The brand new Vermeer D23x30 S3 Navigator horizontal directional drill (HDD) rig packs speed, simplicity and power into an efficient machine.

“The D23x30 S3 is the ideal drill for utility installations up to 6 inches in diameter and in compact or congested areas,” says Jon Kuyers, senior global product manager, underground, for Vermeer. “The D23x30 S3 helps address today’s operational challenges and provides a low cost of operation due to its power-to-footprint ratio.”

The drill rig’s shorter, narrower design makes it easier to drill in busy areas and compact jobsites. Its 24,000 pounds of thrust and pullback, and 3,000 foot-pounds of rotational torque make it even more powerful than its predecessor, the D20x22 Series II Navigator.

Another improvement the new drill rig features involves sound. It has been redesigned by listening to customer input to achieve sound reductions. With less noise, the D23x30 S3 is well suited for work in congested commercial residential areas where minimal neighborhood disturbance is expected. With a 99 dBA guaranteed sound power level and an operator ear rating of 78.7 dBA, Vermeer touts the D23x30 S3 as one of the quietest drills on the HDD market.

A carriage speed of 206 feet per minute, a rotational speed of 219 rpm and enhanced rod breakout efficiency will help drilling contractors install more linear feet per day. The HDD rig also offers a ground tracking speed of up to 3.3 mph to help drillers get from one project to another faster.

A100-horsepower liquid-cooled, turbocharged diesel Deutz TCD 3.6L4 Tier 3/Tier 4-compliant engine powers the machine. A common control system currently used on the larger Navigator drill lineup is featured on the D23x30 S3 drill including a digital display, improved onboard diagnostics and common joystick controls. The system design uses a power distribution module that reduces the amount of wiring and fuses for greater reliability.

Drillers have two 10-foot Firestick drill stem options to configure the drill for different types of work — for longer runs, a 2.06-inch diameter drill stem is available and provides improved flexibility in tight bore requirements. When pulling back larger product or for compatibility with rock tooling, contractors can select a 2.375-inch diameter drill stem that offers a better flow path for improved air hammer efficiency and flexibility for rock drilling applications.

Improved rotation, thrust and tracking performance is the result of an enhanced hydraulic system that helps to increase the system’s efficiency, allowing better use of engine horsepower and increasing the drill’s productivity. Daily maintenance has been simplified with all service points located on one side of the drill and easily accessed via a rugged hood design.

Vermeer Corporation, based in Pella, Iowa, offers a full line of horizontal directional drilling systems, as well as other products, through a broad network of authorized dealers. Vermeer’s line of piercing tools is manufactured by the McLaughlin Group Inc., based in Greenville, S.C. For more information on Vermeer products and services, visit the company’s website at