With congested underground easements and roadways, it is becoming increasingly important to visually identify the location of underground utilities – gas, fibre, water, telecommunications and sewer – to prevent an accidental utility strike. However, using a compact excavator or a shovel to expose the line could also damage a utility. To reduce the risk of damaging existing utilities, underground contractors and municipalities have started using vacuum excavators, commonly called soft excavation, and over the last two decades there has been a rise in demand for these machines.
Vermeer's new Navigator horizontal directional drill designed to deliver in rocky, congested environments
The new Vermeer D23x30DR S3 Navigator horizontal directional drill (HDD) integrates dual-rod technology into a compact machine design to efficiently maneuver through rock in congested cities, busy neighborhoods or tight jobsites. Featuring a class-leading narrow footprint and a weight of 16,500 pounds (7,484 kg), the D23x30DR S3 is the lightest rock drill on the market and is well suited for fibre, electrical, gas and water installation in hard rock, as well as other challenging ground conditions.
The Vermeer Firestick drill rod dual system onboard the D23x30DR S3 gives operators a seven percent downhole steerability. The unit's threaded outer rod has a rotational torque of 3,000 foot-pounds (4,067.5 Nm), while its hex inner rod delivers up to 800 foot-pounds (1,084.6 Nm). The D23x30DR S3 is powered by a Deutz TCD3.6L4 diesel engine and a thrust/pullback of 24,000 pounds (106.8 kN).
New rock tooling for the D23x30DR S3 helps further enhance its performance and productivity in rocky ground conditions. The Vermeer RH10 drill head provides responsive downhole steering with a two-degree bend located in its forward section. The drill head can be fitted with a 5.5-inch (14-cm) tricone bit or polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bit that is greaseable and can be rebuilt in the field. Vermeer also offers the new toolless PG5 quick pullback grapple mounted over the top of the RH10 drill head and tricone bit to help reduce the need to remove the drill head after the pilot bore when installing small-diameter pipes.
"For utility installation work in rocky soil conditions, HDD contractors traditionally had to choose between using a larger horizontal directional drill, bringing in more equipment so they could use an air hammer or go slowly and potentially sacrifice productivity," said Tod Michael, product manager of trenchless products for Vermeer. "The new D23x30DR S3 is a better option for doing small-diameter installation bores in rocky ground conditions. Its narrow profile and light footprint allow it to fit in small or congested areas and helps reduce risk of damaging sidewalks or turf while maneuvering the drill into position. Also, the new PG5 quick pullback grapple helps reduce the labour involved in removing a drill head before pullback."
As part of the Vermeer S3 Navigator HDD series, the new D23x30DR S3 delivers on speed, simplicity and sound. The drill has a carriage speed of 175 feet per minute (53.3 m/min) and a rotational speed of 200 rpm. The operator's station combines familiar, convenient-to-use controls with the latest dual-rod advancements through the use of controller area network (CAN) technology, which also provides onboard diagnostics and a reduced amount of wiring and fuses. Additionally, the D23x30DR S3 has an operator ear noise level of 83 db(A) for a quiet working environment for the crew and the surrounding neighborhood.
The D23x30DR S3 is Vermeer Fleet–ready and convenient to service. When activated, Vermeer Fleet provides contractors with even more productivity features, including fault recognition, geofencing, fuel usage and more. When it is time to service the machine, a large rear hood offers convenient access to the mud pumps and other service points, while the open-top vice makes it convenient to change out die with rod in vice and have visibility of the joint.
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