Vermeer Large Rig Offers Power, Mobility In Compact Footprint

Vermeer will introduce a new 240,000-plus pound pullback horizontal directional drill (HDD) at the 2013 ICUEE show in Louisville, KY. The D220x300 Navigator is projected to be available during the first quarter of 2014.

The new model will fill a void in the changing HDD market and is expected to see wide use in energy field projects, said Jon Heinen, Vermeer pipeline business segment manager.

“There’s no doubt that in today’s competitive trenchless marketplace, contractors are encountering increasingly challenging HDD job requirements,” said Heinen. “Job requirements are stricter and deadlines grow ever-shorter.”

Projects today, Heinen continued, call for an easy-to-mobilize, powerful machine that can handle rough terrain on remote jobs as well as having the small footprint required in urban areas.

“Simply put,” said Heinen, “drills need to be more powerful without growing in size.”

Right sized
The answer, he said, is a self-contained maxi rig, and Vermeer anticipates that their new D220x300 rig will fill that niche. The unit features maximum pullback of 242,000 pounds, rotational torque of 30,200 foot-pounds and spindle speeds to 164 rpm. The self-contained drill unit is only 37-feet long and 8.5-feet wide.

“The onboard pump boasts a robust capacity of 330 gpm at 1,200 psi, allowing for a truly self-contained unit when working in confined areas,” Heinen continued. “Competitive units are either not self-contained, making access of tight rights-of-way difficult, or onboard pumps are undersized compared to the capacity of the D220x300 pump.”

Heinen said the new model is well suited to contractors who are considering expanding their market to energy work.

“Such a contractor may recognize he needs to move up from a 100,000-pound category drill, but a 300,000-pound model may be too much of an up-size,” he explained. “The versatility of the D220x300 with its footprint-to-power ratio allows entry into the pipeline market, providing faster mobilization and cost savings due to fewer set-up costs.”

With energy shale plays, he continued, industry specifications are changing and what once was a six- to 10-inch pipe diameter job, now is a 24-inch job. Contractors need equipment that can help fulfill demands of changing specifications.


“Instead of making multiple passes with an 80,000- or 100,000-pound rig to accomplish larger diameter jobs,” he said, “contractors can complete them more economically with the power increase available in the D220x300. The increased capabilities of the drill make for bigger hole openings with fewer passes of the reamer.”

Heinen pointed out that a typical job for a D220x300 would be 2,500 to 3,000 feet in length.

“Its power-to-footprint ratio will allow contractors to complete jobs that are inaccessible by larger rigs and will allow them to still complete this type of work profitably,” he added. “While the D220x300 is well-suited to urban work, its compact footprint and balanced design also allow it to shine when working in remote, difficult to access terrain.”

The D220x300 uses 20-foot long drill rod instead of the industry-standard 31.5-foot pipe. A single row, sliding arm rod loader allows for the staging of four rods at one time, and the rotation gearbox features a floating spline shaft design which eliminates the need for operator to “feather” the carriage or use a mechanical cushion sub during drill rod makeup and breakout. The new model has the same control arrangement as other models throughout the Vermeer Navigator lineup, limiting operator training time. An optional knuckle-boom onboard crane can be mounted on either side of the base anchor.

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

Vermeer Corp., (888) 837-6337,

D220x300 Navigator Horizontal Directional Drill
Features and Benefits

• High power-to-size ratio allows power yet compact footprint;
• Self-contained drill with onboard driller’s cabin, mud pump, crane and rod loader;
• Pin-able, open top vise;
• Optional knuckle-boom onboard crane;
• Single row, sliding arm rod loader;
• Rotation gearbox on drill features a floating spline shaft design;
• Sliding vise which moves 1.9 feet;
• Shares common control platform with other Navigator drills;
• Remote tracking option;
• Optional onboard Weatherford triplex mud pump; and
• Wireline tensioning system with electric reel.

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