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Geoprobe® Sonic Broadens M&W Drilling’s Services

The vision at M&W Drilling, LLC, has been to aggressively expand drilling capabilities to provide a broader range of services to existing clients as well as to attract new ones. Already owning multiple air rotary, mud rotary, auger, rock coring, and Geoprobe® direct push rigs of various sizes and capabilities, they knew sonic drilling would complete their repertoire of drilling capabilities.   

M&W Drilling work site.

M&W Drilling has yet to find the depth limitation of their rig!

According to Firas Mishu, Owner of the Knoxville, TN, company, “Through our research and past experience, we knew we wanted to stay with the Geoprobe® brand due to the quality and versatility of the equipment and tooling, as well as their second-to-none customer service.” M&W’s new Geoprobe® 8150LS Rotary Sonic arrived in September of 2016.

“Seeing more and more work being specified as mandatory sonic,” Firas said, “we knew we were missing out on opportunities to impress current and potential clients. With sonic, we also saw opportunities to increase drilling production in geologies in which we were previously able to drill, but not as efficiently.”

Throughout the summer of 2016, M&W worked closely with Geoprobe® to make sure that their new sonic rig would contain all of the functionality they initially envisioned. He added, “With the help of the Geoprobe® team, we enhanced the capability of this rig by adding a couple of packages that were a first of their kind in the drilling industry, including the ability to rock core (NQ, HQ, PQ) and obtain SPT (split spoon samples) with an auto drop hammer. This ability makes our one-of-a-kind 8150LS Sonic extremely versatile.”

Once the unconsolidated portion of a hole is completed using the sonic technique, no longer will a seperate rock coring rig need to be mobilized to obtain rock core samples. M&W simply switches over to the rock coring functionality and, in a matter of minutes, they’re obtaining rock cores per ASTM standards. “Site investigation work does not always end up going the way that it was originally planned,” he said, “but we now have the ability to adjust on the fly to obtain the data required by our clients without remobilizing to the site with additional equipment.”

Geoprobe® 8150LS at a 45 degree angle.

Angle drilling and the rod handling system show the capabilities of the 8150LS sonic.

Since the 8150LS arrived, Firas said they have drilled 400 ft. holes at a federal facility for the U.S. government, drilling through clay, limestone, and shale, using 6-in. dual tube casing, unique to Geoprobe® sonic tooling. This allowed for a more efficient installation of 2-in. wells as well as minimizing drill cuttings and the additional costs associated with IDW disposal. On other projects, they have installed monitoring wells and injection points (type 2 and 3), drilled geotechnical borings and obtained NQ, HQ, and PQ rock cores and have, of course, performed sampling with 2.25- to 6-in. sonic dual tube sampling equipment. 

Other projects have included a multi-week geotechnical/rock coring project on a marshy reclamation site that required a track rig, mud mats, and clearing activities, and also a multi-day sampling project at a small abandoned warehouse. “Projects like these are why we purchased this machine,” Firas added.

“There is nothing more frustrating in our industry than being asked by a client to drill for them, only to find out that the type of rig needed to efficiently drill the project is not something we own,” he said. “Now, with the 8150LS, along with our other rigs, M&W Drilling is able to efficiently drill through practically any type of geology found in the United States. Our clients never have to worry about whether we can drill something for them again. They only have to pick up the phone, set up the work, and we’re there!”

  • M&W Drilling has yet to find the depth limitation of their rig!
  • Because of the rig’s tracks, M&W’s 8150LS can access difficult terrain.
  • Angle drilling and the rod handling system show the capabilities of the 8150LS sonic.
  • A Coring Head (to the right of the Combo Head), another option for the 8150LS, makes swift and easy work of coring rock.
  • The Automatic Drop Hammer option for the 8150LS sonic allows for collecting split spoon samples and other geotechnical applications.

Probing Times Spring 2017

This article is an excerpt from the Spring 2017 issue of the Probing Times ( Page 7 ). Click Here to see the full issue.

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