Trenchless Technology

SEP 2018

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Page 67 of 83

68 T R E N C H L E S S T EC H N O LO GY S E P T E M B E R 2018 T H E "M A X I" C L A S S of horizontal direction drilling (HDD) machines are the largest and most powerful rotation units designed for daily use to bore the longest , deepest and largest diameter bores. Thrust and pullback of the big- gest maxi units can be 1.1 million lbs or more, with torque capabilities of 100,000 ft-lbs or greater. World-class record runs for maxi machines exceed two miles installing pipe 18 in. (460 mm) in diameter. Productivity and reliability with minimal downtime and lowest cost of ownership of these machines for the most part simply requires following the manufacturer 's prescribed main- tenance routines. " We go through the maintenance manual with a new owner at every start up," says Tim Slarb, an HDD ‡luid system ‡ield technician for 13 years with American Augers. " We point out the maintenance routines and em- phasize the importance of following them. Owners who adhere to the rec- ommended practices can expect long , trouble-free service life." Slarb says he knows of owners who have been drilling hard with their machines for more than 30 years. "It would be interesting to know the total hours they have on their rigs, but over the decades they 've lost track," he says. "They just know their trusty rig starts up for them and gets the job done, each and every time they need it. That's be- cause they 've cared for their machine." A maxi rig's capabilities can lull opera- tors into taking them for granted. They may start cutting corners on their nor- mal maintenance routines. Slarb says, "It's a shame because their maintenance is not really that timely or expensive – especially compared to downtime loss of productivity and the cost of repair when maintenance items are neglected." One of the most common causes for downtime and repair is ignoring prop - er greasing . "Grease is cheap. We try to reinforce that when we instruct the drilling crews – more grease and more grease – and more grease," Slarb says. Slarb advises rig owners to keep the ‡luid swivels and slip spindle properly lubricated. The slip spindle must be free to move to keep pressure off the pipe threads. Failure to grease the slip spin- dle not only causes premature wearing of splines in the shaft but can result in damage to pipe. "Some drillers see thread damage and don't immediately recognize its relationship to insuf‡icient slip spindle lubrication," he says. Failure to keep a bearing lubricated can also result in an expensive repair. " When a bearing is shot , you're look- ing at a pretty signi‡icant rebuild," Slarb notes. Other than daily greasing , Slarb says a maxi rig doesn't have many compo- nents with ‡irmly established service intervals. This makes a greasing routine additionally bene‡icial. " We instruct K E E P I N G Y O U R H D D M A X I R I G U P A N D R U N N I N G By Joe Bradfield

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