The 2015 ICUEE Show in Louisville, Ky., was a record-setting three-day event, with more than 18,000 people coming through the show gates Sept. 29-Oct. 1. We saw a ton of new products and technology for the trenchless industry over the course of the show, sharing it with you via our daily online ICUEE blogs at trenchlesstechnology.com
In our November issue, we put together what we saw in printed form, offering you the highlights from one of the largest construction equipment show in North America.
LaValley Industries Introduces Exit-side Wrench HDD Attachment
LaValley Industries president Jason LaValley unveiled the TONGHAND, an exit-side wrench attachment that provides horizontal directional drillers with a safer, more efficient way to torque up and break pipe joints, reamers, and subs on large drilling projects. The attachment, which can be used on any maxi drill, is distributed by Vermeer.
The TONGHAND hydraulic attachment’s patented rotation arms, gullwing design and integral TongVise are controlled by a single operator inside the safety and comfort of any 30-ton excavator. An in-cab display allows the operator to monitor and adjust all functions of TONGHAND operation, including the specified torque value. The TONGHAND works with pipe tool joints ranging in size from 6.5 to 10 in.
The rotation arms allow the operator to thread and unthread drill pipe connections with precision. At the same time, the gullwing design makes it easy for the operator to move the arms out of the way to make and break reamers.
Melfred Borzall Introduces FastBack System
At the Melfred Borzall booth, company founder and HDD industry pioneer Dick Melsheimer filled us in on the company’s latest drilling accessory: the FastBack System.
The FastBack family of pullback devices allows drillers to pull back product without ever taking off the drill head, meaning within minutes of completing the pilot bore, they can be pulling the pipes back. The system is made for shorter bores (about 100 ft or shorter) in tight spaces; bit sizes 3 ½ to 5 in.
The FastBack system gives drillers the flexibility to enlarge the pilot hole when there is no room for a backreamer by bolting on the FastReam blades, creating a hole up to 12 in. in diameter, Melsheimer said.
Digital Control Unveils the DigiTrak Falcon Locator
Digital Control Inc. (DCI) unveiled its latest locator: The DigiTrak Falcon F2 and F5.
Active interference is one of the primary obstacles to completing HDD projects. It blocks a locating system from receiving data that enables a crew to navigate the drill head; it can also impair the accuracy of depth measurements. The ability of a locating system to perform well in interference has become a crucial factor in maintaining productivity and completing a job on time.
The DigiTrak Falcon receivers analyze jobsite interference across hundreds of frequencies — that’s right hundreds — then group the best ones into each of nine bands. The drilling crew will then choose the two best bands. The DigiTrak Falcon replaces DCI’s F2 and F5 locating systems, which have a much smaller number of frequencies available.
McLaughlin Mfg. Shows Off New Vacuum Excavators
McLaughlin Midwest regional manager Cody Meacham took construction editors on a tour of the company’s latest vacuum excavating equipment, including its MegaVac VX200. The MegaVac VX200 is a new truck-mounted vacuum excavator series that fills a hole in the market by giving utility contractors productive potholing at an affordable package price, with the capacity and power they need to stay on the job longer, Meacham said.
The 6-in. vacuum excavator series features spoil tank capacities ranging from 1,200 to 3,000 gals and a standard option of 800 gals of fresh water. It has a 6-in. hose diameter with a 3,200 cfm blower at 18 in. of mercury. The MEGA VX200 6-in. series was designed after listening to customers who said they wanted a vacuum excavator for their potholing jobs and fluid management needs that fills a gap between smaller trailer-mounted vacuum excavators and the largest truck-mounted units.
The MEGA VX200 is powered by a 200-hp John Deere Tier 3 engine. The system features the McLaughlin industry-exclusive 3-stage cyclonic filtration system that allows for both wet and dry vacuum excavation while prolonging filter life and helping to keep maintenance costs low.
Additionally, the McLaughlin patented cam-over hydraulic rear door provides a 360-degree positive seal, without additional clamping requirements to keep fluids securely in the debris tank. This vacuum excavator will be available this fall through the Vermeer global dealer network.
Vermeer Talks HDD Rigs
With the launch of the D60x90 S3 Navigator horizontal directional drill (HDD), Vermeer has extended its S3 drill portfolio to meet the needs of contractors whose projects cross over between the large underground utility and small pipeline installation markets. In June, Vermeer introduced its D23X30, D24X40 and the D40X55 S3 drills.
With 60,000 lbs of thrust/pullback and 9,000 ft-lbs of rotational torque, contractors can use the D60x90 S3 to install long shots of large fiber bundles; gas distribution lines; smaller diameter pipeline crossings; and water lines in crowded, urban areas requiring a smaller footprint. Powered by a Caterpillar Tier 4 Final diesel engine, the D60x90 S3 offers a 17-hp boost — from 185 to 202 hp — compared to its Series II predecessor, for increased speed and jobsite productivity.
Common controls on the Vermeer S3 models can simplify operator training and make it easier for operators to transition from one S3 drill to another. The common control system includes the digital display, improved onboard diagnostics and joystick controls. A DigiTrak Aurora interactive, full-color touch-screen display delivers real-time, easy-to-view locate information and more to help increase operator productivity. In early 2016, on-rig bore planning will be released.
The Vermeer D60x90 S3 Navigator HDD will be available in December 2015.
HammerHead Shows New Pipe Bursting Machine, Gas Slitting Technology
The HydroBurst 100XT Static Pipe Bursting System is considered HammerHead’s next generation of pipe bursting machines. The 100XT gives contractors 99 tons of pulling force for their sewer, water and gas line replacement jobs. The system sports a tethered remote control and with streamlined functions that pay out rod very quickly due to the pipe industry’s first automated rod spinning assembly and unique design of its hydraulic cylinders.
The system has the ability to turn off the cylinders to decrease the tonnage it’s pulling, which in turn increases the production level. The pulling machine’s water-cooled PP4500 hydraulic powerpack with 72.7 hp Kubota engine pumps hydraulics fluid at up to 43.5 gpm and 4,500 psi. In 50-ton mode, the unit directs all hydraulic fluid to just two of the cylinders, which then can move twice as fast as in 100-ton mode.
HammerHead’s new Same Path technology for gas line slitting will allow contractors to simultaneously decommission and replace — and even upsize — existing gas line mains and services safer, faster and more cost-effectively. Used together with its HydroGuide winches, breakaway pin kits and Subsite locator, the patent-pending Same Path tooling uses 3- to 20-ton winches to slit and replace 1/2- to 4-in. diameter runs of PVC, HDPE, MDPE and Aldyl-A, reducing the risk of damage to adjacent utilities.
This technology was developed through several years of collaborative engineering and field testing between HammerHead and PG&E and Southwest Gas, both of which are soon to give the technology their seal of approval.
Ditch Witch Shows Off Vacuum Excavator Line and Backreamers
Jeff Davis, Ditch Witch product manager of HDD tooling and drill pipe, walked us through the new line of backreamers, designed to help underground construction operators improve productivity and tool durability on HDD jobsites. New to all model designs, the HD backreamers are now equipped with standard API threads to fit any industry drill under 100,000 lbs.
The new models include the Beavertail HD, Warthog HD, Kodiak HD and Compact Fluted HD backreamers. To reduce friction and the possibility of jams while drilling, the Kodiak HD backreamer enables cuttings and fluid to flow over the product and out the bore hole by providing optional drilling fluid from the rear of the tool. Similar to the Kodiak HD design, the Compact Fluted HD backreamer reduces friction and the possibility of jamming by forcing fluid out the swivel plate. The improved heavy-duty casting design provides smooth pushback and maximum durability. Integrated swivel with a clevis or tab option reduce the possibility of binding by placing the produce closer to the reamer and eliminate the need for multiple connections between the drill and reamer.
The Ditch Witch MR90 is a self-contained unit that can mix and recycle drilling fluid — or “mud” — as well as handle spoils. By reclaiming, recycling and reusing drilling mud, drill operators can save on disposal and transport costs. The MR90 saves operators even more time and money because it’s the only mud recycler on the market that can be transported full of fluid — one of many cost-efficient features that no competing models offer.
Barbco Produces the PitBoss CommandAir Blower
Barbco has partnered with U.S. Shoring and Equipment to produce a ventilation blower that fills a much-needed void in large diameter confined space construction, such as utility tunneling. The PitBoss CommandAir30 is a 24,000-cfm confined space blower designed to accommodate most non-hazardous confined space ventilation requirements by pumping in fresh air.
Barbco makes the machines and U.S. Shoring and Equipment, Barbco’s exclusive dealer, distributes them.
Toro Unveils New HDD Drill
Toro joined the HDD market a few years back when it purchased Astec Underground’s drill line. Since that time, Toro has added some rigs and this year, unveiled the successor to its DD4045 — the DD4050. The rig offers a number of new features to complement the existing HDD product line, including increased rotary torque, re-styled guarding around the stake-down area, and a software upgrade to Toro Drill Operating System, or TDOS 1.
The innovative DD4050 offers 5,000 ft-lb of torque for improved performance in challenging conditions. The additional torque can aid in the boring process through tough terrain, including hard rock drilling applications. The operator can control and monitor all functions of the drill head from the integrated LCD display, all in the same small footprint that contractors have come to appreciate.
The all-new DD4050 includes re-styled guarding around the stake-down area. In addition to providing a better vantage point to the pipe entry area, the operator will also appreciate the improved overall visibility from the well-appointed operator’s station. The DD4050 will be available for purchase starting in the first quarter of 2016.
American Augers Showcases Auger Boring, Mud Systems and a Big Drill
American Augers came big to the ICUEE show, unveiling several new pieces of trenchless equipment. In fact, almost everything at the American Augers booth was new.
The Electric Blue electric auger boring machine. American Augers purchased this industry-first from Sharewell at the end of 2014 and since then has made some tweaks and reworked parts of it, debuting the rebranded machine at ICUEE.
This machine’s electrical power means zero emissions from the boring machine and up to 75 percent fuel savings over traditionally powered machines. The combo saddle is equipped with multiple inserts to accommodate a variety of casing sizes and its patent pending design uses the full face for pushing, allowing for better visibility and more accurate steering. The Electric Blue has 58,000 ft-lbs of torque and 250 tons of thrust. It has a standard 42-in. barrel with other sizes available and includes a 9-ft main rail and two 10-ft extension rails.
Also shown was the DD110 directional drill. With 110,000 lbs of thrust/pullback, this rig is perfect for utility and pipeline work. Key elements of the machine include sound — meaning it is super quiet — ease of use and operator comforts. It has 15,000 lbs of rotary torque and new radial piston rotary and thrust motors for powering through the toughest formations. The DD110 is Tier IV final.
American Augers also brought two new mud systems: M-200D and the M-500PD. Among the cool features of these systems is that they each feature Derrick Shakers. American Augers talked with its customers and was told that they wanted these shakers on a mud system.
Akkerman Adds High Torque Casing Attachment to Lineup
Akkerman displayed the High Torque Casing Attachment for its Akkerman’s 4800 series GBMs, allowing contractors to convert to auger boring machines. The 4800 Series Jacking Frame with the new High Torque Casing Adapter (HTCA) has a 36-in. auger boring master ring. This combination provides a maximum output torque of 100,000 ft-lbs for auger boring applications. The master ring is positioned between the thrust block and lead casing to adapt to 36-in. casing while the dirt paddles handle the spoil volume.