HammerHead Introduces Improved Mole Tracking System

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | December 2012, Vol. 67 No. 12

A front-locating accessory kit that effectively tracks the underground location of pneumatic piercing tools has been introduced by HammerHead Trenchless Equipment.

The company’s announcement of the new Moletrac kit describes it as the first proven method of tracking piercing tools that positions the transmitting beacon at the front of the tool. Previously available tracking methods for piercing tools place the beacon behind the tool, requiring users to estimate the actual position of the tool, said Will LeBlanc, HammerHead national sales manager of piercing tools.

The Moletrac kit employs an impact-resistant radio beacon and handheld electronic receiver that displays tool information. To track the position of the tool, a crew member walks above the path of the bore with the receiver. Tracking is effective to depths of 10 feet, LeBlanc said.

Moletrac kits fit HammerHead mole tool models in diameters from 1½ to four inches and are available now from authorized HammerHead dealers.

Piercing tools have long been used to make short, unguided compaction bores beneath sidewalks, driveways and other surface obstructions.

The simple, durable tools literally pound themselves through the ground for installing underground cable and pipe. Compared to many other trenchless technologies, pneumatic piercing tools are inexpensive to purchase and operate. However, the inability to track or guide the path of the tool has limited the range of their effectiveness: the longer the bore, the more the risk the tool will stray off target.

Positive change

LeBlanc said the introduction of Moletrac changes that.

“On projects where it is critical to track the path of the bore, the Moletrac front-mounted beacon provides extremely accurate, real-time feedback to the operator of tool location, depth and direction,” he explained. “Existing systems currently track the tool from the rear which only provides historical bore path data. Moletrac tells the operator where the tool is going, not just where it has been.”

Piercing tools are used for installation of water and gas services; electrical, fiber optic, telecommunications and cable conduits, and pipe for underground irrigation systems.

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The HammerHead line of piercing tools includes 24 models ranging in diameter from two to 8-inches. They feature a one-piece striker in a durable housing. LeBlanc said few moving parts make HammerHead tools durable and easy to maintain.