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The T685EX is a heavy-duty drill rig specifically designed for mineral exploration applications


The T685EX is a heavy-duty drill rig specifically designed for mineral exploration applications. A high-capacity top head, sampling equipment, power breakout and automated pipe handling systems make the rig suitable for reverse-circulation drilling programmes.

Fred Slack, vice-president of business development at Schramm, notes that the rig can be used in “rough terrain, including high-altitude, mountainous, desert terrains of the western US, Peru, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as in wet swampy terrains of central Africa and South America.”

The T685EX is offered in both track and truck-mounting to offer the contractor optimum mobility to suit their particular application’s needs.

The rig is available in hoist packages ranging from 40,000lbs (18,180kg) to 90,000lbs (40,909kg) to suit the varying depth requirements of exploration programmes.

Under the hood
The T685EX features increased engine horsepower and compressor capacity and is equipped with a V-Pack cooling system for increased efficiency.

The MTU 12V-2000, 905HP engine provides the power required for all hydraulic systems and for the high-capacity Sullair compressor, producing 1,350cfm (38m3/min) at 500 psi (34.5 bar).

A mechanical clutch is provided to disengage the compressor for cold engine starts and to save power and fuel when the compressor is not required. The compressor package also includes Schramm’s patented air-control system, which monitors cooling system temperature and compressor volume requirements, matching the fan speed and compressor inlet valve for maximum power efficiency. For added safety, galvanised steel hose whip socks are fitted to all hoses of 2in (50.8mm) diameter or larger that contain air, including the cuttings discharge hose.

The top head drive is designed to give the speed and torque for tri-cone rotary bits or down-the-hole hammers.

Low-speed, high-torque hydraulic motors provide a wide torque and speed range with high mechanical efficiency. Spindle thrust forces are handled by large tapered roller bearings mounted in heavy fabricated steel housing.

Tramming station
The tracked carrier system includes a tramming station at the front left corner of the machine. It includes an adjustable seat, radio remote tramming control and back-up manual hydraulic tramming system. The radio system allows for remote tramming when loading and unloading from transport trailers. A Caterpillar 330C carrier is hydraulically driven with two-speed, axial piston motors, spring-applied parking brake, 29.5in (750mm) triple-cleated grousers and full-length rock guards.

A variety of automated pipe-handling systems are available, providing hands-free loading and unloading of drill rods to the top head. They mount on the right side of the mast, opposite the operator, and lift rods from the side rack, remote racks or a support truck. For further pipe-handling automation, a hands-free, breakout and make-up system eliminates the need for conventional wrenches or tongs.

A hydraulic sliding holding wrench is supplied to support the drill rods in the table. A lightweight hinge-mounted guard is also supplied to prevent contact with the rotating drill string, while an exploration jib boom, auxiliary and sandline winches round out the T685EX pipe-handling package.

The rig is factory equipped with side-inlet and discharge swivels, abrasion-resistant discharge hose and plumbing, swing-arm-mounted cyclone and wet splitter systems to meet reverse circulation requirements. A variety of styles are available to suit all the contractor’s needs.

Assorted water and foam injection packages are available and can be combined with on-board water tanks and mist-type dust suppression systems.

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