Getting Through a Hard Place

When it comes to drilling, the overburden is usually the easiest layer to deal with. It’s when drills finally hit hard rock formations that progress can dramatically slow down.

If you’re running into this problem, it might be time to invest in heavier, more rugged drill rigs and accessories to power through the dense material. A down-the-hole (DTH) hammer is a great example. It can drill as deep as 300 feet through limestone, sandstone and quartzite faster than standard mud rotary bits.

Down-the-Hole Hammer (DTH)The DTH hammers Lone Star Drills offers operate with a wide range of drilling equipment without the need for specialized adapters. Our 3-, 5-, and 6-inch-diameter hammers can be powered with air compressors with outputs as low as 185 cfm. This means you can use them with construction compressors that are readily found on the used equipment market or through rental dealers. To achieve faster drill speeds, use a more powerful air compressor.

The 3-inch model can be used with a 4-inch internal diameter casing set in the overburden to drill a 3-3/4-inch or 3-7/8- inch borehole in underlying rock. You can use the 5-inch hammer with 3-1/2-inch drill pipe to drive a 5-7/8-inch borehole through hard rock formations.

Drilling effectiveness also depends on factors such as anchoring requirements, bit types and the drilling unit itself. For heavier, trailer-mounted rigs, anchoring isn’t always necessary. But for smaller, lightweight drilling equipment, such as the LS200H, LS200H+, LS300 and LS300H+, anchoring stabilizes the drilling platform and helps force drill bits through soil and rock.

Lone Star Drill’s LS200H and LS300H series drills require 30-inch-long anchors for drilling projects in clay, loamy and sandy soils. But if the drill site is on rocky terrain, drillers have to find a different way to anchor the drills, such as adding water-filled tanks or barrels packed with rocks onto the unit. This anchoring force is crucial to pushing DTH hammers and heavy-duty drill bits through rocky material.

Choosing the right bit not only makes the drill more effective; it also improves the lifespan of the bit and reduces the number of times you’ll need to buy replacements. For instance, a drag bit won’t penetrate through the rocky soils and will prematurely wear out. Instead, once the drag bit reaches hard rock, switch to a tricone bit or a DTH hammer to power through.

Finally, picking the right drill for the job can determine how effective it will be, and we’re ready to help you choose the ideal rig for your next mission. Check out the full line of Lone Star Hydraulic Drills and contact us today.