In December 2016, Terex Utilities shipped a Model 330 Auger Drill to Antarctica to work on research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The drill, which was modified with several insulating and heating features for the extreme environment, replaces a Model 330 that had been in service since 1990.

“It’s not every week we get to work on a unit that will be used for scientific research,” says Chad Rudebusch, branch manager of the Terex Watertown Service Center. “Our team took pride in building the 330 that won’t miss a beat on the job, knowing that our work is helping scientists explore a continent that is so far from our home in South Dakota.”

Terex, to deliver on customer requirements, had to design the drill to perform in temperatures as low at -45 degrees Fahrenheit, and to travel or uneven, icy terrain. It features engine and hydraulic heaters, as well as special seals, hoses and oil. It also has a prestart engine system to help warm up components before use.

“The Model 330 will be working in some of the harshest conditions possible,” says Gary Rice, Terex’s south regional sales manager. “We take pride in delivering the best possible solutions for our customers.”

As an example, Rice points to recommendations for specialty auger tooling that performs better in drilling ice.

“The process of cutting through ice is more like shaving the ice,” he says. “It’s different than drilling through rock. We specked a blade-style auger that stands up to the abrasion caused by drilling through ice and will maximize product life and performance.”

The company’s A330 Auger Drillers are usually truck- or track-mounted. The version sent to Leidos is mounted on a crawler trailer designed for easy towing behind a Snowcat-style vehicle. The company says it has a carefully balanced mounting configuration to facilitate transport across rugged Antarctic terrain.

The 330 was delivered from Watertown, S.D., to California in December. Liedos, the company that handles logistics for the Antarctic Program, would handles the rig's shipment to Antarctica with a brief stop in New Zealand en route. Its expected arrival was sometime in the first quarter of 2018, in time for summer on the continent.

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