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Directionally drilling down, down, down

ditch witch cea

The evolution of HDD continues with the Ditch Witch JT24 Directional Drill. It is designed to give customers the power and footprint to be the ultimate uptime champion.

Two years ago, CEA became the Australian and New Zealand distributor of Ditch Witch underground construction equipment. As a result, CEA has launched the JT24 directional drill (HDD).

Engineered from direct customer feedback, this drill is ideal for urban and residential utility, gas, and fibre jobs. Boasting more power in a compact footprint, the JT24 provides 101 horsepower, 3000 ft-lbs of torque and 24,000 lbs of thrust and pullback at a size that easily fits in tight job sites. Plus, its low centre of gravity gives operators more stability than competitive units so that contractors can work with confidence.

ditch witch cea

Best in class and modern design

The compact and powerful JT24 offers best-in-class stability and modern design for easy use in congested urban and residential job sites.

Equipped with a tier 4- and European Stage V-compliant Cummins diesel engine, the JT24 packs a punch with unbeatable power. Its powerful thrust and pullback are packed into a small footprint, offering outstanding performance on various utility installations. A new hydraulic platform utilises leading technology to maximise drilling efficiency and conserve horsepower for where it matters most – downhole.

“We continue to evolve our directional drill offerings to provide more efficient and productive modern solutions to meet the growing underground challenges facing today’s HDD contractors,” says Scott O’Hare, Ditch Witch’s National Product Manager.

“The JT24 was designed based on direct customer feedback,” says O’Hare. “It is manufactured to effectively manoeuvre and traverse urban terrains where much of the utility and rehabilitation work is happening today. All without compromising the power to complete the job on time and budget.”

The JT24 is designed with a wider frame than competitive units, offering best-in-class stability without sacrificing manoeuvrability in tight urban environments. Users can confidently traverse uneven terrain, city curbs and other challenging terrain situations. Its small footprint means it can easily be towed from one job site to another.

What makes this downhole drill distinctive?

Ditch Witch CEA’s JT24 horizontal directional drill fills the gap between the company’s JT20 and JT25 drills. It aims at the fibre optic, gas, and water installation market, and is launching this year in Australia after operating successfully in the United States and Europe since late 2019.

ditch witch cea
Corey Maker, Manager of Product Marketing at Ditch Witch, says it has 20 per cent more stability on this machine.

“The track assembly is similar to the JT25. We know that users will get into situations where getting that lower centre of gravity is a big deal,” he says.

According to Ditch Witch, a new hydraulic platform maximises drilling efficiency and conserves horsepower for downhole operation. An 83-decibel noise level helps operations in noise-sensitive areas. The 66-metres-per-minute maximum carriage speed is designed to decrease cycle times.

“The cruise control is pressure compensated,” says Maker. “You set the pressures, and you maintain whatever feet per minute you’re using going up and down the carriage. Once it drills out the rod, it returns to the rod change position. You’re ready to go through the making/breaking pipe cycle.”

The drill has 122 metres of pipe on board. It has a removable pipe box, so another can be added after an operator drills 122 metres. A Subsite locator display is integrated into the drill operator’s display. The JT24 also has an advanced wireless remote, which allows users to run the ground drive and set up features.

“That allows you to get onto the job site and get into position much faster,” Maker says.

CEA will also offer local HDD guidance and utility locator servicing for its Subsite Electronics products. In addition, the company will also provide operator training via its Virtual Reality Simulator based on these new HDD models.


“By providing training and support, users can confidently use the JT24 and any HDD units we sell. These are all important factors in the aftersales support in the drilling market,” says O’Hare.

For information, contact Ditch Witch CEA on 1300 788 757 (AUS), 0800 435 269 (NZ) or visit

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

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