Dando Drilling has developed a new rig designed for drilling on steep terrain.
The Dando Ibex slope drilling rig has been designed in conjunction with Bridgeway Consulting, and is a track mounted rig capable of dynamic sampling, SPT, and rotary drilling on inclines up to 55 degrees in gradient.
Utilising a Sauer Danfoss Plus+1 automated levelling system, the rig provides operators a vertical mast and horizontal deck and walkway on very steep terrain.
A longitudinal slewing mechanism allows for uneven ground between the tracks, compensating for roll up to 15 degrees.
When ascending embankments an operator anchors cables from the onboard climbing winch to a point up the slope using the ‘duck bill’ ground anchors.
These provide stability when ascending and tether the rig safely while drilling.
The operator then tracks the rig forward while simultaneously pulling in the cable on the winch using a specially designed radio remote control unit.
Once on target the deck can be lowered toward the embankment on a scissor mechanism so that there is no gap between the deck and the bank.
In addition to remote control capabilities – a safety feature designed to overcome the hazards of traversing inclines with heavy machinery – the rig also features a swing–out control console with manually operated drill controls and an illuminated digital blow counter for use when drilling.
Once the rig is in position, a walkway is hydraulically deployed to provide a level work area, easy access to the workbench, sample storage boxes, and drill mast.
The rig has also been designed for ease of transport, with the unit able to expand on hydraulic rams from 1.5m wide to 2.1m, providing a stable base when climbing slopes and drilling.
The walkways also fold up to form a very compact unit.
Powered by a 27Kw Hatz silent pack diesel engine, the two speeds hydraulic top-drive rotary head can produce 362rpm for open hole drilling or coring, or be switched to 50rpm at 4189Nm of torque for larger diameter drilling.
Dando’s Duplex Drive system can also advance the casing at the same time as taking a sample, with the samples retained in a clear teflon liner that can be retrieved, capped, and sent directly for analysis.