T&D World Magazine
All Terrain Directional Drill

All Terrain Directional Drill

The Ditch Witch organization announces the release of its most powerful all terrain directional drill, the JT100 All Terrain.

With 100,000 lb (445 kN) of pullback and 12,000 ft·lb (16 270 N·m) of torque, the JT100 all terrain is built for extended-range bores and installations of large-diameter pipe. The machine's 268-hp (200 kW) engine delivers more raw power more efficiently to all machine functions so the installation can be completed faster. And with its exclusive, patented two-pipe drilling system, the JT100 All Terrain can 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. Its unique 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.

A mechanical motor system greatly expands the capacity to drill in tough ground conditions, and most bores are accomplished with minimal drilling fluid flow, reducing jobsite cleanup time and expense. This contrasts with mud motor systems, which require very high drilling fluid flows. These high flow rates—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 patented all terrain technology, two other exclusive features distinguish the JT100 all terrain. One 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. The other is the machine's 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. Ditch Witch drill pipe is already the longest-lasting pipe in the industry, thanks to a special manufacturing process that results in greater strength and flexibility.

The power of the JT100 all terrain 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 the contractor significant time and money by reducing the need to acquire and transport additional support equipment, such as an excavator.

"[The optional onboard crane] is a big plus, considering the limited amount of space and other difficult conditions some projects present," says Richard Levings, Ditch Witch organization product manager for trenchless applications.

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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