American Augers Unveils Exit-Side Wrench

American Augers has introduced an excavator-mounted exit-side wrench for use with any brand of mid-size horizontal directional drilling (HDD) equipment that uses five-inch diameter drill pipe.

The patent-pending ESW-M is a production and safety-related tool for handling drill pipe at the exit-side of an HDD installation, said Rob Verwillgen, American Augers director of sales.

“This first exit-side wrench is available now,” Verwillgen continued. “On many jobs, a pipe loader is employed at the entry side of a bore, but the exit side pipe handling usually has been a manual operation. Mounted at the end of the excavator boom, the ESW-M can pick up sections of pipe from a stack, thread drill string together, and apply torque to appropriate levels. The process also can be done in reverse order.”

The exit-side wrench can be invaluable for long installations requiring multiple reaming passes to enlarge the pilot hole.

“Using a single device instead of several pipe handling tools increases productivity and by eliminating manual handling of pipe, job-site safety is significantly increased. It also can be operated by remote control allowing the operator to be in a position away from the pipe handling process.”


The ESW-M is designed to operate on 20 gpm hydraulic flow from the excavator to produce up to 60,000 foot pounds of breakout torque, 45,000 foot pounds of make-up torque, and 2,000 foot pounds torque spinner. A storage stand comes with the unit.

It is designed for use on a Caterpillar 320 excavator using 80 mm pins with 12½-inches between pins. Other connections are available on request.

Verwillgen said American Augers drill units compatible with the exit-side wrench are DD-220T up to DD-1100RS models.

“The ESW-M is a first step of American Augers to offer more on-the-job equipment,” concluded Verwillgen. “Development of the large version has started already and will be followed by other tools for use at HDD job sites.”

Based in West Salem, OH, American Augers has served the underground construction industry since 1970. In addition to mid-size and large horizontal directional drills and downhole tools, the company’s product line includes drilling fluid mixing and recirculation systems, and auger boring equipment.

American Augers, (800) 324-4930,

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