Vermeer Introduces Magnet Technology

Vermeer has introduced a new horizontal directional drilling (HDD) rock drilling system employing rotating magnets that generate a high-frequency percussive action to drill through rock formations.

The prototype Magnum drilling system was unveiled last fall and also exhibited in January at the Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition in San Antonio, TX.

“There is nothing in the industry like the Magnum system,” said Tony Briggs, Vermeer Corporation director of underground sales.

The Magnum system has a series of magnets of alternating polarity installed in the carriage assembly which, when rotated, develop percussive action to fracture and penetrate tough soils, including solid rock. Briggs said the Magnum system does not require the use of special drill rods or require support equipment such as an air compressor. The magnet/hammer technology was developed in collaboration with New Zealand engineering company, Flexidrill, and its exclusive use in horizontal directional drilling is licensed to Vermeer.

The Magnum system is available for the D36x50R Series II Navigator HDD model, a modified version of the company’s familiar D36x50 Series II.

Rock and more
However, a machine equipped with the Magnum system is not limited to installations in rock. “The Magnum components can be disengaged by the flip of the switch, and the unit can be used for conventional drilling,” Briggs said. “This versatility allows drilling in a wide range of ground conditions, helping boost overall equipment utilization.”

The D36x50R Series II is powered by a 140-horsepower diesel engine. It is rated at 38,000 pounds of pullback, 5,000 foot pounds of rotary torque, and maximum spindle speed of 227 rpm. The drilling fluid pump is rated at 70 gpm.

“Few Vermeer products have been through as rigorous a testing and validation journey as the Magnum drilling system,” said Briggs. “It is a considerable option for contractors who encounter difficult conditions.”

Vermeer underground construction equipment is manufactured by the Vermeer Corp., Pella, IA. In addition to horizontal directional drilling equipment, downhole tools and fluid mixing systems, the product line includes trenchers, vibratory plows, vacuum excavators, pneumatic piercing tools and support equipment sold and serviced through the worldwide Vermeer dealer organization.


Vermeer Corp., (888) 837-6337,

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