WorldWide Drilling Resource

24 JULY 2021 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Features to Prioritize When Selecting a New Geotechnical Drill Adapted from Information by Joe Haynes, President, Lone Star Drills Versatile geotechnical equipment is gaining traction. Whether users are geotechnical engineers or soil technicians, they’ll need a dependable, portable drill capable of powering through tough soils in challenging environments. Prioritizing a few select features will ensure contractors get a geotechnical drill that will become their go-to piece of equipment during the busy season while providing the greatest return on their investment. The baseline criteria for geotechnical drills should include: • High portability. • Capability to drill as deep as 100 feet. • Ability to work well in various types of soil, including sand, clay, and soft rock for- mations. • Availability of comprehensive soil sampling capabilities, allowing users to con- duct standard penetration testing (SPT), geotechnical testing, split spoon sam- pling, and hollow stem sampling. If towing capacity and budgets are limited, consider a trailer-mounted drill. Look for a lightweight unit which can be towed using an ATV or small pickup. Many trail- er-mounted models are cost effective yet offer great portability and the power needed to drill down 100 feet, even through tough rock formations. On the other hand, if your typical jobsites involve hard soils and tight dead- lines, the drill’s speed and toughness will be more important. For maintaining high speeds even when powering through harder soil, choose a drill with ample torque and pull/push back force, as well as a healthy rpm. Rotary speeds around 100 rpm will be enough to make short work of larger jobs, ensuring projects are fin- ished on time and on budget. Plus, a drill with a heavy-built frame will stand up to the demanding work ahead of it. Planning to conduct a lot of SPT? Look for a drill with an automatic hammer. More and more cities and states are requiring automatic hammers for SPT, plus it will reduce worker fatigue, creating a safer and more productive jobsite. Just remember, an automatic hammer configuration will add weight to the rig, so be sure to use a vehicle with enough towing capacity to handle it. For those who primarily work in limited-access locations, such as backyards or residential basements, look for an extremely mobile drill. Transport dimen- sions of 26 inches wide and 80 inches tall are compact enough to squeeze into an elevator to reach a basement, or easily fit through gates and doorways. If you are looking to expand into other applications, such as foundation repair, look for a rig which is able to drill close to structures and light enough to prevent lawn damage. By prioritizing a few select features, contractors can be steered in the right direction when selecting a geotechnical drill. Evaluating drilling demands and future applications will allow contractors to identify a drill that will lead to a great return on investment. Trailer-mounted rigs can be a portable yet powerful option. C&G I just enjoyed reading Ron Peterson’s article “Mud Balance and Pumps” [May 2021 WWDR ] and was not dis- appointed. As a person who spent a lot of time explaining concepts, his step-by-step approach is great. These articles will, I am sure, be used by current staff. Keep them coming. Thank you, Gord Bailey Retired Professor Resources Drilling & Blasting Fleming College, ON, Canada