A popular ‘King of Rock’ 18ACS GRUNDODRILL has been delivered to Ireland for customer G Hill Pipe & Civil; an experienced piping contractor based in County Derry, Northern Ireland.
TRACTO UK supported new dealer, TA Drilling, with machine delivery and operator training on the unit’s inaugural drill in Ballywalter. The job, which took place along Main St, the A2 highway running through the town centre, comprised of the installation of a new sewer pipe along 14 km of highway. The work was predominantly completed by horizontal directional drilling using the 18ACS GRUNDODRILL and, despite the challenging ground conditions, the machine was able to successfully complete the installation of 180 mm diameter MDPE pipe, supplied in 100 m long coils. One innovative feature that facilitated the job was the Auto Paddle mode which enabled the GRUNDODRILL to take control of the drill head, automatically steering it past large stones and rocks by pushing at a particular percentage of rotation as sensed by the machine. Auto Paddle enables a precise and controlled drill and eliminates the risk of losing drill rods and heads underground which can be the case during a manual paddle. It also reduces operator fatigue.
Bernard Bradley is a director of G Hill Pipe & Civil and bought the machine after discussing his requirements with Jim Styles of TA Drilling, who was also in attendance for the two-day training session on site. Jim believes the machine is ideal for works on roads and highways thanks to its compact overall dimensionss saying: “The beauty of the 18ACS is its phenomenal power combined with narrow working width, which meant we could carry out the HDD operation without closing the road completely. This ensured minimal disruption to the general public and road users during the work and, thanks to the Bentonite collection tray at the front of the boom, the jobsite was also kept clean at all times. A hose connected to the discharge pump took the waste directly back to the reception pit. Bearing in mind the strict health & safety requirements of any drilling job, this feature is a bonus.”
The machine operated from a small excavation pit at the start of the drill which ensured minimal reinstatement was required and used a 51⁄2 in (140 mm) diameter Eagle Claw bore head to tunnel under the road. A further exit pit was then created to pull back the rod using a reamer to increase the bore size to accommodate the 180 mm diameter PE pipe. The pits were easily backfilled and reinstated. Bernard Bradley, director and Pipeline Contractor at G Hill Pipe & Civils, who is impressed with the performance of the 18ACS said: “The more we operate the GRUNDODRILL 18ACS the more we are impressed, especially with the Auto Paddle and the innovative Auto Stall system which also senses the ground conditions and automatically changes the rotary speed and pull back to prevent the machine stalling out. It was great having Pete Atkins from TRACTO and Jim Styles from TA Drilling to help us get up to speed with the 18ACS over a couple of days of operator training on a live job.”
The sale of this GRUNDORILL 18ACS is the second in quick succession in Ireland and demonstrates its ability to deliver efficient HDD services.