Buying a pre-owned horizontal directional drill can be a great option, whether you’re looking to add to your fleet or purchase your very first drill. It can save you tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars but there is a caution. As with all used equipment, it can be difficult knowing what you are getting when purchasing a pre-owned drill. That’s why a good inspection is key. Here are 5 things to inspect to help you make an informed decision.
Failure points on rod vary considerably so it’s best to consult someone with experience. Most consumers will compare the original pipe diameter specifications to the current sizing to calculate the wear. The next thing to inspect is the thread profile. Look at the pin end (male end of pipe). Do the threads show considerable wear or damage? Inspecting the rod is a crucial step. Failure can mean significant down time and thousands of lost dollars downhole.
Check the pressures of the hydraulic system to make sure they are within operating specification tolerances. This is a simple but often overlooked step. While the machine may seem to operate just fine with a basic functions test, low pressures can cause major problems down hole and be costly to repair.
Rack & Pinion
The rack is the track on which the carriage/gearbox travels up and down the boom. Overtime the teeth can become worn down to a sharp point. On certain model drills the rack wears down faster than others. This can be a good indicator to tell how hard the rig has been run and if the advertised hours are accurate.
Makeup / Brake out system
The break out system, often referred to as vices or wrenches, do the work of making sure your pipe is tightly screwed together when drilling out and breaking apart pipe when pulling back. Give them a test by torquing a few pieces of pipe together. There is supposed to be some movement but if there is excessive play they will need to be rebuilt.