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Atlas Copco’s Mustang 4-F1 Compact Rig Can Drill in Tight Work Sites

Sat November 22, 2008 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

As energy costs rise and fossil fuel resources decrease, renewable sources such as geothermal energy are becoming more popular. Geothermal heat pumps, or ground source heat pumps as they also are known, can offer consumers heating and cooling savings of between 25 and 70 percent. While geothermal technology is gaining in popularity, now used by 3 to 4 million Americans, drillers can find the work challenging.

It can be difficult to work on residential properties without churning up a lawn or blocking accesses. Atlas Copco’s Mustang 4-F1 helps drillers in tight spots. It can reach where other truck-mounted rigs can’t, such as a customer’s remote location and even the basement of an inner-city high rise. With the rubber crawler pads, the rig’s 13,000 lbs. (5,896 kg) are evenly distributed, so lawns have little to show for the drilling work.

On site, the Mustang makes its way around houses and landscaping with minimal disturbance to the property. It is further helpful on job sites because rock cuttings are blown directly into a waste container, reducing debris.

Not only is the lawn left green, but the Mustang 4-F1 has a “green” Tier III Deutz diesel engine with low fuel consumption. Harmful and unpleasant exhaust fumes are kept to a minimum. The quiet-running compressor puts out 350 psi, 700 cfm air. The lubricating system allows adequate lubrication of the DTH hammer, keeping the risk of soil pollution down.

It is efficient to operate, ergonomically designed and easy to use by a single operator. For example, on the Mustang 4-F1, with a single pull of a lever, the positioning device moves the feed accurately and safely into place. The position of the compact tiltable rod rack, winch and rod breaker facilitate quick and easy rod changes and guarantee high productivity. The tiltable rod rack holds 40, 10-ft. (3 m) long rods while the rod holder and guides facilitate quick and easy rod changes.

A One-Stop Solution to Geothermal

The Mustang 4-F1 can drill down to 490 ft. (149 m) with 5- to 6-in. (12.7 to 15 cm) down-the-hole equipment. The DHR 48H rotation units offer speeds of up to 125 rpm and torque of up to 4,200 ft. lbs. for optimal penetration. Add to that a pull length of 12.8 ft. (3.9 m), and the rotation unit can effortlessly lift the drill string up, out of the hole. This rotation unit also comes with a floating spindle that keeps the wear of the rod thread to a minimum.

The Mustang comes with an “off hole shift function,” which by use of hydraulic cylinder moves the rotation unit sideways, all for free access to the drill center and easy “hole service.” In geothermal applications this could be installation of collector hoses.

For recovery of casings, the Mustang 4-F1 is equipped with a lifting device designed with a lifting capacity of 26,500 lbs. (12,020 kg) and a variety of jaws to handle most common casings used in geothermal applications.

Atlas Copco also offers a complete drilling package with the Mustang — Atlas Copco XRVS 700 compressor, Secoroc DTH hammers, the world’s largest selection of rock drilling bits and Symmetrix and Odex overburden drilling systems. Moreover, Atlas Copco supplies the casings and drill rods as well as the oils and lubricants needed.

Options on the Mustang include a tool service with a 101 psi pneumatic connector on board for on-site bit grinding. A portable welder onboard also is handy for casing work.

The Mustang can be utilized in a variety of other applications such as foundation drilling, advancing the Symmetrix casing system in unstable ground or tight quarters. It also can perform geotechnical drilling for ground anchors in slope or embankment stabilization.

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