New year; new gear for large-scale projects

As transmission pipeline projects in Australia increase in size and magnitude, so too must the equipment used to execute these projects. Vermeer strives to keep pace with this demand, constantly innovating and enhancing their equipment to streamline construction work and enable users to work on larger-scale projects. Vermeer’s latest D550 horizontal directional drill (HDD) is a prime example of this.

The world finds itself in a critical position when it comes to gas, and Australia is no exception to this, resulting in a push for upgrades to existing gas infrastructure or new infrastructure to ensure increased capacity to deliver gas to all Australians.

There are a number of major gas pipeline projects which have been proposed around the country to meet demand, including the Hunter Gas Pipeline, the Western Slopes Gas Pipeline, the Golden Beach Gas Pipeline, the Western Outer Ring Main Gas Pipeline, and the South West Pipeline expansion, just to name a few.

Oftentimes major transmission pipeline projects such as these require excavation and digging across a long distance, resulting in significant disturbance and damage to the surrounding environment. As such, there is an increasing need for equipment that is sustainable, without sacrificing efficiency and effectiveness.

Maxi rig drill innovation

Rising to meet this need, Vermeer has introduced its newest generation of maxi rig drills, the D550 HDD. With an impressive 100,000 foot-pounds of torque to complement the various performance features, Vermeer’s D550 is the leader of the 550,000lb (249,475.8kg) drill class.

The drill’s productivity is further enhanced by the 10.2cm fluid course through the head-shaft and mud swivel, which allows up to 1,000 gallons per minute (GPM) of fluid to be pumped downhole while maintaining low pressure.

Clint Recker, Trenchless Product Manager at Vermeer Corporation,  said, “This latest generation maxi rig drill delivers more compared to older Vermeer models.

“In addition to the D550 drill’s class-leading torque, it can deliver a steady, ultra-slow speed control for working in challenging hard rock, as well as rotation speed for boring in challenging clay conditions.”

Vermeer’s D550 horizontal directional drill brings the ease and sustainability of microtunnelling to large scale projects, enabling crews to work effectively and efficiently to install large-diameter products, including gas and oil pipelines, and high-voltage electrical lines over long distances.

Vermeer’s D550 HDD offers a less messy solution for excavating large-scale pipeline installation projects, not only increasing efficiency but also significantly reducing the impact of the works on the surrounding environment and infrastructure.

With a hydraulic circuit that delivers the peak amount of torque at high rotational speeds while simultaneously keeping system pressures low, the D550 helps to maximise component life.

As the cities of Australia expand, the likelihood of urban areas being unaffected by these kinds of project works grows less and less likely. For this reason, many sites must now adhere to stringent noise requirements and sustainability regulations.

With sound power of only 111dB(A), the D550 HDD operates quietly, keeping jobsite sound levels down and minimising the need for sound barriers when working in urban and residential areas.

Operationally, the D550 controls have three different auto drilling modes – rotation, thrust and speed – and the drill’s new onboard telematics system allows drill operators and service technicians to access important diagnostics information.

The D550 ultra-slow speed control technology delivers thrust control that is precise and finite, allowing drill operators to regulate weight-on-bit pressure for optimal cutting action and maximum tooling life.

As Australia sees an increase in large-scale transmission pipeline projects, it’s important that contractors have access to innovative equipment which will enable them to complete projects efficiently while reducing damage and disturbance to the environment.

Vermeer’s newest generation of maxi rig drills, the D550 HDD, allows contractors to bring the ease of microtunnelling to larger projects. In doing so, Vermeer Australia is ensuring it stays abreast with the growth and advancement predicted for Australia’s gas transmission pipelines.