The revolutionary state-of-the-art Boart Longyear LF350 Hands-Free Drill Rig is about to radically change the face of the Australian surface drilling industry. McKay Drilling, a WA based drilling industry leader, has introduced the LF350 being the first of its kind in Australia which features complete hands free rod handling.
A decision was made by Managing Director, Mark McKay to diversify the drilling services offered to clients and in doing so he wanted to innovate the drilling rigs to a new level of technology and safety.
‘The LF350 will dramatically increase personnel safety and safe work practices in our high risk industry,’ Managing Director, Mark McKay comments, ‘and is directly in line with our vision to become the most technologically advanced and high-quality drilling service provider in Australia. Ultimately we are about providing the safest work environment and equipment to our people and clients.’
General Manager, Brenton Wallace explains, ‘We’re in the process of developing a new computer management system for the LF350 that will allow all running and drilling parameters to be monitored and used in training of new employees to reduce the costs in operation and to the client.’
The unique LF350 can operate with automated drilling at shift changes and not only features hands-free rod handling but also incorporates an innovative retraction system that removes all hydraulic cylinders from the mast assembly. The first LF350 is currently operational in the Pilbara and three additional drills have been added to the fleet.
Furthermore, McKay Drilling partnered with major manufacturer, Schramm, introducing two industry-first Schramm T685i drilling rigs to grow the reverse circulation division. The rigs feature a remote control panel that allows the Driller to operate up to eight meters away from the the rig. The introduction of these rigs is a significant step forward for the development of safety and control features in reverse circulation drilling method.
Wallace adds, ‘McKay Drilling has undergone a substantial expansion over the past 12 months, adding four Diamond Drills, three Reverse Circulation Drills and two Hydro Drills to its fleet, totalling AU$21 million in capital expenditure.’
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the family owned and operated drilling company has grown exponentially, moving from a predominantly reverse circulation operation to new rigs in the diamond and hydro drilling disciplines, both in Australia and internationally.
McKay Drilling continues to develop and maintain a fleet of the latest model drill rigs and support equipment, utilising the latest innovations and technology.