The Top Three Things to Know Before Buying Used Directional Drilling Equipment

As with any decision regarding the purchase of machinery, one must first determine what the equipment’s principal parts are; second, what selection of equipment is available in the marketplace; and third, whether one is able to carefully inspect what’s available. Only in this way can a successful purchase be made. Each of these categories of information is composed of important elements which need to be carefully considered.

Initial information about your new directional drilling equipment should include: which parts it contains, which of these parts wear the most, and all maintenance requirements. Have the maintenance requirements been met? If not, then it’s probably a pass on this item, in order to find a more reliable one that can be in production sooner.

Principal parts include the “walk-over” or “wire line” locating system for the project’s bore head. Other parts which should be on your review list are the transmitter or “sonde,” which needs to be assessed for its age and the number of documentable in-service hours. In evaluating used equipment, make sure your inspection list and service-record review include all components that register angle, rotation, direction or temperature data, as these are going to be your eyes and ears below the surface. They will locate your project’s target and avoid obstacles that can run up the cost of your jobs and thus eat into your profits. Formal servicing records should be provided for such items, and any gaps or missing entries in these records will require further review which may lead to rejection of the equipment.

Certain of the guidelines suggested are, of course, matters of common sense, but they provide an important foundation of basics for review. Overlooking something in the drilling-equipment market can mean the difference between profit and loss on future projects. In other words, get to know the factors that affect your daily life on the job because they are the essentials that can make your business better.

Since some of these components register the electromagnetic signals that translate into meaningful data on a project, their importance cannot be overemphasized. These parts need to be compatible with any hand-held locator device that will be used with the equipment under consideration for purchase, so this section of the checklist needs to be quite thorough. An experienced dealer or operator will understand the importance of this and will know what degree of wear and use is acceptable. Also, it goes without saying that every part in the drill string needs particularly careful review. Both the surface receiver and the wireline systems must be in good condition in order to work with the operator for maximum results.

The time involved in directional drilling, especially with drilling equipment of the horizontal variety, is longer than that of conventional vertical drilling. Other equipment under consideration for purchase will need to be reviewed for compatibility as well as for wear. Such pieces include the pulling power drill, which is used with a reclaimer; any excavator; and any of the numerous pumps and hoses. Others may include

An experienced and reliable dealer who knows this type of equipment can be a great source of assistance. The dealer can help to determine what capacity a particular machine can handle and whether it is right for the work intended.

Remember that your primary concerns should be the principal parts, the job requirements, and the selection available. Next, consider the number of service hours and what the maintenance records show, and weigh all the foregoing information against pricing and whatever servicing and warranties are available for the HDD equipment under consideration.

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