Underground Services placed particular importance on the ability of the Grundodrill to handle drilling in the sands of the Perth area.
The machine is intended to install underground power cabling in the city and suburbs for a large power installation contract won by Underground Services. With a wide variety of cable and pipe combinations to be installed, the Grundodrill – with a conservative 29,000 lb of thrust and pullback – offers the flexibility and small footprint of a smaller rig with the long term strength of a larger rig.
Features that made Underground Services’ decision easier included the fact that the “÷X’ family drill is intended for the world market, as well as the fact that German manufacturer Tracto Technik kept the machine simple, with minimal electric over hydraulic controls. Furthermore, all electric functions can be overridden by manual controls to always complete the job.
The drill itself is powered by a super silenced Hatz diesel, so the operator and general public are not exposed to the normal noise and heat of a traditional directional drill. The dynamic steering hammer with an additional 68,000 lb of thrust ensures that steering in tight, hard grounds is achievable and pilot bores are completed on target. As with all other Grundodrills, the 13X utilises the DCI Eclipse tracking system for quick and accurate tracking.
The most important feature of the Grundodrill is the bentonite mixing system which rapidly mixes and prepares 3,800 litres. Underground Services have added an extra 4000 litre tank to keep the drill going while continuously batching the bentonite drilling fluids. The bentonite pump itself delivers 160 litres of bentonite per minute at 70 bar pressure, making it suitable to also drive low flow-high torque mud motors when required in solid rock.
Service and support from TT Asia Pacific was another factor influencing Underground Services. The company recognised and understood the importance of this support after discussions with other Grundodrill owners based in Sydney, Canberra and New Zealand – all supported with same day advice, overnight service and spare parts if required. The machine package is also very flexible and in Underground Services’ case they chose to put the drill on a suitable trailer which was towed by the truck carrying all the tanks and mixing system.