability study of piling requires modelling of the hammer impact to calculate the input force wave at the pile head. This force wave can be computed numerically or by using simple analytical solutions. In this paper, analytical solutions are presented for hammer impact using a model which uses lumped masses for the ram and anvil, a spring for the anvil cushion, and another spring for the cap cushion on the top of a pile. The pile is modelled as a dashpot. The solutions account for the separation of the anvil mass from the pile cap cushion as well as the separation of the ram mass from the anvil cushion. The developed solutions are used to perform a parametric study to illustrate the influence of the pile cushion on the maximum force transmitted to the pile head. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.