Gas drills and skid-mounted compressors

BlasterJ

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This past month, I sold two rebuilt Pionjar 120 gas-powered rock drills to a remote mining operating in Alaska. I also had to put together a solution for a mine remediation/wildlife project where they needed to drill about 200 3" diameter holes in rock for fences. For that one, we were looking at flying in a ~900lb skid-mounted compressor, then using air drills to make 1/5" holes and ream them out to 3 inch for the grouted-in fence posts.

Has anyone else done rock drilling likes this before, where you can't get a trailer-mounted compressor in?
 

Assembler

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This past month, I sold two rebuilt Pionjar 120 gas-powered rock drills to a remote mining operating in Alaska. I also had to put together a solution for a mine remediation/wildlife project where they needed to drill about 200 3" diameter holes in rock for fences. For that one, we were looking at flying in a ~900lb skid-mounted compressor, then using air drills to make 1/5" holes and ream them out to 3 inch for the grouted-in fence posts.

Has anyone else done rock drilling likes this before, where you can't get a trailer-mounted compressor in?
I think a lot of people on a budget will modify a compressor set up so that it is in units that bolt back together out in the field location. I have seen a small-scale setup that was transported by cable / zip-line off of trees on 45 plus degree slopes to the final location. A winch was used to move the different loads.

Others will simply just helicopter the equipment in.

Cost is just factored in on a given set up.
 

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BlasterJ

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I think a lot of people on a budget will modify a compressor set up so that it is in units that bolt back together out in the field location. I have seen a small-scale setup that was transported by cable / zip-line off of trees on 45 plus degree slopes to the final location. A winch was used to move the different loads.

Others will simply just helicopter the equipment in.

Cost is just factored in on a given set up.

In this case, they were willing to use helicopters, but the cost per hour between one that lifts 900lbs and 1500lbs is pretty significant. I called around, and most of the rental compressors on a trailer weight about 2,200lbs and only a few helicopters are able to do that and it's $$$$.

I saw a neat old engine on the side of a mountain at an abandoned mine. The ingenuity of miners is amazing!
 

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Assembler

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In this case, they were willing to use helicopters, but the cost per hour between one that lifts 900lbs and 1500lbs is pretty significant. I called around, and most of the rental compressors on a trailer weight about 2,200lbs and only a few helicopters are able to do that and it's $$$$.

I saw a neat old engines on the side of a mountain at an abandoned mine. The ingenuity of miners is amazing!
Yep the cost really goes up with that kind of weight. That firm could recover real money by paying a fabricator / engineer to break down the load into smaller units to be reassembled at the final location.
For example the frame could be one unit, the compressor another unit and the tank the final unit.
An inexpensive host needs to be added to the final package to help hold the units at the location for bolting back together.

Many companies want things done yesterday and that can really add up the costs.

I think hydraulics can do some of the same work with less fuel costs per inch of work however I have a lot to learn and will look at any setup.
 

Assembler

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In this case, they were willing to use helicopters, but the cost per hour between one that lifts 900lbs and 1500lbs is pretty significant. I called around, and most of the rental compressors on a trailer weight about 2,200lbs and only a few helicopters are able to do that and it's $$$$.

I saw a neat old engines on the side of a mountain at an abandoned mine. The ingenuity of miners is amazing!
It is likely that some miners know how to really use cables to get almost anything up on the side of a cliff.
 

tamrock

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When I was the buyer for Yenter Blasting back in the early 1990s we secured some high scaling work on the construction of the I70 Glenwood Canyon. The shop built a skid mount 175 cfm compressor that you'd couple together in two pieces between the air end and engine to reduce weight to be air lifted to the top of the canyon walls. That was enough air to run 2 Garner Denver S58 sinkers together. Brunner & Lay does make a 3" H or D thread carbide cross bit, plus there's other options you could use in the way of running R25 or R32 bottom drive threaded drilling accessories and run a 3" button bit. I was once the B&L sales rep for that company after I left Yenter covering Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. Mighty good years back then when mining and construction was really busy. In the end I believe I'd be looking at those handheld hydraulic sinkers and gas power packs out there with a drill fitted with a 1"x 4-1/4" chuck.
 

tamrock

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Another thing that came to mind was you might strip down an old Grimmer Schmidt portable air into a break down skid compressor. They're just a Ford 302 V8 where 4 cylinders on one side builds air and the 4 on the opposite side cranks the compression side. Back in the day when there were a lot more small blasting contractors running with portable compressors and 50# air sinkers. Some of one to two man contractors I dealt with back then, swore by their Grimmer Schmidt's, as being very economical and easy to maintain. You can pick them up pretty cheap these days.
 

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BlasterJ

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Another thing that came to mind was you might strip down an old Grimmer Schmidt portable air into a break down skid compressor. They're just a Ford 302 V8 where 4 cylinders on one side builds air and the 4 on the opposite side cranks the compression side. Back in the day when there were a lot more small blasting contractors running with portable compressors and 50# air sinkers. Some of one to two man contractors I dealt with back then, swore by their Grimmer Schmidt's, as being very economical and easy to maintain. You can pick them up pretty cheap these days.
Okay, that looks like a very easy to maintain, low-cost solution. I now have another thing to keep my eye out for at auctions/etc.
 

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