Overcoming industry labor shortages necessitates keeping veteran drillers satisfied while attracting and training next generation drillers. Customers have found features on the Geoprobe®31 series rigs give them an advantage in conquering the complexities of today’s labor market.
Cruising between job sites in a comfortable truck chassis with the creature comforts of air-conditioning and bluetooth can go a long way to creating driller satisfaction.
“The guys love driving the 3100GT and are always saying it rides like a Cadillac,” said Chris Kenney, P.E., Kenney Geotechnical Services, New York. “As a boss, I don’t get complaints about having to drive the truck. Drilling is not an easy job. Anything we can do to make it easier is a plus.”
Delivering drillers a comfortable ride could also mean choosing the crawler carrier with enclosed operator cabin featured on the 3145GT. Any choice of chassis comes with proficient performance.
“The 31 series rigs have more diversity and ability than a conventional rig. The variable speed adjustments don’t result in any power loss. The hands-free automation to control rotation and feed rates are great. The lifting power is phenomenal,” said Dave Johnson, driller, Municipal Testing Labs, New York. “We send steel into tight conditions where it would typically get stuck, but the lifting ability of the Geoprobe® pulled it right out.”
No matter whether you choose truck, track, or crawler carrier, the centerline head side shift simplifies applications and propels production. Drillers appreciate staying out of harms way with all functions aligned along the centerline, including the hands-free automatic drop hammer.
“The interchangeable operations from drilling to sampling is smooth and efficient with all operations on the same centerline. The head design helps with straight drill hole operations. Less time adjusting the alignment means more time drilling. Everything just lines up on the centerline,” Johnson said. “Not swinging hammer over, it is much safer.”
Drillers also praise the mud rotary efficiency of the 31 series rigs - permitting washing out heaving sands without losing power - for making their jobs easier.
“Now with two hydraulic pumps we’re not bleeding pressure from the flow,” Johnson said. “A lot of thought went into the design and ability to control flow is really beneficial.”
Stable mud flow and rotation maintains production levels no matter whether used for geotechnical investigations or environmental assessments.
“The 3126GT just keeps rolling, doing mud pump and rotation at the same time. It doesn’t slow down at all. It’s a compact drill rig with really good direct push capabilities,” said Shawn Mathers, operations manager and driller, Mathers Environmental Drilling, Texas.
The versatility of the 31 series rigs means drillers mobilize one rig prepared to complete rock coring or direct push sampling.
“The 3100GT can core rock just as easily as it takes Shelby tube samples or does mud rotary,” Kenney said. “We have highly variable soil conditions – a site can have glacial till full of boulders at one end and at the other end it’s 300 feet of soft clay to rock.”
The added convenience of hands-free rotation and feed and digital displays on the 31 series rigs reduces the physical and mental strain of rotary work.
“The coring features made it much more efficient and easier,” Johnson said. “The display screen assists the driller to know what is happening downhole and with the drill rig itself.”
While veteran drillers have years of experience “feeling” how a rig is performing, the digital displays on 31 series rigs give new drillers visual clues so they can more quickly move up the learning curve.
“The coring interface shows RPMs, temperatures, and bit weight in hole versus doing it all by feel, providing visual indicators to show we’re doing as much with the machine as we can without forcing things downhole,” said David M LeGrand Jr., P.E., owner, Catawba Valley Engineering and Testing, North Carolina.
When combined with organized, electric controls on the control panel and compact size, the 31 series rigs are less intimidating to new drillers. Those starting as helpers will also appreciate how the rigs minimize handling tooling and components like the auto drop hammer.
“The 3126GT is helper friendly. It has all the power you need and you don’t have to manhandle things as much,” Mathers said. “It’s easy to set up and run and the size makes it convenient for environmental even though it’s a geotechnical rig.”
Together, the features mean quickly showing a skilled helper – or an engineer or geologist - how it’s done, putting them at the controls, and having the driller stand back and coach.
“The 3100GT is so easy to learn. Our engineers and geologist can operate the 3100GT themselves when needed,” Kenney said.
Eliminating the need for a class A/B CDL when choosing the truck-mounted 3100GT also expands the pool of potential new drillers.
“You don’t need a CDL to drive the rig to the site. It’s difficult these days to get drillers, so anything we can do to make the job a little easier is better for everyone,” Kenney said. “The 3100GT is all we need and we can get around more quickly and economically than a bigger truck-mounted rig.”
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Geoprobe® MD4 Display Overview
Geoprobe® - 31 Series Overview
3100GT PTO Engagement Instructions