FES FR550X drill rig sets a new record

A FR550X drilling rig, built by Chinese manufacturer Foundation Equipment Supplies (FES) reached a record pile depth in China of 143m (469ft) during the construction of The Jiaojiang Bridge, which will form part of the Hang-Shao-Tai Railway system.

 FES FR550X drilling rig

FES FR550X drilling rig

The diameter of the hole, at 3.5m (11ft 6in), was the maximum capable with the FR550X rig which usually drills to depths of 132m and the record-breaking hole was within 0.03 per cent of vertical.

Designed for pile construction in large-scale projects such as this project, the FR550X is suitable for use in the construction of large bridges, high-speed railways, highways, buildings, and more. For stability, the FR550X has an H-type retractable crawler chassis with large diameter slew bearing for stability and transportability.

The rig utilizes a single-row 132m-long (433ft) wire rope main-winch system which supplies the 60t of lifting force and extends the service life of the wire rope compared to double layer winding.

The rotary head has two distinct operating modes; normal mode for soils, and rock drilling mode. Another feature is the autorotation which can adjust the rate of rotation continuously between the two modes.