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Roughneck Pneumatic Rock Hammer System is purpose-built for HDD

The Roughneck pullback kit in action.
The Roughneck pullback kit in action.

The Roughneck Pneumatic Rock Hammer System from HammerHead Trenchless Equipment is engineered for the specific purpose of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) through rock. This is significant because most of the rock hammers used for HDD have actually been re-purposed from other kinds of rock drilling. One common practice is to take a vertical mining hammer and mount it on a directional drilling rig. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation. There is a big difference in the types of drilling, and that leads to less than optimal performance from the repurposed hammer.

“The directional driller has some very specific needs,” said Josh Hood, Hammer- Head’s product manager for the Roughneck line. “He has to steer the hammer, and that’s one of the big differences between this system and a regular mining hammer.”

Patented offset rock bit design

The key is in the patented offset rock bit design. (Both offset and straight bits are available). It enables very precise steering in a wide variety of ground conditions – from soft rock or solid rock to irregular conditions such as boulders separated by soil.

“But the steering is just part of the way the overall system was specially designed for HDD operators,” added Hood. “The exhaust ports and check valves are very important, too.”

Hood explained that the integrated face-cleaning exhaust ports help prevent plugging of the hammer, a feature that means more hours of productive drilling for the operator. Another innovation that improves productivity and extends uptime is the patented check valve located within the bit. This check valve is in addition to the standard placement in the rear of the hammer, and prevents contamination of internal components by stopping debris at the source – the exhaust ports on the front of the bit.

“And of course, since the Roughneck is a HammerHead product, ease-of-maintenance was a basic design requirement, right from the get-go,” said Hood.

To that end, the Roughneck Pneumatic Rock Hammer System is equipped with patented spanner wrench holes in the front and rear of the hammer, reducing the number of breakout tongs required to change out the bit or service the tool.

Of course, there is more to the total system than just the hammer and bits. A complete system includes a Roughneck air hammer, straight and offset bits, control station/oiler with integrated electronic controls, drill conversion kit including hoses and fittings, hydraulic breakout tooling and a universal HD high-flow rock drill housing that uses the industry-standard API thread to make system connection easy. The system also includes a patented pullback kit. Once drilling is completed, this enables the operator to immediately hook small utilities to the hammer and begin the pullback, without the need to remove the bit and hammer first.

The Roughneck system is capable of drilling 5.25 or 6.25-inch-diameter pilot holes at penetration rates of up to 150 feet an hour.

Company info

500 South C. P. Avenue
Lake Mills, WI
US, 53551


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