Thursday, August 8, 2019

Digga’s range of screw anchor and drilling drives are the ultimate in performance, quality and cost effectiveness. With over 30 years of design and development, working in the field and listening to the needs of our customers to exceed their expectations. All Digga drive units are manufactured in-house by Digga - from the hood on the drive to the gear box and Eaton motor. Our drives feature key design modifications to stand them apart from the competition:

Integrated motor and output housing unit

Our custom designed hydraulic motors were developed in conjunction with Eaton, using Eaton Geroler technology. Not satisfied with an off-the-shelf motor we developed the design specifically for the earth moving industry; significantly reducing the weight and overall length of the drive unit by integrating the hydraulic motor into the actual housing. Merging the motor with the input housing creates a direct connection to the gearset and eliminates the need for several gearbox components. In turn, there are less moving parts and fewer potential leak points. It also means we have been able to position the hydraulic motor ports in a more practical location; maximising manoeuvrability when drilling and offering greater protection to hoses and fittings during transport and storage.

    Less maintenance and a compact design

    Our gearboxes are made in-house. Gears are precision machined from high grade alloy steel, specifically formulated for the manufacture of high performance gears in the earth moving industry. The compact design of our gear set allows for greater length under the drive, for augers or helical pier installation. As our drives can go down the hole they provide added depth when drilling allowing you to work more efficiently.

      Two piece shaft design with the highest side load ratings

      Digga drives have more than double the side load capacity of any other gearbox on the market. Under toque load, the Digga two piece shaft design ensures there is no increased load on the bearings. The bearings do the job they were designed for, efficiently maintaining axial and side loading. Making the Digga shaft a separate component to the planetary carrier, the planetary gears are isolated from the pushing, pulling and bending forces generated by the machine. This is highly beneficial for the operator should there be any side loading; the Digga two piece shaft design ensures there is no increased load on the bearings and the gears are protected, saving you on potential costly repairs. Digga drives have the highest shaft pullout rating in the industry with a heavy-duty custom designed lock-nut, and a lifetime warranty on shaft pullout. two piece shaft design - digga auger drive

      Highest side load ratings

      Digga drives have more than double the side load capacity of any other gearbox on the market. Under toque load, the Digga two peice shaft design ensures there is no increased load on the bearing. The bearings do the job they were designed for, efficiently maintaining axial and side loading.

      Extensive warranty

      With a 3 year motor warranty and 5 year gearbox warranty, our drives are backed with a US Manufacturing Facility.Customer warranty - digga drive unit - motor warranty
      For more information on the different models in our range of auger and anchor drives please visit our website: www.diggausa.com

      Wednesday, August 7, 2019

      The Evolution of Helical Piling

      It is said that the first recorded use of a helical pier was by Alexander Mitchell, a brick maker and engineer from Ireland who coined the term ‘screw-pile’ in 1833.
      Initially the concept of helical piling was used to provide solid foundations for lighthouses in soft soil and provided enough holding power to safely moor ships in the harbour.
      The original helical pile concept cannot be officially confirmed but in the April 1848 issue of the Civil Engineer and Architects Journal the article highlights the mechanics of the bearing power of helical moorings and helical piles which Alexander Mitchell is argued to have introduced: 
      "The origin of the helical-pier was the screw mooring, which was designed for the purpose of obtaining, for an especial purpose, a greater holding power than was possessed by either the ordinary pile or any of the usual mooring -anchor blocks, of however large dimensions.... whether this broad spiral flange, [or ’ground screw,’ as it may be termed] were fixed upon a spindle, and forcibly propelled by rotary motion to a certain depth into the ground, an enormous force would be required to extract it by direct tension"
      It wasn’t long after this that helical piles were being installed all around the coast of England and Ireland and soon after that the method was being exported to the United States of America.
      During Mitchell’s era, the design and application of helical piers was by trial and error and it wasn’t until later down the line that the strategic use of helical piers begins to take place. Helical piers were used to support tension loads, compression loads, overturning moments and combined loading – as we see in many modern foundations today.
      Over the last 60 years while helical piers have often been associated with the electric utility industry as helical anchors for guy wires for poles and towers, they have found their way into nearly every aspect of civil construction: building foundation support for new construction, pedestrian bridges and walkways in environmentally sensitive wetlands and other areas, slope stability repair, tiebacks in temporary earth support, underpinning foundations for temporary structures, foundations for light and signage structures and wind generators, tension anchors for transmission towers and cell towers, underpinning of existing structures, foundations of bridge foundations, and a variety of other geotechnical applications.
      A key feature of helical piers is the ability to monitor the installation of every pile by careful monitoring of the installation torque and rotation as the pile advances. Even though the required installation torque relates to the specific geometry of the pile, including the helical sections and the central shaft, the torque also relates to the interaction between the helical pier and the soil. Therefore, the resulting installation torque record provides a means of direct quality control and assurance that can be used to verify soil conditions at each pile location, as well as to provide an estimate of pile capacity through correlations between torque and capacity. This is particularly important since it is usually not possible to have a soil boring at each pile location. The installation torque provides a specific log of the conditions at each location and allows for adjustments to be made to ensure that the desired pile capacity will be reached. This also means that each pier is tested and in most cases can be used to immediately support design loads.
      Australian screw piling expert and business owner Brodie Houghton of Solidity, told Digga that they see helical piling as the next big shift in building technology, with a much needed flow on effect to both profitability of the building industry and housing affordability in general. Houghton explained: 
      "Builders who are conscientious of project economics are already making the shift to helical piling in hordes. Helical piling [with Solidity*] not only eliminates costly delays to the building program by offering all weather installation ability, but further simplifies the building process by eradicating the need for additional base stage inspections and doing away with dewatering as a concern. Adding to this the reduced material cost of helical pile supply over concrete, helical piling can produce savings of up to 20%* over an equivalent bored pier foundation system."
      There are a number of advantages, Houghton goes on to tell us:
      "When you consider the environmental impact of a project credence is often not given to a well designed and executed foundation system which significantly reduces the wider environmental impact of a project, along with the immediate effects on local ecology. The simple disturbances to the environment brought about by the excavation of 0.5-1CUM of spoil, which is then relocated to either a tipping site, or another area on the subject building site can have massive effects on local flora and fauna. Being that helical piles are a type of displacement pile, there is little to no spoil disturbed during installation." 
      Today, almost any conventional piece of standard excavation equipment, such as a track or wheeled excavator, a mini excavator, a backhoe or a skid steer may be easily fitted with a low-speed, high-torque hydraulic head to provide the required torque for installation. Even in areas of limited access or low head room such as inside the basement of a structure, a small hand-held portable hydraulic torque head and a torque reaction bar can be used to install helical piers inside buildings, providing up to 5,000 nM of torque.
      Digga see the installation of helical piers as a versatile alternative to traditional methods of foundations and as more applications are being found for the use of helical piers they are fast becoming an attractive alternative to traditional cast in place concrete foundations. 
      You can find more information on our Digga Anchor Drives for Helical Pier Installations here
      For further reading on the evolution of screw piling check out this article which we referenced when putting this post together for you: Civil and structural engineer news article.

      Tuesday, August 6, 2019

      The Importance of vertical alignment

      Digga machinery attachments
      Having trouble drilling? The correct vertical alignment of your auger bit into the ground is essential to ensure efficient & effective drilling with your excavator. The natural arc movement of the boom causes the dipper arm to move out of alignment as it is raised or lowered, which is why constant operator adjustments are required to maintain vertical alignment. Please consider, that failure to do so will create significant side load on the drilling drive and auger bit!

      As Digga drilling drives are pendulum drills designed to hang freely from the excavator mount - excessive side load may result in bent auger flights, pipe and hubs as well as potential damage to the drilling drive shaft, seals and gearbox. When you are drilling especially into hard ground this may also cause socket and pilot breakage. So make sure to align your auger bit and drilling drive correctly, to avoid damage and drill which much better performance.

      You can find more info and tips for drilling in harder grounds such as rock or frost here. You could also try the Diggalign Inclinometer for greater accuracy.

      Monday, July 22, 2019

      Importance of Servicing & Oil Change to Your Drive Unit

      It is important to service your Digga drive unit and change the oil regularly as per the operators manual. This will ensure longevity and performance of your drive.
      • The oil in your drive unit is independent to your hydraulic system.
      • Oil from your machine does not lubricate your drive unit.
      • As a result your drilling or anchor drive requires regular oil changes to remain in perfect working condition.

      The images below illustrate the importance of regular servicing of your drive unit in accordance with the owners manual.

      The 3 drive units were tested in our Hydraulic Cyclic Testing Unit where 10 years of wear and tear was simulated. Oil was changed in the drives at different intervals illustrating the wear caused by neglect. Changing the oil and a regular service of your Digga drive unit is crucial to its longevity and performance.
      Digga Australia - servicing tips - drive units
      Want to find out more? Visit https://www.diggausa.com/contact.php

      Wednesday, July 10, 2019

      How do I avoid damage to the drive bale?

      In order to avoid damage to your drilling drive, it is important to follow the correct drilling procedure. We recently saw a damaged bale with the lid peeled back as a result of incorrect operation.
      Drilling with the cradle resting against the drive unit coupled with side load can create enough force to bend the bale or peel the lid off.


      Therefore, it is essential to perform the drilling operation without resting the drive cradle against the drive unit, as shown in the picture above.

      The drive unit is a pendulum hung attachment designed to swing freely left right, forward and back, which is why, when drilling correctly, the cradle should be positioned up and away from the drive unit allowing the drive and auger bit to swing freely, as shown below.

      To find out more about the correct drilling procedure, consult your user manual. If you are having trouble, need replacement or service to your Digga products, please contact us at infous@digga.com or under 563 875 7915

      When and how to service your trencher - Trencher Servicing and Maintenance

      In order to maintain your trencher at its best performance, regular maintenance is required. We recommend the following:
      Service and oil change
      1.    Change the gear oil within the first 30 hours of extreme work, within 50 hours of moderate work or otherwise within the first 3 months.
      2.    After the first service, the gear oil must be changed every 300-500 hours
      3.    Check your gear box oil level every 10 hours of operation: Locate the level bung at the 2 o’clock position and make sure that the fill bung is centred and the trencher level. Top up your gear oil through the fill bung until the oil can be seen exiting the level oil
      4.    Carry out a full service every 12 months by a trained and authorised Digga technician
      Pre-operational checks
      1.    Visually inspect your trencher and components
      2.    Check that all nuts and bolts are in place and properly tightened
      3.    Check all fittings and hydraulic hoses are tightened and secure
      4.    Check that safety stickers are in plain sight and legible
      5.    Check externally for any oil leakage around hoses, fitting, motor and gearbox.
      6.    Check any war and tear on linkages and pins, chains and teeth
      Adjust your trenching depth
      Loosen and remove two 28mm mounting nuts and washes
      Once unbolted, you can remove the skid plate and rotate until the mounting the holes line up with bolts again at your desired depth setting (refer to your operator’s manual for depth charts and further information
      Refit washes and nuts and tighten.  
      Adjust your trencher chain
      1.    Remove the 14mm bolts holding the adjustments spanner to the trencher boom
      2.    Use the adjustment spanner to turn and adjust the nut clockwise for loosening or anti-clockwise for tightening
      3.    To achieve the correct chain tension, check the adjustment at mid-way point of your chain. Allow for 20-30mm of vertical movement between chain and boom.

      For further questions and replacements of worn parts please contact us at infous@digga.com or (563) 875 7915

      Why choose a 2-speed drive over a single speed drive?

      Digga Australia - 2 speed auger drive - Australian Made
      If you’re working with multiple sized auger bits or often in different ground conditions you’ll understand the expense and time wasted that comes with needing multiple drive units for the different applications. When the ground is soft you want a higher speed to get the hole drilled quickly and then move onto the next one. When the ground is hard or you’re using a large auger bit you need torque to get the job done efficiently. Speed and torque are always a trade-off; when you increase your speed you lose power and when you increase your power, you lose speed. Similar to a manual car, fourth gear allows speed but struggles with the power required to get the vehicle up the hill Standard, single speed drives are typically manufactured as a cost effective solution to provide a speed and torque to suit most applications but will give you one or the other. 2 speed drilling drives have grown in popularity over the last few years and, as leading manufacturers, we can understand why. We understand that for our customers time is money and so, our range of 2 speed drive units have been designed to help you work more efficiently - providing you one drive to operate in all conditions. The two speed drive is ideal for anyone who drills in a variety of different ground conditions and with a range of different diameter auger bits. As the name suggests, two speed drives have two speeds in one unit:
      • Low-speed high-torque setting and,
      • High-speed low-torque setting
      The Digga 2 speed drive units give operators the option to switch between power and speed. Rather than needing 2 drives (1 for smaller diameter auger bits and softer grounds and 1 for larger diameter auger bits and harder grounds), the Digga 2 speed drive unit gives operators both functionalities in one drive.

      Features and benefits of the Digga 2 speed drive range

      There are a number of key features and benefits of a 2 speed drive over the standard single speed, such as:
      • Save time and money by eliminating the need for multiple drive units
      • 2 speed drillling drives are made with Eaton motors and Digga made gearboxes. The electrical plugs are high quality waterproof "Deutsch" connectors offer superior corrosion protection and waterproof properties.
      • 2 speed drives allow for quicker drilling with a small auger bit and in soft grounds, and more torque for drilling with a large auger bit or in hard ground.
      • Switch to high speed for faster spinoff of spoil on a high torque drive
      • The low speed / high torque setting is ideal for drilling in fracturable rock; higher RPMs in rock cause the teeth to “skate” over the rock making it glaze over and become harder.
      • The host machine can run at a lower engine RPM on certain drilling jobs therefore burning less fuel
      • With the same gearbox as a single speed drilling drive, it is the same cost to service as a single speed drive unit.
      • By drilling quicker, the job is finished faster so you can move onto the next job
      It’s important to remember that single speed drive units have suited the market for over 30 years and unless you are working with multiple-sized auger bits, in different ground conditions regularly a single speed drive unit remains a very adequate option.
        For more information on our range of drive units, click here.

        Tuesday, July 9, 2019

        Digga Tips - Best practices when drilling in rock

        Are you having trouble drilling in hard rock? We can help you out with some tips to make your job easier.. and more efficient! Without damaging your drillhead or wearparts. Let us explain why rock drilling may cause difficulties and issues when not carried our correctly: When drilling rock or frost for extended periods of time, air is trapped in the hole creating an oven effect. The trapped temperature and friction causes the wearparts and pilot to heat up to an extreme temperature, causing them to melt. It will damage the drilling head and can result in the face of the rock to 'glaze over' and become an even harder surface. This is why we recommend that you periodically remove the auger bit from the hole to allow fresh air back in the hole every 5 minutes. This means - stop drilling and bring the auger bit head to the surface to allow air into the hole. Below is an example of an auger bit, which was left down the hole for too long.
        While it may seem excessive to have to bring the auger bit out every few minutes, you will find you will actually drill the hole quicker and be more efficient with your wearparts!
        By lifting the auger bit out of the hole it allows air back down, which consequently cools the teeth tips and also allows you to check the teeth and replace if necessary – they are after all wearparts.
        We commonly hear of people adding water to the hole, which will make the spoil easier to remove. However this alone is not the answer! The frequency of removing the auger bit from the drill face has a much greater benefit. When drilling rock a small amount of water will certainly help to bind up the spoil, clear the head easier and help cool the teeth down but as we all know, water is not always readily available, especially on remote worksites.