With contractors turning to HDD for increasingly diverse and demanding underground projects, manufacturers have responded by building rigs featuring a broad range of sizes, speeds, and capabilities.
A prime example of diverse ranges of rig sizes is offered by Vermeer Manufacturing Company. The Pella, IA, company recently introduced two new rigs which are the largest and smallest of the 13 HDD rigs it manufactures.
Vermeer's D7x11A QS NAVIGATOR, designed for efficient urban utility installations, is only 35.5 inches wide, 137 inches long, and is the company's smallest rig. The rig offers a high power to size ratio, delivering 7,800 pounds of pullback, 1,110 ft-lbs of torque, and with a high displacement gear pump, the rig is equipped to deliver faster pullback rates for completing multiple bores.
On the opposite end of the size spectrum, Vermeer's D80x120 NAVIGATOR, the company's largest HDD rig, marks its first use of a rack and pinion drive system for smoother operation. The rig, offers 80,000 pounds of pullback, 12,000 ft-lbs of torque, a 225 hp engine, and a 200 gpm onboard pump for increased backreaming efficiency and powering down hole mud motors. The unit uses 20-foot sections of drill pipe to reduce number of joints to be made up and broken down on jobs
It has a state-of-the-art operator's station to help reduce operator fatigue on long bores. The station has an electrically-controlled swivel and tilt seat, toggle switches with breakout system, fluid pump, radio, and throttle switches integrated into thrust and rotation levers. Large drilling pressure gauges, a flow meter and drilling fluid pump monitoring system are located between the operator and the bore path.
It offers an automated rod loader and adjustable speed controls for thrust, pullback, and rotation which allow the operator to dial in control inputs without having to constantly feather controls.
The JT2720 All Terrain model, under development for five years, features a mechanical drilling system that delivers maximum downhole horsepower to the bit and operates on low volumes of drilling fluid. Intended for bores from 100 to 650 feet in varying tough conditions such as rock, cobblestone, broken rock, gravel, and caliche, is capable of starting and finishing a bore with the same bit in changing conditions. It offers 27,000 pounds of pullback with 3,200 ft-lbs spindle torque and up to 225 rpm rotation speed.
Besides introducing the All Terrain model, the company also has upgraded its JT 2720, JT 4020, and JT7020 models. They include features such as a processor-driven Mach 1 electronic package with a drill and drive function, ground drive, technical diagnostics, pipeloader control, and drilling control. They include an automatic hydraulic pipe loader, thread lubricator, and a dual speed carriage allowing for faster travel during makeup and breakup.
The electric-over-hydraulic variable-speed controls are touch sensitive and a single lever is used for thrust/pullback and rotation to help reduce operator fatigue. A cruise control system permits the operator to set drilling and backreaming speeds allowing the machine to control drilling functions.
The self-contained JT2720 Mach 1 has a 125-hp diesel engine, develops 27,000 pounds pullback, 3.200 ft-lbs of spindle torque, and spindle speeds to 225 rpm. The track-mounted JT 4020 Mach 1 rig is self -contained and powered by a 185-hp turbo-charged diesel engine. It develops 40,000 pounds of pullback, 5,000 ft-lbs spindle torque, and spindle speeds to 250 rpm. It has power and fluid capacity to accommodate a mud motor. The adjustable drill unit uses different set-up angles to fit varying site conditions.
Ditch Witch's JT 7020 Mach 1 is powered by a 265-hp turbo-charged diesel engine, develops 70,000 pounds of pullback, and 10,000 pounds of spindle torque. With a maximum spindle speed 210 rpm. Mud motor operation is facilitated by a spindle brake, enhanced drilling fluid flow, and cruise control.
The first HDD rig offered by Central Mine Equipment Co., Earth City, MO, is the CME-50DD, a mid-size rig which features 50,000 pounds of thrust, retract, and more than 9,000 ft-lbs of rotary torque. It has a rack-and-pinion feed and retract system that doesn't use chains that can stretch or break. The spindle positions the drill rod on the same centerline as rack and pinions causing less stress on the drill rods, the carriage and other components. A floating carriage helps prevent thread damage when making and breaking joints.
Dual thrust and rotation systems provide versatility to tackle changing formations and the high torque/low speed, high speed/low torque rotation system offers easy mode change with turn of a selector valve. Speeds can be adjusted without stopping rotation.
To provide optimum performance, thrust, and rotation motors have dedicated hydraulics and each function has its own pressure/flow compensated load -sensing pump providing maximum power for thrust and rotation.
Standard on-board drilling fluid system includes a dual-speed pump with a maximum flow rate of 75 gpm and a 60-gallon fresh water storage tank. It has an on-board crane with a double extension boom for plenty of reach when handling drill rods.
A wireless radio remote control allows the operator to stand a safe distance from the rig while loading, unloading, or moving around the site.
The Underground Construction Technology show, Jan. 23-25 in Houston, TX, marks the debut of StraightLine Manufacturing Inc's newest entry in the HDD marketplace. The Model 3550 has a 155 hp turbo diesel engine, 35,000 pounds of thrust and pullback, and 5,500 ft-lbs of rotary torque. The 3500 is the only model in its class with 5,500 ft.-lb of rotary torque.
The 3500 features gold-sealed electric terminals for long-term reliability. It has large fittings to provide more hydraulic power and a Kerr piston pump which delivers 60 gpm and can drive mud motors. It has a convertible pipe guide for use with different sizes of drill rod.
StraightLine, Newton, KS, has updated its 910 model to include a hands-free Power Anchor stakedown system with independent driver assemblies for right and left stakes. The rig is powered by a 37-hp Hatz diesel engine and features dual-path hydraulics, a StraightLine exclusive.
The StraightLine Model 2462 features more than 24,000 pounds of thrust and pullback, 2,250 ft-lbs of rotary torque, and an exclusive center line thrust design. It includes independent hydraulic pumps for thrust and rotation, allowing maximum power utilization, and a Power Loader hydraulic pipe loader and hands-free auto drill operation..
A special feature of three HDD models offered by Tulsa Rig Iron through Tulsa Trenchless Inc., Tulsa, OK, is use of a unique hydraulic cylinder to provide thrust. The models TR-7, TR-14, and TR-40 feature a compound cylinder to provide positive, efficient, and reliable thrust. The three rigs have a dedicated hydraulic system for thrust/pullback, rotary, and mud pump. The company's Model TR-80 uses a rack and pinion-type thrust.
Model TR-7 provides 7,200 pounds of thrust and pullback and 1,250 ft-.lbs rotary torque. It's only 36 inches wide and equipped with a Kubota 37.5 hp engine with an onboard 66-gallon mud system. The TR-14 offers 14,000 pounds of thrust and pullback and 1,600 ft.-lbs of rotary torque, and is equipped with a 57 hp Yammar turbo charged engine and a 15 gpm pump. Tulsa Rig Iron's TR-40 provides 38,500 pounds of thrust and pullback and 5,000 ft-lbs of rotary torque. Powered by a Cummins Turbo Diesel Engine with 185 hp, 90 gpm at 1,000 psi mud pump, and a unique top-loading auto rod loader. The company's TR-80 offers 80,000 pounds of thrust and pullback and 11,000 ft- lbs of rotary torque. It is powered by a Caterpillar 3116 engine.
Tulsa Rig Iron also manufactures larger, heavy-duty HDD rigs including HDR-60 with rack and pinion design, 60,000 pounds of thrust/pullback, 11,000 ft-lbs rotary torque, and a top loading auto rod loader. The HDR-90 is a 90,000-pound thrust/pullback rig with 15,000 ft-lbs of rotary torque. The HDR 160 offers 160,000 pounds of thrust/pullback and 22,865 ft-lbs rotary torque. The HDR-250 has 250,000 pounds of thrust and pullback and 29,500 ft.-lbs rotary torque. Trailer-mounted HDR-500 has 500,000 pounds of thrust and pullback and 29,500 ft-lbs. rotary torque.
Advanced Directional Drilling Systems, Lafayette, LA, offers HDD rigs ranging from 78,500 to 1,680,000 pounds of push/pull and 17,000 to 100,000 ft-lbs of torque.
The company's Power Bore 50 offers 112,000 pounds of rated pull, 17,500 ft-lbs of rated torque, and an eight-inch hydraulic cylinder for push/pull action. Maximum pull is 140,000 pounds and maximum push is 50,000 pounds. The rig, which weighs 38,200 pounds, is 42 feet long in drill mode, 9.84 feet tall, and 7.87 feet wide. It is mounted on steel tracks and powered by a Caterpillar 220 hp turbocharged diesel engine. Equipped for 5-inch flush joint drill pipe with API Modified Connections allowing for completion of bores in difficult conditions.
Operator controls include an umbilical stand that can be placed on either side of the rig. The stand has two eight-function joysticks, and a Wirth Control Panel with analog gauges. Control features include feather control for thread-free damage during makeup and break out, precise settings of all rig parameters for push/pull, and rotate torque and makeup torque.
It includes a 3,500 pound Hiab crane and utilizes two RexRoth 100 gpm hydraulic pumps, each driven by a two-way spline splitter box.
The Case Corporation, Racine, WI, offers HDD rigs that are fluid injected, truck mounted, and track mounted. The 60 Series Turbo Horizontal Directional Drills feature Case's exclusive Duplex Drive System Design that provides smooth operation, fine controllability of the drill head, equal thrust and pullback for top performance in tough conditions, highest chain load safety ratio in the industry, no cylinders to service, and two times the thrust/pullback performance from drive motor head torque.
They feature VIS high-efficiency hydrostatic motors for better performance and reliability, a heavy-duty chassis and track system, and an operator station positioned close to the power wrench for better visibility. They have reliable all-weather high-voltage operator control switches and offer key components which are interchangeable with components on other types of Case equipment.
Case's Model 6010 Turbo is powered by a 59.7 hp Kubota engine, 1,500 pounds of thrust/pullback at 3,000 psi, 1,500 ft-lbs of spindle torque, a spindle speed of 170 rpm, and on-board drill stem capacity of 300 feet of 10-foot drill stem. It has an auto pipe loader and on-board fluid pump.
The 6030 Turbo's power is provided by a Case/Cummins six-cylinder, 124-hp engine. Providing 30,000 pounds of thrust/pullback at 3,000 psi and 4,000 ft-lbs of spindle torque. It has an auto pipe loader with capacity for 500 feet of 10-foot drill stem and offers a special load sensing and management system.
Nine directional drill models are offered by American Augers, West Salem, OH, in their American Directional Drill line. Rigs range from DD-1 with 10,000 pounds of thrust, pullback, and 1,300 ft-lbs of rotary torque to DD-660, with 660,000 pounds of thrust, pullback, and 88,500 ft-lbs of torque.
The DD-1 is powered by a 54-hp turbo diesel engine. It has a pinion and gear drive rotary system and infinitely variable torque. Maximum rotary speed is 115rpm and maximum mud flow is 12 gpm at 1,500 psi. The pipe basket holds 32 six-foot pieces of 1-7/8-inch diameter drill pipe.
The rig comes with dielectric boots and gloves, safety mats, and electric grounding rods. A Zap-alert switch is standard equipment and an emergency shut down switch is on the driller's console. The es!lok lockout system is standard equipment.
A total of 10 models are featured in TT Technolgy's Grundodrill lineup of HDD rigs. They range from Grundodrill 4T with 8,000 pounds of thrust, pullback, and 800 ft-lbs of torque to Grundodrill 20S with 44,100 pounds of pullback, thrust, and 7,380 ft-lbs of torque.
Compact HDD equipment is the specialty of Bolder Underground Inc. and the Colorado Mud & Equipment Company, Boulder, CO, which have developed the Tru-Grade micro HDD system. The rig, 62 inches long and 49- inches wide, can be pit or surface launched, and provides 18,000 pounds of thrust and 24,000 pounds of pullback with 560 ft-lbs of torque.
The unit is powered by a 25 hp hydraulic power pack that can be powered from another rig or other construction equipment. It can be placed on a trailer or in a standard pick up truck and includes a polymer drilling fluid system that can mix and/or pump polymers at up to 5 gpm at 450 psi.