A fleet of four Mercedes-Benz Unimogs are hauling Boart Longyear`s 100C sonic drilling rigs to drill sites in UK and Ireland – and even continental Europe.
The Unimog U500s haul the 100C sonic drilling rigs on specially designed trailers on roads at normal speeds and then immediately off-road, often onto muddy tracks and open ground. The alternative, says Brendan Henderson, Boart Longyear`s Operation Manager for UK Drilling Services, is at least two vehicles: one to haul on road and another to get them to working sites off road and often in remote locations.
As part of an overall technically advanced ‘package’, the long wheelbase (4.5 metres) Unimog U500s are fitted with cranes, two with Palfingers and two with PM cranes, each capable of lifting a maximum of 4.5 tonnes (880Kgs at 9 metres). These enable double-skin fuel, water tanks and a wide range of other tools and equipment to be carried on the vehicle’s payload and loaded or off-loaded on site.
The 100C sonic drilling rigs have been designed and built by Boart Longyear. Drilling depths are up to 50 metres and the sonic operation produces high quality core samples without the need for a flushing medium. Sonic drilling is faster than conventional cable percussive, direct push or hollow stem auger methods and is effective in loose materials through to solid rock. Investigative derived waste is reduced by up to 80%, which combines with less time on-site to offer significant environmental benefits.
The Unimogs and rigs are based in central Scotland, but their on-road ability and efficient fuel consumption allow them to operate throughout the UK. Rigs on trailers hauled by the Unimogs have also been working in Poland and France.
After the rig has been off-loaded from the trailer, the Unimog can operate as an all-terrain support vehicle delivering fuel, water and other supplies to sites in urban areas as well as the most remote locations.