Equipment upkeep and preventing failures are key components of any successful directional drilling project. Ensuring your drill is in top shape prior to the job and continues to perform as expected during the project are top of mind on site.
When it comes to maintenance and upkeep, the actual drill can take up most of the focus. From making sure the bit is performing well and the right RPMs are being hit, operators can sometimes neglect other aspects of the machine. One important system that is critical to any directional drilling operation is the fluid management system.
From the engine to mixer tanks, a well-maintained fluid management system will help prevent setbacks and allow you to hit your project goals on schedule.
Check out a few of these fluid management system maintenance tips to get your started.
Start With the Main Sub-Systems
When dealing with fluid management system maintenance, it’s best to start with the key sub-systems and work your way down a checklist. Start with the engine powering your drill’s fluid management system. Typically with a gas or diesel engine, regular upkeep is key.
Check the oil and oil filter daily, especially during a project, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended service cadence. Also ensure you’re following local DOT regulations for the engine trailer, which includes proper brake lighting and signage.
Pumps are another critical sub-system for directional drill fluid management. Check regularly for any blockages or damage, and monitor pressure while the drill is operating.
Be Mindful of the Environment You’re Working In
Weather plays a key part in the performance of a directional drill, and especially the fluid management system. In the Pacific Northwest and Montana, winter weather can lead to freezing conditions. Frozen fluid can wreak havoc on pumps, tanks, and fluid lines. To prevent cold weather damage, either keep your takes and lines clear when not in operation or run them to keep the temperature up.
Clean Before, During, and After a Job
One of the more effective and easier ways to properly maintain a fluid management system is to keep it clean. With multiple types of fluid cycling through the drill, cross contamination and fluid buildup are concerns. Still water in your tanks can also lead to growths and clogs, so make sure to empty your tanks and scrub them down at the end of the day.
To learn more about fluid system management, contact your nearest Ditch Witch West location. We provide a wide range of service options, including service for directional drills. Book an appointment today and check out our selection of new and used directional drills if you’re in the market for equipment upgrades!