Drilling and blasting in our country today – two suppliers

Vrtací stroj

As already mentioned, until recently there were five major suppliers of drilling rigs on the Czech market, which for a long time formed the basic portfolio of competing entities. From this period many people still remember tenders when drilling rigs were tested, consumption was measured, drilling speed etc. Today, as a result of unification, there are two suppliers left in the market who can offer the advanced technology that is currently available in the world.



The rise of computers

Technological developments in the field of drilling rigs have undergone tremendous progress in the last 20 years. The rise of computers has hit this field with great intensity and has shown the possibilities that this direction offers. The undeniable advantages of “computers” have been proven. The much-monitored consumption per drilled meter dropped by 50% on average to 0.5 – 0.3 litres, tool life was extended and those who wanted it could collect operational data, monitor the drilling process online, etc. These undeniable advantages were undoubtedly welcomed by the professional community.


Change of priorities

Above all, we realised that the use of modern drilling technologies does not follow trends as we are used to, for example in consumer electronics, when a new product appears on the market and the price gradually drops. That’s not what happened. Spare parts prices have skyrocketed. Today, for example, the cost of refurbishing a drill hammer for the heavier series has risen to over 30,000 EUR after the first 1,200 hammer hours. Until 10 to 15 years ago, similar overhauls of approximately the same type series were also carried out for 30,000 CZK. The present can thus safely be described as a real trap. These facts have completely changed priorities and the previously much-monitored fuel consumption per metre of the borehole has become an uninteresting parameter.




Costs are rising

So if we create a model situation where you are in the drilling and blasting business, you have ordered, you are doing well and at the end of the year you receive a package where you have a control joystick, decoder, hammer plunger, adapter sleeve and guides, then suddenly from a satisfied entrepreneur with good results and prospects you can become a debtor with a distrainor knocking on your door. The model situation shows us that these reasons have also “purged” the number of companies for which “drilling” was once an interesting and profitable field.


Skilled drillers are dwindling

One important fact to mention is that without real experts, without workers loyal to their employer, even the most advanced technologies lose their advantages and benefits. People who can know, are familiar with and, above all, are willing to work in a demanding environment are few, will continue to decline and the situation does not look like it will improve in the foreseeable future.




The market responds

Despite the not very optimistic words above, we can see that the market has a self-cleaning character, it can react and adapt to the situation. In this regard, small “low-cost” companies are beginning to emerge in the drilling market, where people are willing to work, acquire excellent knowledge, do quality work and can cover the service with their resources. These small companies use technological advances to keep costs down, they are not afraid to experiment, they are not afraid to use alternative spare parts, they have the technical expertise and they strive to make maximum profit.




The world keeps changing

No one can say for sure which way to go and predict developments, but things are always in motion, and the world is constantly changing. I would like to assure you that the Rocktech/Sandvik tandem wants to be well prepared for the future and create optimal conditions for its customers.






Source: Lomy a těžba