New multi-purpose Pioneer drilling rigs from Geotechnical Engineering are claimed to be compact, powerful and capable of carrying out ground investigations in hard and soft grounds with minimum disruption to traffic or local residents. Developed in conjunction with British and Italian drilling rig manufacturers, the Pioneer rig can switch quickly from dynamic sampling in soft ground to rotary drilling in hard ground - even within the same borehole.
Dynamic sampling is achieved through the use of a high powered hydraulic hammer which forces steel tubes between 60mm and 112mm into the ground at any desired angle. This yields continuous samples contained within a clear plastic core liner. When the ground becomes too hard for dynamic sampling a sliding frame on the rig's mast allows a conventional rotary drilling head to be swung into position over the borehole.
Geotechnical Engineering managing director Andrew Milne says the Pioneer system is especially suited to environmental investigations. 'The samples are less disturbed and are sealed in the core liner immediately they come out of the ground. This also minimises contact between the samples and the site operatives, with obvious benefits to health and safety when working in contaminated land.'
Latest versions of the Pioneer rigs are capable of working in locations with headrooms as low as 2m, and, with their rubber tracks retracted, are compact enough to pass through a standard doorway.
Geotechnical Engineering (01452) 527743