Prototype rig features rack-and pinion-design ///
The American Augers engineering concept was to create a drilling rig that used a rack-and-pinion design, which mechanically allows the rig to increase its performance since the drilling rig would use rack-and-pinion thrust, rather than gravity, to load the drillbit. The company used rack-and-pinion on the drilling rig because it was the technology they had employed successfully in Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) equipment, Fig. 1. A rack and pinion system provides smoother movement of the top head drive, which leads to more efficient operating control of the entire unit, and prolongs the mechanical life of the system. In November 2007, the first American Augers oil/gas rig, VR-330, was put into service in Louisville, Ohio. The drill rig was purchased by Akerman Construction from Purcell, Oklahoma. The Akerman crew began the drill rig setup process, and completed that task in a roughly 10 hr.
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