Story Geotech have commissioned the latest addition to their drilling fleet, a Comacchio GEO 405 multi-purpose Geotechnical rig from Italy.

Weighing 8.4t, the GEO 405 ‘Big Blue’ is capable of in-situ SPT’s, rotary coring, auger, DTH hammer, environmental boreholes, geothermal wells, water wells and mini-piling operations.

Technical Specification;

  • Diesel 3.6L 4-cylinder turbo
  • Feed Stroke 3.5m, crown extension allows 6.0m rod pulls
  • FX 25 Percussion hammer for soil sampling
  • Rotary Head R1000HS-R, Six Speed / Torque settings
  • 63.5kg Hydraulic SPT hammer

Lee Healey, Head of Technical Services said: ” From conception to commissioning (12 months), Big Blue has already proven to be a great asset to the team and will provide the opportunity for expansion into new markets and a sustainable growth. I am very proud of what Story Geotech have achieved, and how the positive investment in people, technology and plant influences our culture and enhances our reputation.”

On arrival in the UK last week, the rig was deployed to site at ‘Sough Tunnel, Shaft 2’ (BBB/36), approximately 47m above the Blackburn to Bolton railway Line, South East of Darwen in Lancashire.

Interesting Fact – The railway tunnel constructed between 1845 and 1848 was worked from fifteen shifts, and although one end can be seen from the other (approx. 1.8km in length) the tunnel is not straight, indicating some errors during construction!

The drilling works undertaken by Story Geotech comprises the drilling of 3nr. boreholes to 50m depth to allow the ground and groundwater conditions at the site to be determined whist carrying out soil and rock testing to better understand the geotechnical characteristics, weathering profiles and strength of the strata.

The site team were able to share the experience with Fred Story, Chairman who visited site to see the new rig and many of the new staff who have joined Story Geotech over the last 12 months.

The works will inform the design likely comprising the relining of Shaft 2, relieve water pressures, installation of rock bolts and completing necessary grouting.

During site works the boreholes will also allow for the dip and strike of the rock to be accurately assessed, together with identification of coal seams and their current condition to inform the risks associated with the proposed construction works.