Heads Up, Winter: Viking West Has Entered the Snowplow Game

Part of working in the drilling, construction, and forestry industry is digging deep and bringing things to the surface. This includes the literal as well as the figurative sense.

Well, today we’re unearthing an element you probably don’t want to think about at the moment.

Snow.

Sure, it’s late August and the sun is probably still shining on your neck of the woods. As an original equipment manufacturer, however, it’s your job to be prepared for what’s about to come. Enter the snowplow. Viking West has developed a line of sturdy forklift-mounted snowplows for the first time so you can be ready for 2016’s winter. The key behind Viking’s snowplow was to scratch an itch in this particular corner of the market.

That itch? Usability.

I caught up with Kevin Reimer to get the low-down on Viking’s brand new line of snowplows.

snowplow snow blade
The Viking Snowplow: here’s the snow blade

Kelvin: How do new ideas like the snowplow come into existence, and what are some of the keys behind this design?

Kevin: Like all of our work, these ideas are born out of conversations with colleagues and keeping a finger on the pulse of our industry. We’re really excited about the snowplow, it will be great to see one of our products in a completely new environment.

We’re designing and building it, and while there are a few forklift mounted snowplows on the market right now, we’re taking a new approach. Ours is focused on the end user and it’s designed to be more serviceable than the products currently bared by the market.

How so?

One main element is that the main pivot pin doesn’t use linkage to adjust the angle of the blade. It’s a simpler, cleaner design. The tension springs on the blade are tucked in behind the blade so they’re protected from snow and dirt and rocks.

And then cost of course, that’s the big thing and something we’re always cognizant of.

We talk a lot about keeping costs in check, and I have to ask – how do you stay in business when you’re constantly treading that line?

We talk about this a lot, and since providing products within a friendly budget is so important, it’s part of our mission statement and we consider it our duty to stay true to that. So ultimately we do it by providing a high quality, innovative product that’s worth the cost. We create items such as the snowplow to be engineered user friendly. The value is there for the customer. We always take a hard look at what’s on the market during the design process. We look at helpful features and we streamline products to ensure only the most cost effective and user friendly elements are included.

With all that in mind, why did Viking West make the decision to offer the snowplow?

Like we talked about earlier, it’s all about dialogue and filling a niche. One of our longterm customers currently sells this product and they saw an opportunity. They wanted us to improve on their design and therefore improve their margins. We’ve had a great relationship with this customer for years and our mission statements line up – they’re looking to improve what they offer and get better in their corner of the market, and we’re always looking for opportunities to grow as well. They’re happy with what we’ve done in the past for them and they seized an opportunity.

Now we have something new to sell to forklift dealers as well as end users, so it’s going to be a great addition to the Viking West line.

How to Sell Multi Feature Drilling Rigs at Standard Costs

“We never shy away from a new design because that’s what keeps things interesting, and that’s how our company has grown. We’re constantly asking ourselves, ‘well what about this? Can it do this?’ And then we make it do that (laughs).”

That’s Callum Mee from Dando Drilling International. I’ve been speaking with Callum for the last couple weeks about Brexit, Dando’s evolution as a company, and their brand new MK 2 Dando Terrier.

Read part 1

Read part 2

Here’s the final piece of our interview.

Kelvin: Last week we were talking about keeping costs down on the new Terrier Mk 2 while also ensuring it’s capable of pretty much anything. How do you plan to accomplish that?

Callum: The new rig comes with the ability to add or subtract components as you see fit.

So as you can imagine, there’s a lot of thought when a customer purchases the rig because they have so many options. As a salesmen it makes the job more interesting. juggling the options. We were selling a lot of different rigs and the terrier was 14 years old, so we thought the 15 year mark was a good time to evolve and modify it with new technology and features. We’re bringing it into the current age with new components, technology, and abilities. We wanted to build a rig that gave us and our customers as much flexibility as possible.

And so the MK 2 was launched with several new key features, one of the coolest of which is the ability for the customers to retrofit it with other options down the road. Hydraulic stabilizing legs, the rig will already have that capability. SPT casing will be standard, lever casing – these are elements the customer can retrofit themselves in the field or wherever they are in the world. People can use the rig as is and they can add new things, so they can maximize their budgets and purchase new attachments as required.

I feel like, mix and match drilling rigs – I feel like this isn’t a standard way of doing things. Is Dando blazing a trail for other OEM’s?

I think it’s just the path we’ve taken; this is how we’ve responded to challenges in the field, these are the solutions we’ve come up with. We’ve always dealt with customers directly and maintained our flexibility. A lot of big companies will come up with the best product they can and feel it’s perfect and leave it. That works fine, but we’ve taken a different approach. Every customer is different. It’s a commercial tool. Jobs are different, applications are different. Having all those options available to us makes things easier for everyone.

The terrier will be more user friendly than ever. This is where things are going, so I suppose we’re being progressive. We want to make life easier. Little examples, there will be easy-to-follow decals and signage demonstrating components that could be added down the road, so you know where to go next. Sort of like a puzzle, but the original pieces include a diagram to finish the rest of the picture.

So the best kind of puzzle.

(Laughs) Yes, I suppose so. The terrier allows customization down the road after the initial purchase. Some people just want a stripped down drive system and they’re fine with that, but some want to get more out of it.

Our standard line has grown so much over the past decade, but the idea now is to build upon what we’ve got. The terriers, the multi tech rigs, we’ve got all these new models, new sizes, the IBEC slope climbing rig we’ve introduced in recent years – we’ve got everything we need for right now, and it’s the perfect time to really perfect what we’ve got.

Perfecting what you’ve already got can certainly take you a lot further into the future, right?

Right. There’s always changes and challenges to come, but as we come out of this period we want to be in the strongest position possible. And with the new terrier, so far so good.

The new Dando Terrier Mk 2 has something for everyone, and we’re proud to contribute to its success here at Viking. Thanks so much to Callum for the time.

Happy drilling everybody!

See all the awesome features of the Mk2 Dando Terrier.

Product Profile: The Flexibility of the Dando Terrier Mk 2

Last week we checked in with Callum Mee at Dando Drilling International to learn more about how the European Referendum was affecting business, although I’ll admit the interview was originally scheduled so we could talk about the Dando Terrier, the company’s new MK 2 drilling rig.

This will sound ironic at first, but stay with me: it’s always been fascinating reading and writing about companies barreling through a challenge. Did you know water buffalo that encounter a storm will turn into the dark clouds and rain instead of retreating in the opposite direction?

It’s because you’ll get through the worst of the storm when you confront it head on. The darkness is moving one way, so move through it to safety and sunshine on the other side.

There’s no way to know just yet how the European Union’s Brexit referendum will affect the longterm stability of business in western Europe, and indeed, throughout the world. Many companies in the drilling industry have been forced to ask tough questions and make difficult decisions long before the referendum passed, and now a complete new set of concerns has been born.

The good news it that Dando’s philosophy – flexibility and adaptation – has allowed for the impact of Brexit. It’s this creed that’s allowed Dando to thrive over the years, and led to rolling out a brand new Mark 2 Terrier rig that’s as flexible as ever.

Read last week’s interview with Callum.

Here’s the rest of our conversation.

Kelvin: Tell us about early versions of the Terrier, what was it built for?

Callum: We sold the first unit to a UK contractor and we agreed to build a second that we were going to test in house, but during the build we ended up selling the second one as well. Through working with the contractor and listening to their feedback we’ve made some cool improvements and adjustments to the second. While this was happening, Luke from our design team was hard at work on the updated design we’re going to use moving forward.

The MK Terrier 2 is available and has been thoroughly tested in the field with excellent results so we are now planning for production of high volumes so we can offer the units from stock.

What’s the process been like getting the MK 2 off the ground?

As the design process wraps up, we’re contemplating the right number to put into production right away so we can maximize production and maximize economy of scale. We sell a lot per annum and we obviously want to sell more, and we think the demand on this one will be huge. The terrier people want them quickly, sometimes in 2 to 4 weeks instead of your standard two to four months, so putting this many through will make the lives of our sales department a lot easier (laughs). It’s a win win situation, our margins get better and the cost is lower for the customer.

What are some of the upgraded features of the Dando Terrier MK 2?

First off, we wanted to improve simply how it looks. So new finishes and designs to improve that while also improving functionality. When I started at Dando ten years ago the rig was just for drive sampling and general investigation work. Over the last five years or so it evolved rapidly. It has a rotary attachment, different strokes, angle drilling capabilities – it’s evolved to include a whole range of different requirements and different setups.

However, just because one customer wants a certain feature doesn’t mean the next one will. So it was important for us to take that into account so we could keep costs low for everyone.

Next week in the final instalment of my interview with Callum we’ll learn exactly how Dando plans to control costs for customers looking for different features.

Want to learn more about the terrier? See all the specs here.

4 Extreme Conditions Where Tooling Simply Can’t Fail

For the second week in a row we’re taking the loyal readers of the Viking West blog on a scenic vacation, one that promises memories to last a lifetime. Last week we journeyed to a muggy job site in the middle of a jungle. This week we’re on top of the world – higher, actually – atop the main body of an enormous wind turbine in southern Alberta.

A few months ago I was talking to Viking’s Mike Schlender about some of the unique locations in, atop, or under which our custom tooling products and precision gears have been used. He immediately told me a story about a custom order required for a combination bearing and gear mounted at the top of a gigantic wind turbine.

From way up here, gigantic takes on a whole new meaning. The conditions required for safe work are specific, and, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway), important. The less time you spend climbing up and down a structure like this, the better your time will be spent. That’s why we outfitted the turbine with a large stainless steel ring that wouldn’t corrode. It was important for our customers to install the ring, take in the view, and climb down. Easy!

Here’s four more extreme conditions in which we’ve put our custom gears and tooling to work.

1. Slopes

We’ve got no shortage of experience working on topsy-turvy horizons here in British Columbia. The biggest challenge with slopes is that the measurements required to ensure a perfect penetration are so precise – if your angle is off or a gear doesn’t fit properly, then the entire project can be thrown off. Plus, sloped terrains are subject to the whims of the climate; weather or wind interference means today’s measurements might not be the same as tomorrow’s.

2. Cold

Like my Dad always used to say back on the flat prairie in Alberta, things just break when it’s cold. At home on the acreage, that meant the garage door, the truck, the water well or any number of items. When we create custom tooling and gears for cold weather applications, it’s crucial to apply the right type of treatment to ensure maximum wear and resistance. No one likes to work in the cold, after all, especially when it’s work that could be avoided.

3. Urban Jungles

Hot, cold, rainy, it doesn’t matter – the biggest challenge when working in the middle of a city is the accessibility. It’s why we modified our Double Wrench Breakout Table to be mounted on a mobile sled. It costs a lot of money to work in busy locations like intersections filled with annoyed drivers coming and going from work. If tooling breaks down and interrupts those jobs, then costs can skyrocket in a hurry.

4. Hard as a Rock

A custom bit isn’t worth it’s salt if it’s not strong enough to split the earth in search of all the riches contained within.

… which is a fancy way to say that the application of every product must be understood and tested for prior to drilling. What works on limestone might not work on thick clay, after all. Sure, the conditions above the surface might have an impact on the crew doing the work, but the conditions down below are what really matters to the equipment being used.

The March Wrapup: Sonic Rigs & the Keys to Good Exhibiting

March was a busy month for the team here at Viking West. Vice President Kevin Reimer flew across Canada to co-exhibit at PDAC 2016, a convention held by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada that attracts members of the mineral exploration community from all over the world.

Back home in BC, we were busy exploring options for a local customer in need of a unique attachment.

So unique, in fact, that the machine it’s being built for doesn’t exist.

Yet.

I caught up with Kevin to talk more about the new project and his experience at PDAC.

Kelvin: What are some of the keys to good exhibiting?

Kevin: Having a machine there for people to see is a necessity. There’s benefit to having something tangible they can see and touch, a machine they could potentially purchase for their drilling application. We have video of our machines in action as well as all our standard marketing literature. We bring a small machine normally, it’s easy and economical to ship. We’re toying with the idea of bringing a 4000 to Groundwater at the end of this year.

What are the specifications of Viking’s sonic drill rigs?

The first distinction is that we sell a large size and a small size. On the small size, we sell a mini sonic head attached to a terrier track drill or a Dando multitec 4000 track drill. On the large size, the full capacity, we can supply a sonic 50K drill head on a Dando 375 track drill.

The unique variations of these two sizes would be that on the mini side, we’re one of the only companies that can offer a small, limited access, lightweight rubber tracked drill with a small sonic head at an affordable price.

Where are both heads being used?

 The large-sized head is in North America working for an environmental drilling company. For the large head, we’re working with customers on a 375 size machine, full capacity sonic with onboard rod storage and pipe handling.

The small sized head is in south America sampling for gold right now. This head is used in muddy conditions in the jungle, it’s drilling into clays mostly. This is where the sonic head really excels, in soft unconsolidated conditions. If you drill and sample down to 100 feet with sonic you can achieve nearly 100% representative core samples. This is true both of the little and big machine.

Back to PDAC, did you talk to any potential customers about sonic drill heads?

We did, but most of the conversations centred on their conditions first. We learn what we can, then it’s our job to provide solutions. There were a couple clients looking for special custom drills specific for their market. These companies have to drill in jungles, in swamps and on the sides of mountains. Clay drilling conditions are quite unique so it’s always rewarding to be able to provide solutions for these kinds of challenging applications.

Ultimately, whether we’re dealing with sonic drill heads or custom tooling or other products, the key is to listen first. This is how you work smart. Conventions like PDAC, provided you’re prepared, are a great way to meet people in the industry and learn more about their unique challenges. This is the nature of our business, solving problems. The more we solve, the more seem to come our way.

Which is a good thing, right?

(laughs) You bet. It means our industry is working in more ways than one.

5 Common Questions About Viking West’s Construction Products

We hold a special place in our heart for the construction industry. There’s just something about picking up the earth, moving it around, and finishing with something new, something greater. If you have kids, it’s that special feeling you get watching them operate a miniature (yet still heavy-duty, of course) bucket in the sandbox. After all, those great buildings and roads aren’t going to build themselves. The construction industry is built by dependable people operating dependable equipment, and it’s a sector to which we’re a proud contributor.

We get a few common questions regarding the construction industry, so we thought it would be a good idea to capture them all here.

1. What types of construction products do you make?

Viking West has three main streams of products: guarding, attachments, and after market parts.

Guarding

  • Fops Cab Guard
  • OPS (City) Guards
  • Catwalk Kits
  • Foot Rungs/Steps
  • Track (Rock) Guards
  • Belly (Stump) Pans

We also make underuse guarding, door guards, window guards, perimeter railings and hydraulic cylinder guards. The key to all our guarding is safety first, productivity second.

Take a look at images and more details for our guarding products.

Attachments

  • HD Dig Buckets
  • STD Dig & Cleanup Buckets
  • Mini Attachments
  • Lug Adapters
  • Hydraulic Thumbs
  • Stick Rippers
  • Tilt Buckets
  • Manual Wedge Coupler
  • Hydraulic Coupler

All shapes and sizes, our attachments are built to last and built to get the job done right.

See further details on our construction attachments.

After Market Parts – Accessories

  • Linkage Arms
  • Pins
  • Bushings
  • Bucket Teeth & Adapters
  • Bolt On Cutting Edges
  • Cylinders: Booms, Arms, Thumbs
  • Work Lights
  • Soft Covers

After Market Parts – Undercarriage Parts

  • Carrier Rollers
  • Track Rollers
  • Track Chains
  • Track Shoes
  • Spring Assemblies
  • Ice Lugs

2. What’s the process like when you’re designing new attachments and guarding?

We work specifically for individual customers. This means that we listen, work together to understand challenges and we come up with efficient solutions. This gives us the ability to leverage our engineering and make products that are flexible and durable. At the end of the process the customer receives the completed product, so its a complete turn-key solution for them.

3. What are some of the challenges faced by the construction industry these days?

The bulk of our construction attachments are made companies, who, like many people, are under pressure because of the state of oil and gas prices. Particularly in Alberta where the market has been hit hard, equipment dealers are under intense pressure to reduce costs, so we have to be mindful of that and work smarter instead of harder. There is a lot of selection in heavy equipment, so it’s up to us to stand out by making better products.

4. Why do customers buy construction attachments from Viking West?

The design process is where we can really cut costs, and these days it all comes back to the budget. Customers use Viking to produce specialized attachments to their specifications. We sell them at good value for what they’re accomplishing and then the customer can sell the completed machine at a reduced price. 

5. What unique benefits does Viking West offer for equipment dealers and manufacturers?

Our customers receive their products when they want them and how they want them. We’ve talked about it before, but everyone’s schedule is so important these days. Companies simply don’t have the luxury of storing equipment for 6, 7 or 8 months every year. That space is costing money, so we ship attachments on the customer’s schedule. We’ll even carry inventory for our clients so they don’t have to worry about it.

Looking for attachments for your next job? We can help, contact us!

When Clever Beats Complicated: Viking West’s Catwalk Design

Picture the three or four most often-used tools on any job site. They could be anything, from a trusty wrench to a sophisticated grappler attachment.

Now imagine each was easier to use, installed quicker and accomplished its primary task better than ever.

Oh, and chipped in on a couple of other jobs as well.

While your wrench might already be close to perfect, there are plenty of improvement opportunities on any job site. One of those happens to be one of Viking West’s first designs as a company, and it’s helping operators all over North America with a fairly crucial daily activity: accessing and protection of their heavy machines.

The Catwalk.

Original Hurdles

Typical catwalks are large and awkward to handle during installation. Too large for one person to handle, too small to justify use of a crane in most instances, catwalks were a necessary piece that created headaches for the installer. To fit an after-market catwalk to a heavy machine such as an excavator or a forestry machine was typically a 3-day process that was labour-intensive. Catwalk kits were literally being custom fabricated directly onto new and used machines. 

Catwalk Design - Closeup
Catwalk Design – Closeup

Simple Solutions by Simple Designs

One of the best parts of working in the manufacturing business is finding budget-friendly solutions to common problems. Viking West’s Catwalk design accomplished just that.

    • Install time reduced from 3 days to 1 day
    • 1.5 person job reduced to 1 person job (Convenient C.G. lifting point)
    • No measurement required (each catwalk kit is manufactured to suit specific excavator or forestry machine model
    • Pre-primed & ready for paint
    • Reduced welding consumables

Not only is the Catwalk quicker and easier to install, it requires fewer welding materials as a hidden bonus. And it’s all accomplished with a clever alignment tab design that rests and aligns naturally to the top of a machine’s D-rail frame.

catwalk design Viking West
Completed Catwalk Design

Streamlining the Design Process

Products like the Catwalk might seem simple on the surface, but they’re indicative of a results-based industry that simply needs things to work.

I asked Kevin what was more enjoyable to create, low-tech products like the Catwalk or more sophisticated machines that involve more technology.

For Kevin, the answer will always come from the problem solved.

“It’s a tough question, but I enjoy both creative, technologically advanced designs as well as sharp and simple low tech designs. Both types are rewarding for me. But ultimately It’s always still about solving problems in the industry, helping the customer find solutions and looking for new ways to help them to be more competitive. Whether that’s a low-tech item like the catwalk or if it’s something more sophisticated, I get fulfillment just in providing solutions, big ones or little ones. It’s just rewarding to experience success in the field and to see our products working.”

Why Value by Design is So Much More Than Just a Mission Statement

New companies are going to sprout up all over the world in 2016, and they’re going to do so under the umbrella of new technology. As we’ve seen here at Viking West, technology can range from sophisticated advancements like advanced sonic drilling technology to simple and creative solutions such as our hands-free Scorpion™Pipe Handler.

It’s not the design that matters necessarily, it’s the value created by that design.

And in 2016, intangible elements such as time, attention and access are going to matter to the overall value of products and service more than ever.

This is a good thing.

In the past, new companies were created often as a byproduct of other companies. As such, mission statements and goals were adopted from entities that already existed. The umbrella of work and service covered entire sectors, and new companies were launched with someone else’s audience in mind.

It doesn’t work that way any more. At least not for us.

Designing Value With a Community

Attention to detail and time are two of the drilling industry’s greatest resources. The men and women in the field operating machines need products that work, are durable and can be replaced quickly and inexpensively.

Mission statements are often created first and then implemented afterwards. Just say yes and then figure the rest out later, right? Well, designing products with value as the primary goal means knowledge of real-world conditions is paramount to getting the product right.

Where does time enter the conversation? While products created and delivered quickly are always appreciated, there’s a balance to be struck between being prompt and being right.

An early product that doesn’t work properly is is still worthless.

Defining Culture

The way we do business has changed; as a company, as an industry and as an international community of manufacturers. Outdated methods of building first, selling second and asking questions later are thankfully being eliminated. As the price of oil and the manufacturing industry inches towards a hopeful resurgence in 2016, it’s crucial that our industry rewrites contracts that place importance on valuable products and cost efficiency above all else.

The only casualty with this method will be time. The time to interact with potential end users, the time to test new products before mass production and the time to gather feedback.

If time is all that’s required to design new products that are ultimately less expensive yet more flexible than their predecessors, isn’t that a worthwhile price to pay?

A Blueprint for New Products

Value by design is more than a mission statement because it’s not just a goal for which we’re reaching, it’s the very definition of how we do our business and how we work. The design is what matters – the capability of our industry’s new products – that’s how the future will remember us.

I’ll stop short of claiming a new revolution is at hand, but for those of us working on the ground in the oil patch, in the bush, on the docks or in the far north, the last thing we want is to waste time with attachments that aren’t up to the task. No, there’s more value in getting the design right first.

And we’ve all got time to do things right.

The Benefits of Improved Tooling Products

“An essential aspect of every job, particularly during the current economic climate, is tooling products. They have to perform, they need to be ready to go and they need to be budget-friendly.”

Kevin Reimer, Viking West

The Problem with Tooling Products

A team is only as strong as its smallest player, just like every drilling or manufacturing project runs only as well as its tiniest component. Every drilling company has a story about an interrupted job because a bit broke or another piece of tooling wore out. Once that happens, there’s not much the driller can do except wait for new tooling to arrive.

And those expenses add up.

Tooling is a consumable that eventually has to be thrown away. 

Tooling needs to be:

  • Cost-friendly because it won’t last forever
  • Durable with high-wear properties so it lasts as long as possible
  • Readily available because the job must go on!

    Tooling Products Designed by User & Manufacturer

“Viking got into tooling because of relationships we have with local drilling contractors frustrated with long lead times and costs,” says Kevin. “They asked us to study different pieces of tooling and if we could come up with something better than what they had, we’d have a deal. So we did, and we were able to provide them with savings and a quality product.”

Relationships between manufacturer and the end user are evolving. Both sides of the table want to save costs, says Kevin.

Large volume manufacturers can’t always adapt quickly or efficiently to specific circumstances that make unique tooling necessary for a specific project. Sometimes slowing down and taking the time to listen to the customer and customize a product simply isn’t worth their time or energy. 

Viking West’s goal is to add value wherever possible. Whether it’s designing high-performing carbide patterns or selecting wear resistant materials, the mission is to fit the customer’s requirements, specifications and budget.

“Working face to face also allows us to save costs and pass those costs on to our customers,” says Kevin.

Save Time, Money & Energy with Custom Tooling Products

Your equipment needs to work. It’s crucial to avoid costly mistakes in the future.

And for Kevin Reimer and the team at Viking West, that’s part of the rewards of their work.

“We recently completed an order for a drilling company that was working with a tooling supplier, and the bits they were buying weren’t performing as long as they wanted them to, and they were expensive,” says Kevin. “And the lead time was long just to get their tooling. So they came to us and we designed a custom bit that has more tungsten carbides in it, provides more wear resistance and it’s a lower price.”

The future of the drilling industry in Canada as well as North America and the international stage will depend on smart decisions and savvy investments.

Tooling products might seem like a relatively small piece of the puzzle, but they’re actually critical pieces that will make a huge impact.

Why Dando Drilling Chose Viking’s SPT Auto Hammers for their 4000 Series Drill

Last week I caught up with Callum Mee and Rupert Coler from Dando Drilling over in the UK. While it was early for me and late for them, the guys were more than happy to chat about their recent partnership with Viking West and to talk shop with regards to Viking’s SPT Auto Hammers.

Read last week’s post.

“The first consideration is that we have a long history with products that are 40 and 50 years old, products that have been in the field for a long time and need attention,” says Rupert. “And that says a lot about our track record, so this particular piece, the SPT Auto Hammer, we know it’s the perfect fit, literally. We’ve seen all kinds of attachments, and we’re excited to find something that will work so well.”

“These Auto Hammers give us the flexibility that our customers want,” says Callum. “Whether it’s new rotary heads or other custom products, we’re not scared of turning around large major rigs in a short time. Having producers like Viking West helps that.” 

How will Dando Use the SPT Auto Hammers?

We started out by fitting it onto our Multitec 4000 series drill and now we’re planning on fitting it to our Multitec 9000 series drill,” says Rupert.

The hinge mount set-up is specifically designed to suit each rig model. Viking engineers worked closely with Dando to supply a complete package ready for fast and convenient installation. Even though Viking West is based in Vancouver, B.C. about 4700 miles away, they are able to meet Dando’s landed cost target and support Dando with an inventory Kanban system so there is always hammers and spare parts on hand for when Dando needs them for the next rig build.

Watch the SPT Auto Hammer in action.

This drill utilizes our tooling line which allows us to take large samples relatively quickly and cheaply,” says Rupert. “It’s a versatile system, capable of augering, coring, hammer-drilling and all the typical methods. It really does cover all the bases, it’s a powerful machine.”

Why Will Customers Choose the Viking West/Dando Drill?

“Specifically, with the Viking West Auto Hammer the head travels so you don’t have to re-set every time,” says Callum. “Also, one of the great advantages is it makes the whole system less bulky. Before you’d have a massive piece of fabrication and now it’s a very compact, slick application.”

Traditional SPT hammers require movement to swing the piece into place with a rotary head, which was a laborious, time-consuming process. With Viking’s SPT Auto Hammer there’s no chasing, you can effortlessly pull the entire set-up straight out.

“These auto hammers help customers work more quickly without sacrificing quality or even safety. Companies can get more done in less time, too.”

3 Locations Using the Dando Multitec 4000 Series Drill

The Multitec 9000 drill is on the way, but some pretty important areas around the world are already using the 4000 series drill fitted with the Viking SPT Auto Hammer: Panama, Bolivia and Chile. Service to these areas will be improved even more with the 9000 version and Viking West’s SPT Auto Hammer attachment.

According to Callum and Rupert, flexible machines allow coring companies the ability to diversify or at least have the option to diversify in the future. “When it comes to geotechnical work,” says Callum, “customers want a flexible attachment that can do more than one job. Cost is a factor as well, so it pays to have flexible equipment that can tackle more projects”

Companies often buy rigs such as the Multitec 4000 for geotechnical purposes but use it for coring later on. When funds are scarce, as they are for pretty much every company working in drilling, forestry or oil and gas, the ability to accept more work in the future is a vital advantage when buying new equipment.

“Our client in Panama was buying the rig for mineral work and ended up using it for coring,” says Rupert. “The Viking SPT Auto Hammer is a small add-on but it opens the drilling contractor to a whole other industry.

“With the SPT Auto Hammers from Viking West, that process will become viable for more companies, and that’s something both us and the team at Viking West are proud of.”

SPT Auto Hammer Specs

140 lb (64 kg) drive weight, no cable or rope, multiple swing hinge mount options to suit your rig and fully enclosed for optimum safety.

Conforms to ASTM Standards D1586-99.