8150LS provides confidence to run larger diameter casing to deeper depths dry coring through fine, tightly packed hard sands during sonic drilling method.
Using a range of rigs to complete an array of environmental projects — direct push soil and water sampling, conventional monitoring wells, deep sonic wells, small and large injection projects, and site abandonments — the 35-year-old DrillPro LLC, better known as Groundwater Protection, once focused on SPT and hollow stem augers on traditional truck-mounted rigs.
“Through the years we transitioned to 7822DT for most of the conventional work, including installation of permanent PVC casings and mud rotary drill outs,” Nick Bishop, purchasing, said. “For deeper projects we use sonic.”
The company, servicing primarily Florida, occasionally sneaks into South Georgia, Alabama, or Mississippi, typically keeping seven to eight of their rigs running. Having been in the sonic game for nearly two decades, Bishop credits the arrival of the Geoprobe® sonic rigs with increased productivity.
“Our site footprint has gotten smaller and our daily production has gotten faster with the arrival of the Geoprobe® track sonic rigs,” Bishop said.
The company sought increased confidence to run larger diameter casing to deeper depths and knew using the 8140 in certain conditions could be challenging. So they traded their older 8140 in and purchased a Geoprobe® 8150LS sonic rig to open up new markets using the sonic drilling method.
“An area where the 8140 struggled — dry coring through fine, tightly packed hard sands — the 8150 just continuously moves forward,” Bishop said. “We can confidently bid on larger jobs — 200-foot plus wells using 8-10 inch casing. Our limitation isn’t the rig.”
Recently Billy Moss, driller, set a 2-inch well at 285 feet, dual cased off with 10-inch casing at 220 feet chasing a deep plume in Ocala, Florida. On the site they set numerous deep wells ranging 150-200 feet chasing the same plumes during sonic drilling sampling.
“When in the sweet spot of 100-200 feet it performs a lot faster than our truck-mounted sonic rigs, set up time is minimal, and sampling and casing drill times are faster, meaning more footage per day,” Bishop said. “The speed of the head alone makes it quicker, but there are no struggling points. It does what we ask of it. The rig has yet to show us refusal.”
Packed with “nice features,” the 8150LS sonic with its engineering enhancements has surprised Bishop by being easy to service.
“The engineering advances from the 40s to the 50s — small changes like the way the table has been built and the beefier rod handler — help to withstand the abuse the equipment sees in the field. The modem diagnostics have also been helpful on a few occasions,” Bishop said. “With all the advancements I would have thought it would be a burden to maintenance, but servicing the head and preventative maintenance has been very serviceable.”
Described as “dependable,” the rig functionality impresses him.
“We can set angle wells with the 10-foot tooling and effortlessly load pipe. The rig does not vary off angle once it’s set,” Bishop said.
This dependability increased the accuracy of their project bids.
“There are fewer anomalies, which means we can hone in our bid as far as number of days,” Bishop said. “It’s better to tell a client seven days and it takes seven versus going into day eight.”
All the capabilities in a small footprint also pleases clients.
“We have the ability to do deep work with our truck mounted sonic rigs, but have a hard time getting into gas station jobs and tight areas,” Bishop said. “Although the 8150LS is large in size, it gives us the ability to get into tighter locations, helping us meet the client’s needs.”
While there was a learning curve going from the 8140 to the 8150, the change has created greater drilling precision.
“The small details allow us greater ability to dial it in,” Bishop said. “We can accurately dial and play it safe while determining the limiting factor with the feedback the rig gives.”
Geoprobe® support further minimizes issues encountered during sonic drilling method.
“The feedback provided to drillers by the control panel, with the ability of Geoprobe® to trace anything through the modem, ultimately allows us to make repairs in the field and get back to completing the job. The support is phenomenal when we run into an issue,” Bishop said. “That same support runs throughout the company. We can count on John Martinuzzi’s expert advice when it comes to in-the-field drilling or I can confidently call up Team Geoprobe® and come up with a tooling solution.”
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