Carlson Boretrak® Case Study by Doug Ray, Owner of Dallas Hydraulics

By Anthony Chamblin • August 24th, 2018
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Recently, one of my underground mining customers from Louisiana asked me to solve a critical issue they were facing. The mine had used several types of drills and had been successful in their operation for many years until they made a change in drill size to increase production. They were drilling vertical holes 50-feet deep and were trying to keep the walls and floors even, but they soon began to run into a number of issues that seemed to get worse every week.

Doug Ray, owner of Dallas Hydraulics

Some of the issues were:

• Flat and cut tires from boulders
• Uneven floors after shots
• Broken frames and bucket arms
• Extremely large boulders in shots
• Low yield of material coming from shots
• Bad walls that had to be fixed by secondary drilling and shots

My team was asked to see what we could find out on the drilling situation. Because I was familiar with the Boretrak® unit as I had used one while working for a previous company, I made a tape measure into, what I joked, was my “Poor Man’s Boretrak” and lowered the tape into the hole with my flashlight tied to it, facing upward. I found that I lost view of the flashlight within the first 10 to12 feet of the hole and so I diagnosed the problem as a hole deviation issue.

Knowing that the Boretrak unit could solve many blasting issues, especially hole deviation, I proposed using it to correct the situation. When utilizing the Boretrak at my former company, the ability to drill straight holes gave us a huge advantage over competitors. We could show customers how easy it was to control fly-rock issues, monitor production, and save time overall. The Boretrak was also great for generating reports for customers during demos.

So we called Carlson and they were great to work with on such short notice. I received a loaner unit until my unit was built and delivered, which was both amazing and impressive that they could meet my needs with such a short lead-time.

Once I received the Boretrak, we were able to solve all of the mine’s issues. We found out that the previously drilled holes were an average of 18 feet off center at a depth of 50 feet. The report generated by the Boretrak showed that the holes all ran the same direction. I used the report to show my customer exactly what was going wrong and then began to design a solution.

Audited drill holes with Boretrak

As a result of switching over to the Carlson Boretrak, the floors improved and we were able to reduce damage to the loaders, crushers, feeder breakers, and conveyors.

Results included:

• The drill steel cost was reduced by almost $40,000 a month
• The loaders stopped having issues with boulders
• Lost drill strings in the holes has been eliminated
• Drill production increased dramatically
• The mine now has a large inventory of ready-to-load drill holes

I was able to rent the tool long enough to pay for the entire purchase on just this one job and now the same mining company is requesting a monthly survey on all the drills to assure they maintain accuracy and the quality of work.

Our customer added the Carlson Boretrak Survey procedure into the company manual to share with their branch mines around the world and now our team is being asked to survey for those mines.

Doug Ray, owner of Dallas Hydraulics

Boretrak Case Study: Download here

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