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Ditch Witch JT100 Directional Drill Gives Power Where Power Is Due

Wed June 24, 2009 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Equipped with a 268-hp (200 kW) engine, the Ditch Witch JT100 directional drill is designed so that rotation, thrust, and drilling fluid flow can operate simultaneously at full power. With 100,000 lb. (445 kN) of pullback and 12,000 ft. lb. (16,270 Nm) of torque, the JT100 is a directional drill built for both long-range bores, such as river crossings, and installations of large-diameter pipe.

The power of the JT100 allows for the addition of two optional features. One is an onboard crane, which is used to load and unload pipe boxes, anchor the unit, and handle downhole tools, especially drill pipe. Directional drills without an onboard crane require additional equipment, such as an excavator, to perform these functions. The other optional feature is an onboard anchor system that stabilizes the machine on virtually any terrain. Directional drills without this feature typically have to be anchored to another heavier piece of equipment, such as a backhoe or track hoe, to maintain stability during drilling operations, according to the manufacturer.

“Practically speaking, the onboard crane and anchor system together give the JT100 the ability to reduce the size of the job site,” said Richard Levings, Ditch Witch organization product manager for trenchless applications. “This is a big plus considering the limited amount of space and other difficult conditions some projects present. [The crane and anchor system] also significantly reduce transportation costs and setup time.”

Difficult conditions are not limited to the surface; below ground is where the majority of directional drilling challenges lie, such as rocky soil. The JT100, said Levings, is prepared for anything, starting with a heavy-duty, double rack-and-pinion thrust drive to push through long, tough bores. Instead of a three-speed gearbox, the JT100 has an infinitely variable rotary drive that can match spindle speed and torque.

Another feature of the JT100 is a dual-pivot drill frame that allows for steeper entry angles without raising the tracks off the ground. This improves machine stability and keeps the operator’s station level, according to the manufacturer.

Because it is designed for long-range bores and installations of large-diameter pipe, the JT100 is equipped with a large-capacity, 230-gpm (870 Lpm) fluid pump and larger-than-average hoses and fittings to help move drilling fluid downhole faster, which increases productivity. To minimize the shockloads associated with this large-volume fluid flow, the JT100 has a special dampener to reduce pulsation in the fluid course, which reduces vibration to the machine.

The JT100 has an assisted-makeup feature that automatically adjusts carriage thrust speed with rotation when making up and breaking out drill pipe, which minimizes wear on pipe threads and extends the life of the drill pipe.

For more information, call 800/654-6481 or visit

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