Occasionally we use a tracked drilling rig to drill our borehole water supplies. Tracked machines have some distinct advantages, but also some disadvantages over conventional truck mounted machines.

The tracked drilling rig we use is a small to medium size crawler mounted drilling rig. It is the most modern of the drilling rigs that we use and consequently is utilises the most advanced technology.

The rig can operate all rotary driven drilling techniques and weighs approximately 8000kg. Because the rig is tracked mounted it has to be transported to and from sites on a low loader.

What are the advantages and disadvantages to the tracked drilling rig we use?

Tracked Drilling Rig Controls

Tracked Drilling Rig Controls

The tracked drilling rig has a number of benefits, mainly because it can get into tight spaces – as the rig is track mounted it can track into tight spaces that a conventional lorry mounted rig can’t get to.

Furthermore the tracks for normal movement are narrow and then expand once it is in position. This means that we can drive the rig through a tight space and then into an open area where we are working.

The tracked rig we use has the same height stoke as the truck mounted drilling rig meaning that the drilling rods are interchangeable between the two different types of drilling rig.

  • We can drill from 4” up to 12” diameter using the tracked drilling rig
  • It saves on labour and is user friendly
  • Help provide a stable platform to ensure the borehole is straight and aligned
  • It looks great and utilises the latest technology
Tracked Drilling Rig II

Tracked Drilling Rig II

Does the tracked drilling rig have any disadvantages?

The tracked rig, although a very powerful machine does not have the same capabilities as our truck mounted machines, it can’t drill a borehole as deep as our other machines.

Because it has to be loaded onto a trailer mount the rig is more difficult to transport as you can’t simply drive it away when you are finished as you can with a truck mounted rig, it can therefore also be more expensive to transport over long distances.

Due to the complex technology involved in getting a powerful rig into a compact piece of machinery they do require a lot of maintenance when compared to the truck mounted rig.

The tracked drilling rig is great, it’s a very useful addition to our fleet. It’s a very powerful machine and ideal for getting into tight spaces whilst maximising the potential to drill a productive water well / borehole with a wide diameter range as well. It’s also a joy to use.

Liam Phelan, Dales Water drilling foreman.