Ditch Witch drills down with more power

  • 16-Sep-2010 09:32 EDT

With 100,000 lb (445 kN) of pullback and 12,000 lb·ft (16,270 N·m), Ditch Witch's JT100 All Terrain directional drill is built for extended-range bores and installations of large-diameter pipe.

With 100,000 lb (445 kN) of pullback and 12,000 lb·ft (16,270 N·m), Ditch Witch's JT100 All Terrain directional drill is built for extended-range bores and installations of large-diameter pipe. The machine's 268-hp (200-kW) engine delivers power to all machine functions, facilitating pipe installation. It features an exclusive, patented two-pipe drilling system, allowing it to be used to install pipe in most ground formations, including solid rock.

In horizontal directional drilling (HDD) applications, rotary bits are driven either by mechanical rotation of the drill string or by a drilling-fluid-powered motor, or "mud motor." The All Terrain system is in the former category, a mechanical motor system that is designed to transfer "more power to the bit than any other rock-drilling system in its class," according to the company. Its shaft-within-a-pipe design features a strong, hex-shaped rod that turns inside an outer pipe. The inner hex shaft works as a mechanical motor that drives the bit during the bore; the outer pipe thrusts the bit forward, steers the drill string, and works to transmit full machine torque during backreaming.

Ditch Witch says that in contrast to mud motor systems, which require very high drilling fluid flows, mechanical motor systems expand the capacity to drill in tough ground conditions. Most bores are accomplished with minimal drilling fluid flow, reducing jobsite cleanup time and expense. The high flow rates needed for mud motor systems—and the pressures required for effectively driving the bit—can erode the borehole or lead to unwanted drilling fluid returns on the ground surface or into a body of water.

In addition to its patented All Terrain technology that it shares with the JT3020 and JT4020, the JT100 features a dual-pivot drill frame that allows for steeper entry angles without raising the tracks off the ground, improving machine stability and keeping the operator’s station level. It also has an assisted-makeup feature that automatically adjusts carriage thrust speed with rotation when making up and breaking out drill pipe, which minimizes wear on pipe threads and extends the life of the drill pipe.

The power of the JT100's Deutz engine allows for the addition of an optional onboard crane that is used to load and unload pipe boxes, anchor the unit, and handle downhole tools, especially drill pipe. This saves time and money by reducing the need to acquire and transport additional support equipment, such as an excavator.

Other features of the JT100 All Terrain include a fully enclosed cab, cruise control, and an integrated electronic guidance system that provides real-time tracking of the bore.

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