Ditch Witch JT24 drill aimed at fiber optic installation market

Marcia Gruver Doyle Pix
Updated Oct 13, 2019
Photo: Wayne Grayson/Equipment WorldPhoto: Wayne Grayson/Equipment World

Ditch Witch’s new 24,000-pound thrust/pullback JT24 horizontal directional drill fills the gap between the company’s JT20 and JT25 drills, and is aimed at the on-fire fiber optic installation market, along with gas and water. The machine debuted at ICUEE this week.

One machine feature — a larger footprint — is designed to provide more stability. “We have 20 percent more stability on this machine,” says Cory Maker, Ditch Witch HDD product manager.  “The track assembly is similar to what’s on our JT25, mainly for stability. Guys get into situations where getting that lower center of gravity is a big deal,” he says.

Attracting attention at ICUEE. Photo: Marcia Doyle/Equipment WorldAttracting attention at ICUEE. Photo: Marcia Doyle/Equipment World

The 101-horsepower Cummins diesel is both Tier 4 and European Stage 5 compliant. A new hydraulic platform maximizes drilling efficiency and conserves horsepower for downhole operation, says Ditch Witch. An 83-decibel noise level helps operations in noise-sensitive areas.

The 216-feet-per-minute maximum carriage speed is designed to decrease cycle times. “The cruise control is pressure compensated,” Maker says. “You set the pressures and you basically maintain whatever feet per minute you’re using going up and down the carriage. And once it drills out full rod, it automatically returns back to the rod change position and you’re ready to go through the cycle of making/breaking pipe.”

The drill has 400 feet of pipe on board. It has a removable pipe box so another pipe box can be added after an operator has drilled 400 feet. A Subsite locator display is integrated into the drill operator’s display.

The JT24 also has an advanced wireless remote, which allows users to run the ground drive and set-up features. “That allows you to get onto the jobsite and get into position much faster,” Maker says.

Photo: Wayne Grayson/Equipment WorldPhoto: Wayne Grayson/Equipment World Photo: Wayne Grayson/Equipment WorldPhoto: Wayne Grayson/Equipment World Photo: Wayne Grayson/Equipment WorldPhoto: Wayne Grayson/Equipment World Photo: Wayne Grayson/Equipment WorldPhoto: Wayne Grayson/Equipment World