Dando Drilling International is unveiling an all-new track-mounted drill rig, the Ibex Slope.

“Last year Dando’s Dual Mast Terrier broke new ground by offering rotary and percussive drilling methods from two masts mounted side by side on the same small rig,” says Rupert Coler, who was also on the design team for the latest model. “We quickly realized that there was a market requirement for a rig like this but with the additional capability of drilling safely on steep slopes.”

The Dando Ibex Slope is capable of dynamic sampling, SPT and rotary drilling on inclines of up to 55 degrees.

Using the Sauer Danfoss Plus+1 automated leveling system, the Dando Ibex provides a perfectly vertical mast and horizontal deck and walkway on very steep terrain. A longitudinal slewing mechanism allows for uneven ground between the tracks, compensating for roll up to 15 degrees.

“First you anchor cables from the onboard winch to a point high up the slope using so called ‘duck bill’ ground anchors.  These provide stability when ascending and tether the rig safely while drilling,” Coler says.

Then, he says, the operator tracks the rig forward while pulling in the cable on the winch. This is done using a specially designed remote control. Once the desired location is reached, the deck can be progressed toward an embankment on a scissor mechanism so there isn’t a gap between the deck and bank.

The drill rig also features a swing–out control console with manually operated drill controls and an illuminated digital blow counter for use when drilling. Once the rig is in position, a walkway is hydraulically deployed to provide a safe, level work area for the drill team, and easy access to the workbench, sample storage boxes and drill mast.

Powered by a 27Kw Hatz silent pack diesel engine, the 2-speed hydraulic top-drive rotary head can produce 362rpm for open hole drilling or coring, or alternatively be switched to 50rpm at 4189Nm of torque should the job require larger diameter drilling, with hollow stem augers for example.

Switching between the rotary mast and percussive mast takes only a pull on a lever; a hydraulic ram slides the mast unit across on a carriage and into perfect alignment over the borehole. Using Dando’s Duplex Drive system, which advances the casing at the same time as taking a sample, high quality undisturbed samples in a clear teflon liner can be retrieved, capped, and sent directly for analysis.

Dando Drilling International, based in West Sussex, England, manufactures rigs for water well, mining, geotechnical and geothermal markets. For more information, visit www.dando.co.uk.