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Productive directional drilling — the Vermeer D550 HDD is built for it

Published by , Digital Administrator
World Pipelines,

When you’re directional drilling 30 ft (9.1 m) under a river in solid rock or pulling back hundreds of feet of 30 in. (76.2 cm) steel pipe, you’re not thinking about a bulleted list of features you read about on some website or brochure. No, the drill you’re operating is either delivering productivity or not. The folks at Vermeer understand that and built the next generation D550 horizontal directional drill (HDD) for performance.

Productive directional drilling — the Vermeer D550 HDD is built for it

Here’s a deeper look at how the D550 drill delivers productive directional drilling when installing large-diameter products like oil and gas pipelines, water lines and high-voltage electrical transmission lines at long distances.

Jobsite setup

Every second counts when you and your crew are ready to start a new project. The faster equipment can be hauled in and positioned, the quicker directional drilling can begin. The design of your directional drill should be able to help you prepare quickly. The Vermeer D550 drill can.

The crawler-mounted D550 drill is self-contained, so when it comes off the trailer, you can walk into position and get ready to work. There’s no need for a trailered rig that requires a crane or excavator to raise the machine's back end into position.

The D550 drill is light for its size, weighing in at less than 100,000 lb (45 359.2 kg) with the vise removed. That benefits your crew when hauling the drill to and from projects and positioning the drill on the job. Don’t worry, though, you still get class-leading torque and pullback force when it’s time to get to drilling.

Low sound levels

Many HDD drill projects worldwide are required to stay under certain sound levels when working in residential and urban environments. This creates more work for contractors, who now have to construct sound barriers, and may impact working hours to adhere to noise-related regulations. The Vermeer D550 drill and its 111 dB(A) sound power will help you keep a quiet jobsite environment and, in some instances, avoid having to erect barriers. That will help you drill productively.

Flexible product handling

Not every job involves pulling back a product string. Sometimes, you may find yourself working a job where you need to install casing into the ground directly. The D550 drill’s full travel vise has you covered. The enclosed three-cylinder vise can be positioned close to the carriage for optimal casing handling or moved up and down the rack as needed when making/breaking tooling connections.

Maximised productivity

Now that you know the design of the D550 drill can minimise setup times, let’s move on to directional drilling productivity.

With 100,000 ft-lb (135 581.8 Nm) of torque, you can go from the pilot bore to a larger reamer, helping you make fewer passes before its time to swab the hole and pullback.

This next generation Vermeer drill also has a 4 in. (10.2 cm) fluid course that allows you to pump fluid downhole while maintaining low pressure. And the drill’s hydraulic transmission provides peak torque at high rotation speeds (while reaming) while maintaining low system pressures to maximise component life.

Operator control

The operator of the D550 drill gets to sit in a comfortable climate-controlled cabin with plenty of room for a steering hand to set up shop, also. The drill is equipped with controls similar to those of a Vermeer utility-sized HDD drill. And it has three different auto-directional drilling modes — rotation, thrust and speed. You choose the right mode for the work at hand.

Moving on, let’s talk precise speed control to match ground conditions. How often would say your crew drills in challenging rock? Have you ever noticed that in those conditions, it seems like you just can’t back down the rotational speed enough to get the torque required to cut efficiently?

The Vermeer D550 is designed to give precise control on those jobs. It can drill at ultra-slow speeds for precise thrust control and weight-to-bit pressure regulation for optimal cutting action and long tooling life.


Troubleshooting issues on the job can be done quickly, too. The D550’s onboard telematics give service technicians and drill operators access to important diagnostic information.

To learn more about the other important features built into the powerful Vermeer D550 HDD, check out the following informative links.

Contact your local Vermeer dealer for more information about Vermeer horizontal directional drilling equipment.

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Pipeline projects