Ditch Witch Introduces New Compact Drill Rig

First Look
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | March 2011, Vol. 66 No. 3

Ditch Witch has introduced a new compact horizontal directional drilling model for making short trenchless installations of service lines and placing cable and small-diameter conduit under sidewalks, streets and other surface obstructions.

The JT5 is especially suited to the growing fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) market, said Richard Levings, Ditch Witch senior product manager. Only 35.9 inches wide and 120 inches long, the machine can access and work in back yards and other small areas.

Levings said the JT5 will be available April 1, replacing the JT520 in the Ditch Witch product line.

“Over the past 12 years, the JT520 was the industry leader in its class,” said Levings. “The track-mounted JT5 incorporates changes and new features customers told us they wanted in a compact HDD model. The machine is very simple which translates to dependability to work all day, day after day.”

Key features include:

• Dual anchors;
• 5,000 pounds of pullback;
• Rack-and-pinion thrust drive;
• Patented vise wrenches for centering pipe during make-up;
• Electrically-operated pipe lubrication system;
• On-board drilling fluid system develops maximum pressure of 750 psi with maximum flow rate of 5 gpm; and
• Operator’s station with stationary seat provides excellent visibility, easy to identify and reach controls, automatic fluid shut-off control and remote tracker display.

Levings said the JT5’s 24.8-horsepower diesel engine meets Tier 4 final standards without modification. A newly-designed hydraulic system makes maximum use of horsepower. Specially designed drill pipe joints are 59 inches long and have a bend radius of up to 70 feet, enabling pilot bores to be leveled at shallow depths. Heavier pipe threads improve durability.

To simplify maintenance, the hood is easily removed to access the engine and service points. Fuel tank access is protected with a steel plate block and lock.

Levings said a JT5 package is available that includes a drill unit, fluid mixing system and trailer.

Ditch Witch equipment is manufactured by The Charles Machine Works Inc., Perry, OK, and is sold and serviced through the worldwide Ditch Witch dealer organization. In addition to horizontal directional drilling equipment, drill pipe, downhole tools, fluid systems and tracking equipment, the Ditch Witch product line includes trenchers, vibratory plows, vacuum excavators, compact utility equipment, utility locators and accessories and support equipment.