New Ditch Witch directional drill

By Becca Wilkins12 June 2009

The Ditch Witch JT100 Mach 1 horizontal directional drill (HDD) is designed so that rotation, thrust

The Ditch Witch JT100 Mach 1 horizontal directional drill (HDD) is designed so that rotation, thrust, and drilling fluid flow can operate simultaneously at full power.

Ditch Witch has introduced the JT100 Mach 1 - its most powerful horizontal directional drill (HDD) built for long-range bores, such as river crossings and the installation of large-diameter pipes.

Equipped with a 268 hp engine, the JT100 is designed so that rotation, thrust, and drilling fluid flow can operate simultaneously at full power, which leads to faster job completion, Ditch Witch stated.

The power of the JT100 allows for two optional features that can save the contractor significant time and money, the company added.

The first is an onboard crane, which is used to load and unload pipe boxes, anchor the unit, and handle down-hole tools, especially drill pipe. Directional drills without an onboard crane require additional equipment, such as an excavator, to perform these functions.

The other optional feature is an onboard anchor system - an exclusive Ditch Witch equipment option - that stabilises the machine on virtually any terrain. Directional drills without this feature typically have to be anchored to another heavier piece of equipment, such as a backhoe or track hoe, to maintain stability during drilling operations.

Richard Levings, product manager for trenchless applications at Ditch Witch said, "Practically speaking, the onboard crane and anchor system together give the JT100 the ability to reduce the size of the jobsite.

"This is a big plus considering the limited amount of space and other difficult conditions some projects present. [The crane and anchor system] also significantly reduce transportation costs and set-up time."

Mr Levings added the JT100 is prepared for anything, starting with a heavy-duty, double rack-and-pinion thrust drive that is field-proven to push through the longest, toughest bores.

Instead of a three-speed gearbox, the JT100 has a variable rotary drive that can match spindle speed and torque. "[The JT100] is the only drill in its class that can do this. This enables it to power through virtually any soil condition," he said.

Another feature of the JT100 is a dual-pivot drill frame that allows for steeper entry angles without raising the tracks off the ground. This improves machine stability and keeps the operator's station level, Ditch Witch stated.

Designed for long-range bores and installation of large-diameter pipes, the JT100 is equipped with a large-capacity, 870 l/minute, fluid pump and larger-than-average hoses and fittings to help move drilling fluid down-hole faster, which increases productivity.

To minimise the shockloads associated with this large-volume fluid flow, the JT100 has a dampener to reduce pulsation in the fluid course, which reduces vibration to the machine.

The JT100 has an assisted-makeup feature that automatically adjusts carriage thrust speed with rotation when making up and breaking out drill pipe. This minimises wear on pipe threads and extends the life of the drill pipe.

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