Breaking new ground

Introduced at bauma 2019, TRACTO-TECHNIK has developed a unique concept with is new generation of GRUNDODRILL HDD rigs.

This concept will be applied to a new series with models available as either a jet condition system – or JCS – with normal drill rods for loose stony ground, or an all condition system – or ACS – with twin-tube drill rods for difficult geologies and rocks.

The GRUNDODRILL’s complex horizontal directional drilling (HDD) method makes the largest and most versatile demands on the machine’s technology and the operating process. Intensive confrontation with these demands created a unique development process where each detail was scrutinised and each component freshly thought through.

The result is something TRACTO-TECHNIK is very proud of – the new GRUNDODRILL generation, with its concept enabling the greatest possible flexibility and productivity for steerable trenchless pipe installation. Thanks to the futuristic connection of this modernist, innovative technology and a high digitalisation degree, it’s simple and easy.

Theory and practice

After the impressive launch of the new GRUNDODRILL generation at the bauma exhibition, the real-world practical application was scheduled in less attractive sand and clay conditions. This took place in Malente-Kreuzfeld in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany, where a large gravel plant’s driveway had to be renewed and widened.

As building contractor, the network operator SH Netze AG decided to use the opportunity to switch over the power supply at the same time, which up to then had been provided via overhead cables to underground cabling. To this end, it made sense for the protection pipes for the power cables to be installed underground by applying the HDD fluid bore method.

The DN 125 protection pipe is pulled in, with operation controlled via the Toughpad, which serves as a central control unit and remote control in one.

Start for the new generation

For this project Schleswig-Holstein Networks AG commissioned TMW GmbH/Volker Tantow. In turn, it commissioned civil engineering company Paasch, which has many years of experience in applying HDD technology, to carry out the drilling task and install a DN 125 high-density polyethylene protection pipe.

With this task, as well as the typical sandy and loamy soil expected in this region of Schleswig-Holstein, the simplicity and ease of the new technology was demonstrated with the GRUNDODRILL JCS130. The Paasch bore team and the experts from TRACTO-TECHNIK seized the opportunity to check the results of the machine’s application across three sections of the total 700 m long bore path in real conditions, as well as to test all the newly developed components.

Perfect user confidence

Before the action started TRACTO-TECHNIK staff passed the drilling rig on to Thorsten Rot, drillmaster at Paasch. After a short introduction to the machine, he felt confident, acquainted and ready to apply it to the job thanks to the innovative and intuitive operating concept.

The length of the first bore was 93 m; the second, 145 m; and the third bore, 100 m. After each pilot bore with a medium drill head type 1 (Ø 100 mm), the expanding process was executed with a stepped reamer to 200 mm, while simultaneously pulling in the pipe.

‘Very good’ results

Despite the tight working conditions caused by the neighbouring gravel plant, which remained under constant heavy truck traffic, the drilling rig itself hardly caused any disturbances due to its especially low working width of just 1.85 m. The compact jobsite set-up benefited the gravel plant greatly; operations did not need to be interrupted and mining was able to continue without any interference.

The technology was also ideal for efficiently completing the installation while works continued at the neighbouring plant. Each of the three bores, including installation of the protection pipes, were able to be completed in one day to the full satisfaction of all participants.

“This new operating concept with the ergonomic mini joystick and the integrated camera concept in connection to the non-swivable cabin does take a little getting used to, but I really like it,” said Mr Rot, who was completely satisfied with his work.

Ongoing collaboration

Paasch Managing Director Martin Paasch and Head of Constructions Guido Röhlich, who visited the site to gain a first impression of the new drilling rig, were also very pleased. Paasch is not only a long serving customer of TRACTO-TECHNIK, but two years ago it also became development partner for the new GRUNDODRILL generation, having supplied invaluable feedback. After seeing the resulting changes to the new generation of HDD rigs, all participants left convinced of the high-quality performance of the rig and with very positive feelings about the new technology.

This article was featured in Winter Edition of Trenchless International. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the TRACTO-TECHNIK website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless International contact Head of Production Chloe Jenkins at cjenkins@gs-press.com.au.

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