RPI construction equipment

Drilling Rig Buyer's Guide

At a basic level, deep foundation drilling is a relatively simple process where you use large machinery to create deep bores in the earth. Though, as any experienced operator will tell you, the reality is far more complex. From harsh soil conditions to sites with clearance restrictions or proximity to existing structures that can be damaged during the drilling process, there are a number of challenges that drilling rig operators face during every phase of a drilling project.

Due to the considerable loads that deep foundations need to accommodate, having the proper drill rig is essential to drilling successfully. Identifying the right equipment can be a complex process, and this drill rig buyer’s guide pinpoints the best rigs available.

Exploring methods, inspections, selection, costs, and manufacturers

Fundamentals of Foundation Drilling

Depending on the scope of your project and the unique geotechnical conditions, you should tailor your equipment to every project.

Kelly drilling is one of the most common and popular types of drilling, and every operator should be familiar with this method and drill rig type. It utilizes dry rotary drilling to break through hard ground and rock and can bore to considerable depths and diameters.

Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) Drilling is another popular method that utilizes continuous drilling to displace the earth. This is the best method for pre-drilling holes, as the auger must match the depth of the hole it is drilling.

Displacement drilling is used for cast-in-place piles where the earth is displaced without bringing any to the surface, and a smooth casing is driven into the ground and fitted with a displacement body on the lower end.

If you need help determining which method will work best for your project, you should work with engineering teams and examine professional geotechnical analyses before breaking ground to avoid damaging equipment, which can result in harm to crews in the field and costly downtime.

CZM EK160 Drill Rig
Drill rigs should be inspected thoroughly and no component should be overlooked

Tips for Inspecting a Drilling Rig Before Purchasing

CZM EK125 Short Mast Drilling Rig Buyer's Guide

Due to the high costs associated with purchasing a new drilling rig, it’s essential to know what to look for and get a piece of equipment that is reliable and suited to your firm’s needs and project forecast. It is also critical for maintaining job site safety measures to protect crew members, site visitors, and your investment. Prior to operation, the drill rig should be inspected thoroughly, and no component should be overlooked.

Finding a qualified inspector is the best way to ensure equipment is in top operating shape. They will understand each component and have a specialized checklist tailored to that specific machinery. Maintaining comprehensive inspection records is the best way to protect equipment from expensive malfunction or breakdown, which can result in costly repairs that keep crews off the job.

Inspect the brakes and ensure that fluid levels are correct to ensure that rigs will remain in place on even the steepest slopes. Kelly bars should be inspected outside of their housings. Flanges, adapters, torque lugs, stops, and rails should not show signs of wear or damage before operation. Hydraulic systems should also be inspected to ensure proper function.

Proper lubrication and greasing deep foundation drill rigs is one of the most critical pieces of maintenance for operators. Given the dirty and dusty nature of drilling projects, they are exposed to considerable amounts of grime in every phase of the project.

Cleanliness is an often overlooked part of inspecting a drill prior to purchasing a new drill rig.

Interested in a Drill Rig from RPI Equipment?

RPI Equipment has a large fleet of CZM drilling rigs available for rent or purchase

CZM Drilling Rigs

CZM drilling rigs have been producing high-quality drills since 1967 and CZM maintains a proud reputation as an innovative leader in the drilling industry. CZM drill rigs are proudly made in the USA and designed by skilled engineers at their facilities in Savannah, Georgia.

  • CZM EK65SM: Kelly Bar, Drilled Shaft, and Short Mast capabilities with drilling depths of 41′ diameters of 20-70″
  • CZM EK65HP: Kelly Bar, Long Mast, and Short Mast performance with drilling depths of 80′ and diameters of 20-63″
  • CZM LR65: Kelly Bar, Standard Mast, Long Mast, and Long Reach drilling solutions with drilling depths of 100′ and diameters of 20-108″
  • CZM LR75: Kelly Bar, Standard Mast, Long Mast, Long Reach capabilities with depths of 100′ and diameters of 20-132″
  • CZM EK90: Micropiling, Jet Grouting, Segmented Flight Auger, CFA, and Tieback performance with drilling depths of 60″ and diameters of 6-24.”
  • CZM EK125: Kelly Bar and Drilled Shaft performance with drilling depths of 150′ and diameters of 20-96.”
  • CZM LR125: Kelly Bar, Drilled Shaft, and Long reach capabilities with drilling depths of 80′ and drilling diameters of 20-120″
  • CZM EK160: Kelly Bar and Drilled Shaft options with depths reaching 140′ and diameters of 20-120″
  • CZM LR160: Kelly Bar, Drilled Shaft, and Long Reach capabilities with drilling depths of 80′ and diameters of 20-144″
  • CZM EK160LS: Kelly Bar, Continuous Flight Auger, and Displacement Pile functions and drilling depths of 175′ with diameters of 20-96″
  • CZM EK200: Kelly Bar, Standard Mast, Short Mast, and Bottom Drive Continuous Flight Auger capabilities and drilling depths of 200′ with diameters of 20-132″
  • CZM EK240: Standard Mast, Mid Mast, Short Mast, and Bottom Drive Continuous Flight Auger performance with drilling depths of 260′ and diameters of 20-156″
  • CZM EK240LS: Kelly Bar, CFA, Displacement Pile, Cased CFA, and Soil Mining capabilities and drilling depths of 175′ and diameters of 20-144″
  • CZM EK250: Kelly bar, Drilled Shaft, CFA, and drilling depths of 200′ and diameters of 20-156″
  • CZM EK260LS: Kelly Bar, CFA, Displacement Pile, Cased CFA, and Soil Mixing functionality with drilling depths of 250′ and diameters of 20-144″
  • CZM EK300: Displacement Pile, CFA, Kelly Bar, Drilled Shaft, and Short Mast capabilities with drilling depths of 246′ and diameters of 20-181″
  • CZM EK300LS: Full Cable Crowd, Kelly Bar, Drilled Shaft, CFA, Displacement Pile, Cased CFA, and Soil Mixing performance with drilling depths of 160′ and diameters of 20-144″

Other drilling rig manufacturers include Bauer, Soilmec, Casagrande, Watson, REV Drill, and Bay Shore LoDril.

Selecting the Right Drilling Rig

Every drilling rig presents pros and cons, and operators should have a list of hard needs when they start to explore purchasing a drilling rig.

Consider your site’s unique conditions to determine the right piece of machinery to add to your existing fleet. If a project is in an urban area, there may be noise or emissions restrictions that dictate which type of drilling rig you can use.

The most essential portion of identifying the proper drilling rig is the soil conditions it will be operating in. Purchasing a new drill rig from a trusted manufacturer like CZM gives operators access to powerful drilling equipment that won’t break down during a pivotal moment in a drilling job.

General Cost Guidelines for Purchasing a Drilling Rig

Drill rigs are often the most expensive equipment in a firm’s fleet, with costs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which makes purchasing a drill rig an important decision. Another consideration when determining costs is variable costs like fuel and transportation, which can cause unexpected expenditures and turn a project’s financial success upside down.

If purchasing a drilling rig is too costly, many operators explore drill rig rental solutions to gain access to a full fleet of drilling rigs. Renting a drilling rig is ideal for smaller firms that want to avoid the expenses associated with fleet maintenance and logistic management. Another advantage of drill rig rental is that it offers equipment that may be necessary for a single project outside of an operator’s usual scope.

Another option for operators is to explore financing a drill rig purchase to avoid substantial capital investment.

Purchasing a Used Foundation Drill Rig

Another affordable solution for operators looking to expand their drill rig fleet is to explore purchasing a used drilling rig. Buying a used drill rig from a trusted local vendor enables operators to purchase equipment that has been well maintained for considerably less than a new drill rig. Another benefit of buying a used drill is that you avoid depreciation, and many well-maintained used drilling rigs are new enough to have advanced technology when compared to older, more traditional drilling rigs.

Many local heavy equipment vendors liquidate their stock as they expand their fleets and update their inventory. Developing a relationship with these vendors allows operators to know they have access to properly maintained pre-owned drill rigs that have been kept in top shape.

Drilling Rig Expertise

Having recently been recognized as one of the top Drilling Rig blogs by FeedSpot.com, RPI’s reputation for expert knowledge in the drill rig industry is undeniable.

Family-owned and operated for more than fifty years, RPI Equipment remains dedicated to transparent communication, competitive pricing, and providing the highest level of customer service in the heavy equipment rental and purchase market. Our expert team of knowledgeable salespeople is here to help operators explore their options from our well-maintained fleet of pile-driving rigs, drilling rigs, vibro hammers, and accessories.

We can also help small and medium firms grow and scale their operations with our financing options that give them access to the equipment they need without significant upfront capital investment to remain fiscally dynamic as jobs are awarded.

If you’re looking to rent a drilling rig, you should consult with a local equipment vendor that can help you explore your options and find the exact equipment you need based on your project’s scope, budget, and geotechnical conditions.

Our experienced service team can help keep your project on track in the event of equipment malfunction or breakdown to help our partners avoid costly downtime. We can perform next-day service calls on your site with 24-hour advance notice and help order and install OEM parts to help keep all warranties intact. Our technicians can also perform third-party lubricant analyses with professional inspections to help avoid unnecessary oil or grease changes to help reduce lubricant costs and save operators time and money.

At RPI Equipment, we believe our success relies on our partner’s success, and we strive to remain an industry leader and expand our operations. Call (856) 456-0081 to speak to our experienced sales team, or contact us online to discover the RPI Equipment difference!



The RPI Difference

We pride ourselves on our stellar customer service. When you call RPI Construction Equipment during office hours, you are always greeted by our staff (not a recording). We respond to emails and answer our mobile phones when the office is closed. Should you have a problem at your job site, we make it our priority to get you back on schedule by arriving on the same day or next day from your service request.

Our customers are our number one concern. Consider us when planning for your next job!