Queensland sun shines on PowerROC

2011 Aug 12

For more than a decade, Australia’s Donnelly Blasting Services has been one of Queensland’s most successful drilling and blasting contractors. Now the company is looking forward to even more sunny years ahead with two new Atlas Copco drill rigs in its fleet.

Donnelly Blasting Services (DBS) became the first drilling and blasting contractor in Australia to acquire Atlas Copco?s new PowerROC T35 surface crawler rig. The company has added two of these rigs to its fleet, clearly confirming that the new model meets its rigorous demands.

Based in Tamborine, Queensland, DBS has a fleet of 13 drill rigs and some 20 drillers serving the quarries and construction sites of Australia?s renowned Sunshine State. In order to improve productivity and efficiency for its customers, it decided to expand its fleet with the PowerROC T35. The two rigs were delivered on March 11 this year and were up and running just three days later on March 14.
Managing Director Jason Donnelly says the reliability and performance of this tophammer production rig is as consistent as the Queensland climate.
?We?re averaging 300 meters a day with these rigs,? he says. ?and the key is the consistency. Our average drilling rate is up and whereas some other machines will get 250 meters one day and then
350 meters the next, this rig has just gone out and consistently done the meters every day. That?s important to our bottom line.?
Another advantage, says Donnelly, is that the team was able to get the rigs operational almost immediately. ?They didn?t take months to set up and tune in. Basically they just rolled off the truck and have done what Atlas Copco said they would do.?
He continues: ?When we know something is going to take two days to get drilled and not two-and-a-half because you might have a good day one day and then the machine just doesn?t get the meters the following day ? it impacts our scheduling and scheduling is obviously key to that bottom line.?

Variety of assignments
Besides drilling and blasting at quarries, DBS has also worked on a number of dams and other construction projects and the company expects that to continue.
?We work on a variety of projects so we?re always doing something different,? says Donnelly. ?We bought the PowerROC T35 rigs as part of our ongoing fleet upgrade and we are using them to drill 76 to 102 mm  blastholes, typically up to 20 m deep.
?We saw that the smaller rigs could out-produce bigger rigs and that?s what has happened. They are better on fuel economy, better on price, and the operators like the simplicity of these rigs. We appreciate the reliability and also the back-up we get from the supplier.? He adds that the two PowerROC T35s are currently working at separate quarry sites and getting the same positive results.

Straightforward machine
At Mount Marrow near Ipswich, experienced driller Russ Schmidt said the results over the past two months using the PowerROC T35 have been impressive after more than 290 hours of drilling.
?It?s a very straightforward machine ? there?s not a lot to go wrong ? but it?s also extremely smooth, easy on the running gear and it?s capable of doing just an enormous number of meters,? he says. ?On my previous rig (of another make) if I was going as hard as I could in a shift I could maybe get 220 meters in a day. This effortlessly does 300 to 320 meters a day, and if I spend ten hours in the rig I?d do over 350 meters.
?It?s comfortable and the controls and set-up in the cabin are excellent ? and I?m six foot tall and 120 kilos. Also, the diesel consumption compared to the amount of meters you get is fantastic.?
Schmidt, who has been with DBS for about five years, says quarry drilling can be harsh on equipment, rods and shanks.
?I?ve probably done over 9 000 meters on the rods,? he said. ?The last shank did 127 percussion hours and I probably could have got another 20 out of it. I like to have one sort of half worn as back-up in case one snaps. The performance so far has been unbelievable. You have to see the rods to believe it.
?As far as running costs go, these rigs are probably streets ahead of anything else I?ve used. With the life that I?ve got left in the rods now, I wouldn?t be surprised to see them do another 5?000 meters. With other rigs I?ve had, 8 000 to 9 000 meters is pretty much about as good as you get.
Using COP 1840EX rock drills (18kW drill power output) and T45 rods, a 142 kW Cummins engine and CF90G5 screw-type air compressor, the PowerROC T35 typically drills 64?102 mm holes down to 25 m.
Atlas Copco says the rig?s feed system optimizes rock drill performance while the proven COP 1840EX combined with the advanced drilling control system copes with the toughest rock conditions.


Epiroc operated under the trademark “Atlas Copco” prior to January 1, 2018.