Ditch Witch JT20 Horizontal Directional Drill Released

Aug 13, 2013


The Ditch Witch organization has re-engineered one of its best-selling horizontal directional drills, the JT2020, to create the Ditch Witch JT20, the most efficient and productive drill in its horsepower class.

The JT20’s compact size allows greater productivity on residential and urban jobsites. Equipped with a turbocharged, 74.5-hp (55.6-kW) Deutz diesel engine, the JT20 has a high ratio of power to size, which enables contractors to install more utilities per day, especially in tight, congested areas. The engine is Tier-4 compliant, eliminating the need for an expensive after-treatment, and produces less noise—at 87 dBA, it is among the quietest in its class, which increases operator comfort and reduces environmental impact in urban areas.

The JT20’s rack-and-pinion design offers 17,000 lb of thrust (75.6 kN) and 20,000 lb (89 kN) of pullback force, ideal for a wide range of installations. The industry’s premier cruise-control system simplifies drilling and backreaming, while a best-in-class, heavy-duty anchor system—with 16 inches (40.6 cm) more engagement than competitors’ drills—keeps the JT20 fixed during operation. The JT20 also comes with dual rear independent stabilizers that enhance stability on uneven or rough terrain.

Some of the advanced features of the JT20 originated with input from long-time JT2020 customers. One is automated, intuitive carve mode, which helps reduce operator fatigue and is designed for easy setup and adjustment. Another is a tethered ground drive controller that allows the operator to maneuver the drilling unit to a position that provides better visibility, easier loading and unloading and easier positioning.

The JT20’s comfortable operator station provides an excellent view of the drill pipe and pipeloading system. Open-top vise wrenches are angled toward the operator to provide an excellent view of the tool joint. And the operator’s station features a color LCD display that provides engine diagnostics and informational messages.

Overall, the JT20 is designed for maximum efficiency. Its advanced cooling system uses five fewer gallons of fluid than competitive systems, which results in less expense and less environmental impact. The JT20 has a higher-capacity drilling fluid system than that of competitors, a feature that ultimately enables longer utility installations and better performance in sandy soils. And the JT20’s auto-throttle feature saves fuel and reduces pollution by slowing the engine to idle after 15 seconds of inactivity; when the operator resumes work, the auto-throttle engages.

Even servicing the JT20 is more efficient. While competitors’ models have 19 grease zerks, the JT20 has zero, eliminating this time-consuming task. And all daily maintenance points are in one easy-access location, reducing service time and increasing productivity.

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