New Ditch Witch Beacon Housing Improves HDD Efficiency

Mar 04, 2009

The Ditch Witch organization has developed a beacon housing that is designed to be more durable, versatile, and productive than the tapered-head beacon housings previously offered by the company.

The new Ditch Witch Thread Head beacon housing was created with the punishing downhole conditions of HDD in mind. Beacons, used to monitor the progress of the bore (via signals transmitted to an electronic guidance tool), are positioned at the front of the drill string in a steel housing behind the drilling head. The Thread Head beacon housing is compatible with the Ditch Witch Talon Bit, a four-bit drilling head that can cut a smoother, rounder hole than a standard three-bit head can.

"Customers want the smallest size hole possible to do the job, and the Talon was designed with this in mind," says Richard Levings, product manager of the Ditch Witch organization. "With a smaller, more precise hole, less drilling fluid is required because there are fewer cuttings to remove, reducing cleanup. Also, because the Talon can cut a smaller hole, bore-outs can be finished faster, reducing stress on the machine and electronics. [The Thread Head beacon housing] is just a lot more efficient." He adds that the Thread Head beacon housing also accepts common slant-faced drill heads.

Levings says that because the drill heads on the Thread Head beacon housing can be threaded in, as opposed to bolted on, they are interchangeable. This capability, just one of this product’s many exclusive features, makes it easier to adapt the beacon housing to different soil conditions. "We believe the Thread Head has the easiest assembly and disassembly on the market," says Levings.

The threading of the Thread Head beacon housing is perhaps its most important feature. It is a straight-thread pattern, meaning that all threads have full contact at all times, providing an exceptionally solid connection. Further reinforcing the integrity of the Thread Head beacon housing is a recessed lid that is designed to minimize the possibility of breaking off during drilling.

Preventing damage to the electronics is the ultimate purpose of creating such a sturdy housing, because drilling operations cannot continue without knowing where the drilling head is. To protect the electronics, the Thread Head beacon housing has a check valve between the drilling bit and the housing that prevents backflow of mud and sand into the housing. The Thread Head beacon housing also has a patented feature called a "Beacon Buddy." If the housing overheats, the Beacon Buddy melts and allows drilling fluid to flow around the beacon house to protect it from overheating.

"Thread Head beacon housings are designed with meticulous attention to the unique rigors of directional drilling," says Levings. "They represent the newest component of the Ditch Witch systems approach to directional drilling. All of our HDD products — the drill, the drill pipe, electronics, downhole tools, fluid mixing systems — are designed to work together as a system, which results in better overall performance."

The Thread Head beacon housing is designed for use with the Ditch Witch JT922, JT1220 Mach 1, JT2020 Mach 1, JT3020 (Mach 1 and All Terrain), and JT4020 (Mach 1 and All Terrain) directional drills.

The Ditch Witch organization specializes in the design and manufacture of high-quality underground construction equipment. The company is a one-stop source for trenchers, vibratory plows, pneumatic piercing tools, backhoes, electronic guidance and locating systems, horizontal directional drilling systems, drill pipe, downhole tools, vacuum excavation systems, pipe bursting systems, excavator-tool carriers, mini skid steers, compact utility attachments, pipe bursting systems, and the Zahn® family of power utility equipment.

All of these products are recognized around the world for their advanced design, rugged construction, long-term durability, ease of use, and reliability. This product line represents the most complete range of equipment for installing utilities underground and performing a myriad of landscaping tasks.

The Charles Machine Works, Inc.
Manufacturer of Ditch Witch and Subsite Electronic Products
Jeri Briegge
Perry, OK 73077 (USA)
PH.: +1 800-654-6481
FAX: +1 580-572-5823

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