More Power and Productivity Added to Latest Rig for Fiber and Utility Work
With the fiber and utility construction markets thriving and growing, Ditch Witch has upped its HDD rig game with the latest addition to its JT drill system series. The midsize JT28 is designed and built for more power, productivity and ease of maintenance.
Ditch Witch unveiled the JT28 in February, replacing the JT25 that was first introduced in 2013. The design of the JT28 started about a year ago and is now available for purchase through the Ditch Witch dealership network.
“At Ditch Witch, we are always looking for ways to make our equipment better to fit our customers’ needs. With the JT25 on the market for over seven years, we were able to identify operators’ pain points and determine what they need to stay efficient on the jobsite,” said Ditch Witch HDD product manager Cory Maker. “The result is an updated drill that focuses on making operators’ lives easier and more productive through increased power, improved performance and fewer maintenance requirements.
“The JT28 takes everything that operators love about the JT25 and ups the ante,” says Maker. “With increased power, exceptional productivity and a durable design for simplified maintenance and system controls, this machine will help keep operators productive and efficient and improve jobsite performance.”
The JT28 features an exclusive rotational drive system with 4,200 ft-lbs of torque and 28,000 lbs of thrust and pullback, which provides the strength and reliability necessary for installation projects up to 12 in. in diameter and at lengths of up to 550 ft. The drill is powered by a 130-hp, Tier 4 Cummins diesel engine — the most powerful in its class — which makes it effective across a variety of jobsites, from pipe and cable installation to larger utilities like water, gas and sewer.
“The JT28 is replacing the JT25 directional drill, which was introduced in 2013 and is primarily used for fiber and utility installation in tight urban and residential jobsites,” Maker says. “Our customers have been extremely successful with the JT25, so we kept a lot of things that worked well and improved on some keys areas to boost operator efficiency.”
Maker noted that the JT25 was quite successful with its customers so Ditch Witch kept many of the things that worked well and improved on some key areas to boost operator efficiency. He said that the key features of the JT 28 can be described in three words: Powerful. Productive. Low-maintenance. “We added more power to the JT28 with a 5 percent increase in torque and 4 percent increase in thrust and pull back,” he explained. “This gives operators the increased power and performance necessary to stay productive and efficient on the jobsite.”
Maker also noted the system’s simplified maintenance. “The machine is designed with daily maintenance points in one easy-to-access location, which helps operators who don’t have to spend valuable time on daily maintenance routines, but can instead optimize their time where it really matters — on the jobsite,” he said.
Aesthetically, operators will notice that the machine’s modern, next-generation design follows the same evolution of the latest Ditch Witch directional drills to enhance operator comfortability and ease operator use and training.
The JT28 was designed and built to meet the growing needs of its customers working in the fiber and utility market, giving them the power of a midsize machine to work in the fiber and utility markets. “Fiber installation continues to be the driving force of the HDD industry. With the increase in 5G fiber installation projects, and as people continue to work from home due to COVID-19, we are seeing an influx in fiber projects in both urban and rural areas,” Maker said. “However, while the work for HDD is there and continues to hold steady, we are continuing to see a need for skilled operators.”
Maker added these final thoughts about Ditch Witch’s newest smaller rig: “At Ditch Witch, we are always looking for ways to make our equipment better to fit our customers’ needs. With the JT25 on the market for over seven years, we were able to identify operators’ pain points and determine what they need to stay efficient on the jobsite. The result is an updated drill that focuses on making operators’ lives easier and more productive through increased power, improved performance and fewer maintenance requirements.”