Vermeer unveils new rock drilling technology at ICUEE 2011


Source: Vermeer

Lineup offers a range of options for contractors

PELLA, Iowa -- Vermeer Corporation will introduce two new horizontal directional drill (HDD) models engineered for the unique demands of mixed ground conditions, including rock. These new drills have been designed from the drawing table of the popular D36x50 Series II Navigator HDD, but have been modified to accommodate the distinct rock drilling technologies.

“Each system offers unique advantages to help contractors be more productive in rock drilling applications,” said Tony Briggs, director of underground sales for Vermeer Corporation. “We have conducted exhaustive testing and product development, which has culminated with a lineup that simply provides more options for contractors.

MAGnum Drilling System
The D36x50R Series II is equipped with the rock-focused MAGnum drilling system. Using rapidly rotating magnets of alternating polarity within the carriage assembly, a high frequency percussive action is generated to fracture and effectively bore through tough formations, including solid rock. This hammer technology was developed in collaboration with FlexiDRILL, a New Zealand-based engineering company, and is licensed for exclusive distribution by Vermeer.

Not a dedicated rock drill, the MAGnum system can be disengaged by the flip of the switch and the D36x50R Series II will perform as a conventional HDD drill. This versatility qualifies the drill for a range of ground conditions to help boost overall utilization.

The MAGnum drilling system does not require any specialty drill rod — utilizing standard Firestick — or any auxiliary support equipment such as an air compressor.

Dual rod design
The D36x50DR Series II features a rod-in-rod design with dual threaded makeup. With a rated rotational torque of 1500 ft-lb (2033.7 Nm), the inner rod powers the downhole tri-cone as the outer rod provides steering and backreaming rotation. The dual threaded rod design also enables a drilling fluid course between the inner and outer rod, as well as through the inner rod, to help meet the volume requirements needed for efficient removal of the cuttings.

An automated rod makeup and breakout system can be utilized to reduce manual operator interface, though it is equipped with a manual override for operators who prefer it. The D36x50DR Series II also employs an onboard rod carrying capacity up to 500 feet (152.4 m) of Firestick drill rod.

For downhole performance throughout the entire bore, the 140-hp (104.4 kW) D36x50R Series II and D36x50DR Series II Navigator HDDs feature the same rated 38,000 lb (17,236.5 kg) of thrust/pullback and 5000 ft-lb (6779.1 Nm) of rotational torque as the conventional model. All configurations are available with a rated 70 gpm (265 L/min) drilling fluid pump.

For more information on Vermeer products and services, visit the company’s website at or e-mail Vermeer at

Vermeer Corporation of Pella, Iowa, U.S.A., manufactures a full line of tub and horizontal grinders, brush chippers, stump cutters and tree spades, as well as horizontal directional drilling systems, mini skid steers, utility and track trenchers and agricultural products. Vermeer offers worldwide sales, support, service and parts through an independent, authorized dealer network.

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