Ditch Witch speeds up HDD process with fluid system upgrades

By Don McLoud

Featured in: Equipment World

Ditch Witch has upgraded its fluid management systems for horizontal directional drilling to increase flow, mixing cycles and yield times, the company says.

The systems range in tank sizes of 200 to 950 gallons and engines of 5 to 25 horsepower for small to mid-size drilling jobs.

Ditch Witch made a series of upgrades to increase the systems’ fluid velocity. Those upgrades include a new wet hopper that has steeper sides and expands the venturi inlet by 60 percent, which also improves mixing performance, the company says. The mixing is further improved by a sloping tank bottom that ensures “all drilling fluid flows through the pump and is thoroughly mixed,” a news release says. Some of the models also have built-in bag rippers to speed up mixing cycles.

Ditch Witch’s fluid management systems include the FT5, FM5X, FM13X and FM25X. All feature a powder-coat finish to hinder rust, chipping and fading.

The FM25X is the largest, designed for mid-size jobs and to work with the company’s JT25 drill. It is powered by a 25-horsepower Kubota diesel engine. It comes standard with a 500-gallon tank, and a 950-gallon tank is an available option. The FM25X features a two-tank system that can simultaneously mix fluid and pump mixed fluid for drilling. That eliminates the need to stop drilling for mixing. The FM25X also has a variety of configuration options, including curbside and street side, for easier transport. And it has fuel configurations on both sides of the unit.

The FM13X runs on an 11.7-horsepower Honda gasoline engine and can be used with all sizes of HDDs for mid-size jobs, the company says. It, too, is available with 500- or 950-gallon tanks. Its Flomax pump delivers 200 gallons per minute of 42-viscosity drilling fluid. It can yield up to 950 gallons of fluid in 8 minutes.

The FM5X and FT5 models are designed for smaller jobs, with each having a 5-horsepower Honda gasoline engine. The FM5X is compatible with Ditch Witch’s JT10 HDD and some applications for the JT20. It has a 300-gallon tank, and its Flomax pump discharges 160 gallons per minute.

The FT5 has a 200-gallon tank and is designed for small jobs, delivering 18 gallons per minute of flow to the drill. Tanks on both systems are narrow and can be positioned side-by-side with a drill unit on a trailer. The FT5 can also be transported on a small truck.

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