California-based Gregg Drilling has been undertaking environmental, geotechnical and marine site investigation and remediation for more than 25 years. During that time the company has always striven to be an industry leader through investment in the best technology. When the decision was made to invest in a new sonic drilling rig for environmental drilling, geotechnical and exploration projects, the management's research took them to Europe and one supplier in particular - Royal Eijkelkamp.
The connection between Gregg Drilling and Royal Eijkelkamp is not a new one as Mike Cramer, sonic operations manager at Gregg Drilling explains: "I have worked with Royal Eijkelkamp a great deal in the past. Actually, the first time I visited with them was back in 2003 or so when a colleague and I were sent over to look at and test one of their new CompactSonics for use in the US for the first time. During that time, I was able to not only test out and fell in love with their new CompactSonic technology, but I was able to learn who they were and what a great and amazing company Royal Eijkelkamp really is."
It was that positive experience that led to the two companies working together on this latest addition to the Gregg fleet. The particular model chosen was based upon a LargeRotoSonic (LRS) FS250.
"We worked together closely in customising and tailoring the rig exactly to suit our needs," says Cramer. He then goes on to that because of the level of customisation that "from the time we first just started talking about possibilities to the time we gave the green light and got the truck chassis ordered, built and shipped to the Netherlands, the rig assembled, and then shipped back for the NGWA show [in Las Vegas at the end of 2018] was about 18 months."
The specification agreed upon was for the LargeRotoSonic FS250 to be mounted on a four-axle Peterbilt chassis with a Tier 4 engine with a 450hp output and a 275hp Tier 4 CAT deck engine to run the rig. The rig itself is equipped with a triple floatable 12in break out clamp, two winches with 12,000lb and 2,200lb service rotatable jib. It has a rod loader for 20ft 4.5in rods totalling 600ft and a 75gpm bean pump, high-pressure water pump with an extra-large air compressor, sonic memory, mud pump memory with GPM counter.
In addition, the working deck lowers and folds up hydraulically. Along with the truck the complete package also includes a service truck with gantry crane, tool and workbench as well 2,000-gallon water tank.
When asked why he chose to work with Royal Eijkelkamp, given the number of domestic manufacturers he could have worked with, Cramer says: "To put it simply and modestly - quality. You always get what you pay for and with the Royal Eijkelkamp/Fraste team what you get is pure excellence. They employ some of the most talented and highly skilled people in the world, which shows in every drill and product they produce. Their extreme high-level of experience and attention to detail combined with top-notch parts and materials creates a product with excellent and long-lasting dependability and serviceability that I have found to be second to none."