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Pace Drilling partners with HDD specialist

Founded in 2004, Pace Drilling has grown to be one of the most respected and reliable horizontal directional drilling specialists in New South Wales.

Ditch Witch CEA is helping New South Wales horizontal drilling company Pace Drilling with a range of construction challenges.

Founded in 2004, Pace Drilling has grown to be one of the most respected and reliable horizontal directional drilling (HDD) specialists in New South Wales. 

With a track record of cost-effective and quality methods, as well as continually meeting the challenges each construction job requires, Pace Drilling has the expertise and equipment to get the job done.

Pace Drilling has worked on a multitude of projects involving different conditions and challenges including motorway crossings, river crossings, rail corridor crossings and suburban street works.

Aaron Pace, Pace Drilling Primary Driller, has worked in the family business for over a decade. Upon completing his education, he joined the company to continue the work his father started.

“Since then, I’ve learned a lot,” he says. “I now operate two main machines, the Ditch Witch AT30 and AT60 all-terrain drill rigs.”

“The role of a driller includes many technical aspects such as monitoring the drill head and following bore designs. These skills are ones that I’ve built over several years and I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to learn from the founder and father of the company, Simon Pace.”

Pace Drilling initially used a relatively small drill rig, which was rated at 20,000 pounds of pullback and was not rock capable, in 2004. Subsequently, the company was limited to completing smaller bores to a maximum distance of 100 m. 

Over the years the business has been able to upgrade to newer and more capable equipment. Now the company operates with two drill rigs – the Ditch Witch AT30 and AT60 – both of which are all-terrain machines and rock capable.

The AT30 drill rig is suited for smaller bores up to 150 m in length and at a diameter of 500 mm, pending ground conditions. The AT30 rig is best for tighter areas where a smaller footprint or sharper bend radius is required.

Pace Drilling has utilised the AT30 on a range of projects including the Macquarie Park stage 3 upgrade on behalf of Georgiou, the Nepean Hospital Underbore, and the M4 Motorway Crossing.

The AT60 drill rig is well suited for much larger projects. Pace Drilling is currently completing bores of up to 450 m in length, with their drill, and are capable of larger diameter bores pending ground conditions. Pace Drilling has used the AT60 on projects such as the Western Sydney Airport upgrade on behalf of Sydney Water and Quickway’s Sydney Metro West 33Kv Underbore Crossing. 

Optimised for industry-leading performance and productivity when drilling in hard rock conditions, the Ditch Witch AT30 is designed with an advanced version of the proven Ditch Witch all terrain drilling system. 

The updated, two-pipe system boosts power to the bit—33 per cent more torque than the competition. The drill leverages the next-generation features of the JT40 model so operators get increased jobsite cycle times, improved durability, and greater control.

“The power enabling works for the Sydney Metro located in Rozelle on behalf of Quickway stands out as an especially proud moment for the team,” says Pace. “The works were completed across Victoria Road and were a dual bore, with each bore being large in diameter and containing multiple electrical conduits.”

Pace Drilling has been working with Ditch Witch CEA for over 16 years, having purchased its first drill rig in 2007. Since then, Ditch Witch CEA has proved its dedication to delivering the highest level of product support to its customers. 

Employing factory-trained sales and service specialists who are dedicated to supporting clients and all machinery requirements, Ditch Witch CEA is equipped with the expertise and knowledge to help businesses like Pace Drilling develop a strong reputation in the industry.

“Ditch Witch CEA is always willing to provide on-site service whenever called upon to ensure completion of the project is at a high safety standard,” says Pace. “CEA has proved that we always have their support as a Ditch Witch owner; all the way from the dealership to parts and service.

“The AT60 has proven over the years to be both powerful and reliable, providing cutting edge technology. The capability to drill and steer in hard rock has assisted us over the years to achieve many successful bores.”

Over the years the business has been able to upgrade to newer and more capable equipment. Now the company operates with two drill rigs – the Ditch Witch AT30 and AT60.
Over the years the business has been able to upgrade to newer and more capable equipment. Now the company operates with two drill rigs – the Ditch Witch AT30 and AT60.

Pace Drilling is accustomed to putting in the hard work and dedication needed to provide professional and reliable service. 

“We manage our sites, our work and documentation to a very high standard,” Pace says. “We ensure our checklists, inspection test plans, methodologies, grouting and management plans and plant and equipment records are meticulously kept. It seems like a little thing, but that attention to detail is key.”

Looking to the future, it seems the only way to go is up – the company has been awarded several projects with clients including the Botany Duplication project and the South Erskine Zone Substation. 

These projects are yet another exciting chance for Pace Drilling to flex its expertise and prove that this family owned and operated company is not to be underestimated.

“In the future, I see Pace Drilling keeping our high work standard and ethic by achieving our clients’ needs within budget and as safely as possible,” says Pace.

“As a company, Pace Drilling is aiming to continue becoming more sustainable and environmentally friendly. With new and innovative technologies arising and evolving, Pace Drilling is always trying to stay ahead of the trend when it comes testing these new technologies to help reduce our carbon footprint.”

Supporting the company during this exciting time, Ditch Witch CEA is committed to continuing to provide Pace Drilling with expert advice on what equipment best suits the company’s needs and ensuring each piece of machinery is of the highest quality.

For more information visit CEA.

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This article appeared in the December edition of Trenchless Australasia. Access the digital copy of the magazine here.

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