Industry News


The Drill Trifecta: Speed, Simplicity and Sound

When completing HDD projects in urban areas, having equipment that gets the job done quickly, is easy to use, and reduces disturbance to the community are some of the key considerations identified by contractors. After listening to feedback, Vermeer has developed the third generation of directional drills addressing these three factors.

The development of the S3 Navigator® HDD product line, which ranges from 20,000 up to 220,000 pound class rigs, came about after extensive consultation with end users who identified three key considerations for drilling on modern job sites: speed, simplicity and sound.

Jeff Lawson, National Construction Sales Manager at Vermeer, said, “Vermeer Corporation invested a lot of time with our customers to understand the things that really mattered to operators and owners. They distilled the feedback received into the three elements that define the Vermeer S3 drill range: speed, simplicity and sound.”


HDD contractors are increasingly facing tighter project deadlines and margins, so having equipment that can complete jobs quickly while maintaining a high quality of work, plays a key role in helping contractors secure contracts.

Mr Lawson said the Vermeer S3 drill range was designed with this in mind. “The new S3 drills feature increased tracking, spindle and carriage speed, meaning contractors can get to the job quicker and get more product in the ground sooner, reducing project time and costs, as well as reducing disturbance to the community.

“For example, the D24x40 S3 features a classleading carriage speed of 73.1 m/min — over 20 per cent faster than its closest competitor — and a 270 rpm rotational speed that is around 18 per cent faster than drills in the same pound class.”


One of the problems identified by contractors was having different controls on different equipment reducing efficiency and increasing the amount of training needed for new operators.

Mr Lawson said to address this Vermeer has standardised the controls on the S3 drill range to reduce the learning curve for new operators.

“A dual joystick control system, previously utilised on Vermeer’s larger Navigator Series II drills, is now common across the S3 drill range, enabling a better user experience and less time spent getting operators up to speed.”

All drill functions can also be performed without the operator taking their hands off the joysticks, even rod loading on models equipped with automatic rod loaders, with communication of key information simplified by common display interfaces across the range.

Click here to continue reading this article in the November 2017 edition of Utility Magazine (PDF)