Soni Makihele, Driller, advances air rotary tooling through bedrock on a remote mountain top. The 6712DT was mobilized via helicopter long line.
Contributed by DJ Wardwell, Operations Manager for Discovery Drilling in Anchorage, AK
As a Driller’s Helper, and now a Driller, it didn’t take long for me to become a “Geoprobe® Enthusiast.” And it didn’t take long, after traveling all over our great state using our Geoprobe® machines in all manner of ways, to realize we weren’t using our rigs to the fullest extent.
Our busiest platforms these days are our 7822DT, 6712DT(two), and 54LT.
6712DT Changed Everything
The modular design of the 6712DT has changed everything for us. The ability to separate the tower, unit platform, and tracks from each other has opened up a plethora of logistical options. In Alaska, where many jobsites are accessible only by small aircraft, landing craft, or helicopter, the simple modular design of the 6712DT has alleviated many logistical headaches. A pair of bolts and a few quick connects later, the tower is separated from the rest of the machine, and the load is split for easy air mobilization in smaller aircraft. We’ve slung our 6712DTs to the tops of many mountains, as well as extremely remote locations with no access options other than helicopter. The 6712DT truly is the perfect drill platform for our Alaskan drilling adventures, and we’ve successfully employed some very non-traditional tooling options with it (air rotary, DT45, wireline coring, and more!). It’s been a real game-changer for us, and the Geoprobe® Team has been extremely supportive in helping us employ the 6712DT in some very unconventional ways.
Air rotary casing advancement at a 45 degree angle with the 7822DT.
7822DT Is Phenomenal
After I attended the 2014 Geoprobe® Open House and had spoken to drillers from all over the world, it became clear that our fleet was lacking a 7822DT. Everyone had positive things to say about the machine, so we purchased one shortly after I returned to Anchorage. It turned out to be a very wise purchase, and opened the door for us to complete more challenging projects and efficiently run larger tooling options (DT45, specifically). Our drillers love the machine’s extra stroke and power, and the on-board break-out tool allows us to complete harder jobs faster, on top of providing extra convenience and options for the operators. Pound for pound, the 7822DT is a phenomenal machine.
Scott Bombard, Driller, uses air rotary with a 54LT to facilitate grounding rod installation.
54LT ... The Little Rig That Could
The 54LT has been an amazing supplement to our ever-growing fleet of Geoprobe® machines, often being the solution to a big project that requires a small drill. We’ve used it for its traditional direct push applications in some very interesting locals, and like it’s big brother, the 6712DT, it has now taken to the sky! Once we realized we could incorporate a method of air rotary using the adjustable percussion-to-rotation valve on the GH42 hammer, we started slinging our 54LT to remote mountain-top sites to assist with communication tower construction. Watching the 54LT fly through the air on a helicopter long line is quite a site! We’re really pleased with the performance and versatility of the 54LT.
Enthusiastic Geoprobe® Service
We always know that however major, minor, or downright ridiculous our problems might be, someone at Geoprobe® is always there to enthusiastically assist us. Considering we are just one out of countless drilling contractors all over the world who look to Geoprobe® for support and technical guidance, I try not to take for granted the amount of time and effort their field technicians put into helping us. We’re fortunate to have a vendor who not only provides us with superior drilling equipment and tooling, but who also gives us a level of customer support that is unparalleled throughout the industry. Thank you to the team at Geoprobe Systems®, for helping our business succeed in ways we never thought possible. You can count on Discovery Drilling to push your drills to new extremes for many years to come!