Rock Star

Courtesy: John Deere Power Systems PowerSource Publication.


Busting Challenges

Rock constitutes much of the Earth's dry surface; and while its hard properties provide a stable, firm foundation for building infrastructure, it can create challenges for construction contractors responsible for laying underground utilities and pipeline.

Sing those blues no more, because Vermeer Corporation of Pella, Iowa, is rocking it with the Vermeer D40x55DR S3 Navigator — the latest addition to Vermeer’s family of horizontal directional drills (HDDs).

The Vermeer D40x55DR S3 Navigator is not labeled for just rock. The versatile performer takes on a wide range of soils with equal enthusiasm. Contractors will applaud its 177.9 kilonewtons (40,000 pounds) of thrust and pullback and 7,458 newton-meters (5,500 foot-pounds) of rotational torque.

The HDD features a dual-rod (rod inside a rod) drill stem. The inner rod provides torque to the drill bit, while the outer rod offers steering capability and rotational torque for reaming. The combination provides powerful downhole cutting action. A more simplified rod joint design and rotational gearbox are just two new improvements that are expected to speed the process of connecting rods to the drill string.

“It’s critical when you do these installations that you have good, solid support.”

— Edwin Galloway, Vermeer

The Ensemble

A 104-kW (140-hp) John Deere PowerTechTM PWS 4.5L Final Tier 4/Stage IV engine hydraulically drives the drill’s functions, including the mud pump and track drive. Northstar Power Products supplies the engines and engineering assistance. “It’s critical when you do these installations that you have good, solid support,” says Edwin Galloway, senior project engineer at Vermeer. "Northstar provided 3-D CAD designs that helped us position the DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) tank and route the aftertreatment system. Fortunately, we had room, so it wasn’t too arduous.”

Vermeer Corporation, Northstar Power, and John Deere are a trio that’s been performing together for nearly two decades and across several Vermeer product lines, including horizontal directional drills, trenchers, wood chippers, and more recently, concrete saws.