Bigger and longer: the TRACTO drill bit makes the largest contractor installation easier


One of Victoria’s leading HDD contractors, Jelmac, used a recently acquired TRACTO-TECHNIK GRUNDODRILL 28N to complete the company’s longest installation to date. Equipped with 224 kW of power, a powerful 650 l/min mud system and space to accommodate more drill rods, the machine already delivers longer, bigger and more efficient rigs.

Founded in 2013, Jelmac is a proven trenchless technology leader in Victoria, specializing in Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD). Based in Melbourne, the company works across all major utility and essential service sectors, as well as local builds and small-scale projects.

Over the past few years, a significant portion of Jelmac’s resources have been focused on the significant modernization of Melbourne’s suburban rail network. The firm prides itself on its experienced and reliable team, who enjoy tackling tough cases, whether large, small, unique or complex, working hand-in-hand with their clients to ensure they get it all done. its possible to get the job done, no. however complex or unique they may be, with full transparency along the way.

The GRUNDODRILL 28N is the seventh HDD machine in Jelmac’s fleet, with drills of different sizes and capacities. The diversity of machines gives the company the flexibility to use a “horses for the yard” approach to work, depending on variables such as job site size, geology, plant length and diameter.

One of the key factors that made the machine so attractive to Jelmac was the machine’s immense power, with 100% of the rig’s 224 kW of power dedicated to drilling operations. According to TRACO, this aspect of the machine’s design and performance is unique in the pull force power class up to 300 kN.

The extra power also supports an advanced mud system, delivering up to 650 l per minute of bentonite, facilitating increased productivity and faster drilling, while opening up the possibility for contractors, like Jelmac, to undertake boreholes bigger and longer.

In addition to this power and the effect it has on the functions of the GRUNDODRILL 28N, the drill also features automation and comfort for the benefit of the end user. Two multi-function joysticks are used for all functions in bore and drive mode and can be switched between manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic modes.

In the air-conditioned cabin there is a panel PC with touch screen and Internet connection, which simplifies operations for the end user. Personalized ergonomics have also been taken into account, with an extra wide and comfortable seat, with air suspension and automatic weight adjustment.

Trenchless Australasia spoke to Jelmac Managing Director Brad Boote at the site of a railway project in southeast Melbourne, where the GRUNDODRILL 28N recently completed a 370m long borehole with a diameter of 450mm in siltstone, which he considers the company’s largest facility. the story.

“This rig we’re working on here is probably the biggest borehole we’ve ever done, at least lengthwise,” he says.

“Since receiving the machine in August 2021, we have seen this machine compare to similar rigs we have used in the past with a few key advantages.

“The first being fluid delivery capability – we can pump many more liters per minute down the borehole, which helps us with larger diameter bores, like we just did here,” he says. .

Mr Boote says another advantage of the GRUNDODRILL 28N is its ability to hold nearly 300m of drill pipe, meaning that on this particular rig his team only had to load a few pipes at the very end to reach the final length of the installation.

“A lot of machines only have 180m of rods on board, so it would have been a big job for a machine like that. The other thing is that at only 3m these rods are easier to handle; Changing them is a one-person job, whereas with other machines, you would have had to load one rod at a time using a two-person shovel.

“A lot of our work is typically below 250m, so the 28N fits the purpose very well with the diameters we do, the fluid delivery and the rods – so those three aspects are really important to us.

According to Mr Boote, as much of Jelmac’s work takes place on confined sites, the design of the machine means it is suitable for most projects they work on. Beyond the technical specifications and characteristics of the machine, the customer-supplier relationship is also important for the company.

“This is very important to us and is another reason why we decided to work with TRACTO”, says Mr Boote.

“Investing in this type of equipment is always a big decision and a massive commitment. We need to know that we can count on TRACTO for assistance, training, sales, maintenance and spare parts to ensure that the machine works when we need it, maintaining the efficiency and quality of work that our partners expect. of Jelmac.

“So far we are really happy with the decision. I had not had the opportunity to sit on the machine while it was working on a job site until last week and it was a dream .

For more information, visit the TRACTO-TECHNIK website website.


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