Courtesy of Boart Longyear

When it comes to drilling safety, the less manual intervention required to add or remove rods from the drill string the better – it keeps the operator free of moving parts and potential injuries. A hands-free experience is key for Boart Longyear as it adds to its fleet of exploration drill rigs around the world, with two of its newer rig models being introduced in North America and Latin America: the LF160 and the LF350e. The LF160 is a top-drive coring rig. When paired with the company’s FL262 Freedom loader – a mechanical claw-like machine that lifts and attaches rods to the rig – it allows for a completely hands-free drilling process that the company says can cycle at the same speed as it would take to manually load the rods. “Drillers’ safety and productivity are front-of-mind in the design,” said Monika Portman, Boart Longyear’s director of product management and marketing, in a press release. The LF160 can drill to a depth of 1,800 metres, while the company’s latest rig, the LF350e, boasts the same hands-free experience and can probe up to 3,360 metres.