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Publication numberUS3762578 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 2, 1973
Filing dateJan 17, 1972
Priority dateJan 17, 1972
Publication numberUS 3762578 A, US 3762578A, US-A-3762578, US3762578 A, US3762578A
InventorsCooper R, Soule H
Original AssigneeDresser Ind
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drill rod handling apparatus for raise drills
US 3762578 A
Abstract
The addition or removal of individual drill rods from the drill column of a raise drilling system is facilitated by a drill rod handling apparatus. The drill rod handling apparatus is attached to the support frame of the raise drill and includes arm means for moving individual drill rods into and out of the uppermost position in the drill column. Gripping elements are connected to the arm means for grasping and retaining an individual drill rod as it is being moved into and out of the drill column. The gripping elements include mechanical locking means for locking the gripping elements when the gripping elements are grasping and retaining an individual drill rod. A shock absorber means is connected to the arm means for absorbing the shock produced by vertical movement of an individual drill rod when the drill rod is contacted and engaged by the drill head of the raise drill.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Cooper et al.

[ Oct. 2, 1973 DRILL ROD HANDLING APPARATUS FOR RAISE DRILLS Inventors: Robert T. Cooper, Dallas; Harrison 0. Soule, Orange, both of Tex. As s igrie filgl ilausili;inl'b ngrexfl Filed: Jan. 17, 1972 Appl. No.: 218,446

US. Cl. 214/1 P, 175/85, 294/104, 214/1 BC Int. Cl E21b 19/14 Field of Search 2l4/2.5, l P, 1 BC;

I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1970 Attebo 214/2.5 X 7/1963 Foster 294/104 9/1969 Alexander et al. 2l4/2.5 X

Primary Examiner-Gerald M. Forlenza Assistant Examiner-Frank E. Werner AttorneyRobert W. Mayer et al.

[57] ABSTRACT The addition or removal of individual drill rods from g the drill column of a raise drilling system is facilitated by a drill rod handling apparatus. The drill rod handling apparatus is attached to the support frame of the raise drill and includes arm means for moving individual drill rods into and out of the uppermost position in the drill column. Gripping elements are connected to the arm means for grasping and retaining an individual drill rod as it is being moved into and out of the drill column. The gripping elements include mechanical locking means for locking the gripping elements when th'egripping elements are grasping and retaining an individual drill red. A shock absorber means is connected to the arm means for absorbing the shock produced by vertical movement of an individual drill rod when the drill rod is contacted and engaged by the drill head of the raise drill.

3 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PAIENIEU 2973 SHEET l U? 2 FIG./

DRILL ROD HANDLING APPARATUS FOR RAISE DRILLS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to the art of earth boring and more particularly to an improved drill rod handling apparatus for moving an individual drill rod into and out of the drill column of an earth boring system.

During an earth boring operation, it is necessary to add individual drill rods to the drill column of the earth boring system as the length of the column is increased and to remove individual drill rods from the drill column as the drill column is shortened. Each individual drill rod must be lifted from a position near the earth boring machine, positioned in line with the drill column, connected to the drivehead of the earth boring machine and connected to the first drill rod of the drill column. It is to be understood that the earth boring operation may be conducted either downward or upward and that the earth boring operation may be conducted at an inclined angle. 1

Various systems have been provided for handling drill rods during an earth boring operation. In general, the mechanized systems include arm means for moving a drill rod into and out of position in the earth boring machine with gripping means connected to the arm means for gripping an individual drill rod. The gripping means are generally actuated by an external power source. This has on occasion resulted in drill rods being dropped upon failure of the external power source. The drill rods are quite heavy and a serious hazard to personnel and damage to equipment can result. I

When a drill rod has been placed in line with the drill column, it must be engaged by the drill head of the earth boring machine and the drill rod must be connected to the first drill rod of the drill column. The drill head of the earth boring machine is moved into contact with the drill rod and the drill head is rotated to engage the drill rod. Drill rod handling systems of the prior art have encountered problems because of the forces generated when the drill head of the earth boring machine contacts and engages the individual drill rod being held by the gripping means. The forces may cause the gripping means to fail resulting in dropping of the drill rod or the forces may result in bending and damage to the structural elements of the drill rod handling system.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART An apparatus for handlingpipe is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,446,284 to N. D. Dyer et al., patented May 27, I969. The apparatus includes a frame that is connected with an earth boring machine by a pivot and a doubleacting hydraulic cylinder that is also pivotally connected with the earth boring machine. The cylinder includes a piston that is pivotally connected with the frame of the earth boring machine so that relatively telecoping movement between the piston and the cylinder pivots the frame about the pivotal connection with the earth boring machine. A pair of spaced sets of pipe gripping members are carried by the frame.

In U.S. Pat. No. 3,460,638 to S. C. Millsapps, Jr., patented Aug. 12, I969, a. raise drilling system is shown that includes a pipe handling apparatus. The pipe handling apparatus includes a pipe load arm connected to the raise drill at its lower end for pivotal movement. Means are provided for moving the pipe load arm and the means include a hydraulic cylinder having a piston rod connected to the lower side of the pipe load arm and the cylinder body connected to the base of the raise drill. Two pair of gripper fingers are pivotallycom nected to the pipe load arm and are operated by means of air cylinders.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides an improved apparatus for handling drill rods in an earth boring system. Arm means move the individual drill rods into and out of the first position in the drill column of the earth boring system. Gripping means are connected to-the arm means for grasping and retaining an individual drill rod when the drill rod is being moved. The gripping means includes a locking means for locking the gripping means when the gripping means is grasping and retaining an individual drill rod. A shock absorbing means is connected to the arm means for absorbing the forces generated when the drill head of the earth boring machine contacts and engages an individual drill rod.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring system.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring system that will prevent the dropping of drill rods.

It is a still further object of'the present invention to provide a drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring machine that will prevent the dropping of a drill rod when the drill rod is being engaged by the drill head of an earth boring machine.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring machine that will retain an individual drill rod with. a single gripper.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring machine that will retain an individual drill rod even if thehydraulic pressure of the system is lost.

It is a still further object of the present inventionto provide a drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring machine that will allow a limited amount of vertical movement of an individual drill rod during the rod handling operation.

It is a still further object of the present invention to provide a drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring machine that includes a shock absorber that will prevent bending and damaging'of the structural elements of the drill rod handling apparatus. 7

It is a still further object of the. present invention to provide a drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring machine that will absorb the downward force pro- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of an earth boring machine with an embodiment of the drill rod handling apparatus of the present invention connected to the machine.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the gripping elements of the drill rod handling apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the arm means and the shock absorbing means of the drill rod handling apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side view of another embodiment ofa gripping means constructed in accordance with the Present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring now to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1, an earth boring machine indicated generally by the reference numeral is shown anchored to the ground by base elements 11 and 12. In order to be certain that the earth boring machine 10 is firmly affixed to the ground, a concrete foundation pad (not shown) may be installed and the base elements 11 and 12 firmly attached thereto. A pair of support columns 13 and 14 are connected to the base elements 11 and 12 by hinges (not shown) to allow the support columns 13 and 14 to pivot. A pair of braces 15 and 16 extend between the base elements 11 and 12 and the upper sections of support columns 13 and 14. It can be appreciated that the length of the braces 15 and 16 determines the angle the support columns 13 and 14 make with the horizontal and consequently, the drilling angle. It is, therefore, possible to adjust the support column angle and the drilling angle for various drilling operations by replacing braces 15 and 16 with braces of a different length or by providing braces that are adjustable. A carriage 17 is mounted for travel along the support columns l3 and 14. The carriage 17 extends between the support columns 13 and 14 and is mounted in guides in the support columns 13 and 14. Means (not shown) including a double-acting hydraulic thrust cylinder are provided to move the carriage 17 up and down along the support columns 13 and 14. The carriage l7 supports a drill head assembly 18 including a drill rod chuck 19. A power unit, including motors 20 and 21, drives the drill head assembly 18 thereby rotating drill rod chuck 19.

During a raise drilling operation, a small pilot hole is drilled to another level of a mine. The small diameter pilot bit is removed from the drill column and a large diameter raise bit is attached. The raise bit is then rotated and moved upward to enlarge the pilot hole to the desired size. During the drilling of the pilot hole, individual drill rods are added to the drill column as the pilot hole extends further and further into the formations. When the small diameter pilot hole is being enlarged into a large diameter hole, individual drill rods must be removed from the drill column as the large diameter bit moves closer to the earth boring machine. For example, when the earth boring machine 10 is being used to drill a small diameter pilot hole, individual drill rod sections such as drill rod 22 must be added to the drill column. When the drill head 18 reaches its lowest position in the earth boring machine 10, the first drill rod 23 of the drill column is engaged by a slip plate 24 in a slip table 25 connected to the earth boring machine 10. The drill rod chuck 19 is disengaged from the first drill rod 23 and the carriage 17 and drill head assembly 18 are moved to the upper position shown in FIG. I. With the drill head 18 in the upper position, a

drill rod 22 is moved into line with the drill column and the drill rod chuck 19. The drill head assembly 18 is then moved downward until the drill rod chuck 19 comes into contact with the upper portion of the drill rod 22. The drill rod chuck 19 is then engaged with the upper portion of the drill rod 22 and the lower portion of the drill rod 22 is engaged with the upper portion of the first drill rod 23 of the drill column. The drilling operation is then ready to proceed and drilling continues until it is necessary to add another drill rod wherein the operation just described is repeated. A more detailed explanation of the operation of adding and removing drill rods from the drill column of an earth boring machine is described in US. Pat. No. 3,446,284 to N. D. Dyer et al., patented May 27, 1969. It is to be understood that the drilling operation may also be conducted upward into the formations above the earth boring machine 10 and that the drilling angle of the drilling oper' ation may be inclined.

A drill rod handling apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention is attached to the support column 13 of the earth boring machine 10. A base plate 26 is firmly affixed to the support column 13. A first arm 27 is connected to the base plate 26 by a pin 28 and the first arm 27 is adapted to turn in a plane parallel to the plane of the support column 13 by rotating about pin 28. An extension 29 projects from one end of the first arm 27. A double-acting hydraulic cylinder 30 is connected between the extension 29 and a connecting plate 31 affixed to the support colmn 13. The

' movable piston rod 32 of the hydraulic cylinder 30 is connected to the extension 29 by a pin 33. Actuation of the double-acting hydraulic cylinder 30 causes the first arm 27 to rotate about pin 28 and turn in a plane parallel to the plane of the support column 13.

A rod positioner gate 34 is pivotally connected to the first arm 27 and adapted to turn relative to the first arm 27. The rod positioner gate 34 includes a second arm 35 and a third arm 36 that project away from the first arm 27. A double-acting hydraulic cylinder 37 is connected between the first arm 27 and the third arm 36 to provide the force for turning the rod positioner gate 34 relative to the first arm 27. A first gripper (not shown) is positioned-near the outer end of the second arm 35 and adapted to grip an individual drill rod. A second gripper 38 is positioned near the outer endof the third arm 36 and adapted to grip an individual drill rod. The structural details of the grippers will be described subsequently.

The operation of positioning an individual drill rod into line with the axis established by the axis of the drill column and the drill head and connecting the drill to the drill column is ready to begin when the drill head assembly 18 has reached the upper position shown in FIG. 1. The first drill rod 23 of the drill column has been engaged by the slip plate 24 and the drill column is suspended in the hole. Thedrill chuck 19 has been disconnected from the first drill rod 23 and the drill head assembly 18 moved upward. The piston rod 32 of the hydraulic cylinder 30 has been moved to the retracted position and the first arm 27 has rotated on pin 20 until the rod positioner gate 34 is in a position to receive the drill rod 22. The positioning operation begins with the placement of the drill rod 22 in position on the rod positioner gate 34. The grippers on the second arm 35 and third arm 36 are actuated to grip .the drill rod 22. The grippers lock firmly onto the drill rod 32 in a manner that wil be explained subsequently. The hydraulic cylinder 30 is actuated causing the piston rod 32 to move downward thereby rotating the first arm 27 about pin28 and moving the drill rod 22 to a position parallel to the drill column 23. The hydraulic cylinder 37 is then actuated turning the rodpositioner gate 34 relative to the first arm 27 and moving the drill rod into line with the axis established by the central axis of the drill columnand the drill rod chuck 19. The drill head 18 is moved downward until the drill rod chuck 19 contacts the threads on the upper end of the drill rod22. A shock absorber 39 positioned between the rod positioner gate 34and the first arm 27 receives the shock of the drill head assembly 18 contacting the drill rod 22 thereby preventing the drill rod handling apparatus from being damaged and the drill rod22 from being dropped. The drill rod chuck 19 is then rotated to engage the drill rod 22. This causes some vertical movement of the drill rod 22 and the shock of this movement is absorbed by the shock absorber 39. The grippers are actuated to release their grip on the drill rod 22 and the drill head assembly 18 is moved downward until the lower end of thedrill rod 22 contacts the first drill rod 23 of the drill column. The drill rod chuck 19 is then rotated causing the drill rod'22 to engage the threads on the upper end of the first drill rod 23 of the drill column. The earth boring system is then ready to continue the drilling operation. Drill rods may be removed from the drill column by reversing the operation just described.

Referring now to FIG. 2, one of the grippers of the drill rod handling apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1 is shown. The gripper includes a fixed gripping arm-40 connected to the outer end 41 of one of the arms of the rod positioner gate'34. A movable gripping arm 42 is connected to the outer end? by a pin 43. The movable gripping arm 42 is adapted to move from the position shown wherein it is in contact with and gripping the drill rod 22 to a position removed from the drill rod '22. Movement of the movable gripping arm 42 is provided by a double-acting hydraulic cylinder 44 connected between the outer end-4l ofthe arm and a pair of linking elements 45-and 46. The upper linking element 45 is pinned to the upper end of the movable gripping arm 42 by-a pin 47 and the lower linking'element 46 is connected to the outer end 41 ofthe arm by a movable pin 48. The upper linking element and the lower linking element are connected together by a pin 49. When the movable gripping arm 42 is in a position gripping the drill rod'22, the pin 49 has moved beyond a line established by pins 47 and 48 and the movable gripping arm 42' is mechanically locked to the drill rod 22. The pin 49 is beyond center and the force-transmitted from the movable gripping arm 42 to the outer end 41 of the arm through linking elements 45-and 46 keeps the movable gripping arm 42 mechanically locked to the drill rod 22. A loss of hydraulic pressure in the hydraulic cylinder 44 will not cause the gripper to release its hold on the drill rod 22. An adjustment screw 50 allows the movable gripping arm 42 to be positioned for different sizes of drill rods byadjusting the location of the movable pin 48. The hydraulic cylinder 44 is connected to the outer end 41 of'the arm by a pin 51. The piston rod 52'of the hydraulic cylinder 44 is pinned to an intermediate linking element 53 by a pin 54. The intermediate linking element 53 is also connected to the linking elements 45 and 46 by pin 49. The hydraulic cylinder 44 may be actuated to release the hold of the gripper on drill rod 22. The piston rod 52 is moved outward causing the pin 49 and linking elements 45 and 46 to move outward thereby moving the movable gripping arm-42 away from the drill rod 22. A spring may be provided between the movable gripping arm 42 and the outer end 41 of the arm to maintain a bias between the movable gripping arm 42 and the outerend 41 of the arm.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a side view of the rod positioner gate 34 is shown illustrating the manner in which it is connected to the first arm 27 by a shock absorber 39. The upper end of the shock absorber 39 is connected to a brace 55 projecting from the rod positioner gate 34. The lower portion of'the shock absorber 39 is connected to a brace 56 projecting from the first arm 27. A guide rod behind the shock absorber 39 is also connected between the braces 55 and 56. The guide rod extends through a brace 57 projecting from the first arm 27 and a brace 58 extending from the rod positioner gate 34 and provides a pivot to allow the rod positioner gate 34 to turn relative to the first arm 27. A

flexible rubber mounting 59 is positioned between the brace 57 and brace 55 and a flexible rubber mounting 60 is positioned between the brace 56 and brace 58 to bias the rod positioner gate vertically upward relative to the first arm '27. Any vertical movement of the rod positioner gate resulting from contact with the drill head assembly 18 or engagement of the drill rod 22 with the drill chuck 19 is absorbed by the shock absorber 39 and the drill rod handling apparatus will not be damaged. Rotational movement of the rod positioner gate 34 relative to the first arm is produced by a double-acting hydraulic cylinder 37. The cylinder 37 is connected to a brace 61 by a pin 62 and the movable piston rod 63 of the cylinder 37 is connected to the lower arm 36 of the rod positioner gate 34by a pin 64.

Referring now to FIG. 4, another embodiment of a gripper constructed in accordance with the present invention is shown. The gripper includes a fixed gripping arm 65 mounted near the outer end of an arm 66 of a drill rod handling apparatus. A movable gripping arm 67 is pivotally connected to the arm 66 by a pin 68. The movable gripping arm 67 is adapted to move from the position shown in FIG. 4 to a position wherein it contacts and securely grips the drill rod 69. A spring '70 is connected between the arm 66 and the movable gripping arm 67. A pair of linking elements 71 and 72 connect the upper portion of the movable gripping arm 67 with the arm 66. Linking element7l is connected to the upper portion of the movable gripping arm 67 by a pin 73 and linking element 72 is connected to the arm 66 by a movable 'pin 74. The position of the movable pin 74 can be adjusted by'the adjusting screw 75.'A handle 76 is connected to one end of the linking'element 71 and the linking elements 71 and 72 are connected together by a pin 77.

The gripper will firmly engage a drill rod and lock in position engaging the drill rod as it is moved into or out of position in the drill column of an earth boringsystem. With the movable gripping arm 67 in the open position shown in FIG. 4, a drill rod may be placed against the fixed gripping arm 65. The handle 76 is moved downward forcing the movable gripping arm 67 intocontact with the drill rod 69. Additional pressure on the handle 76 moves the pin 77 past the center line established by pins 73 and 74. With the pin 77 beyond center, the gripper has mechanically locked on drill rod 69 in the gripping position and dropping of the drill rod 69 is prevented. Two grippers are generally provided on a drill rod handling apparatus but it can be appreciated that a single gripper constructed in accordance with the present invention will retain a drill rod in position as it is being moved into or out of the drill column of an earth boring system.

The embodiments of an invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring machine wherein the earth boring machine includes drilling means for supplying drilling force to a drill column and said drill column includes individual drill rods connected together end to end to form said drill column, comprising:

arm means for moving an individual drill rod into and out of line with the drill column;

a gripper means connected to said arm means for "grasping a drill rod when said drill rod is being moved, said gripper means including a movable gripping arm;

locking means connected to said gripper means for securely locking said gripper means in grasping relationship to said drill rod when said drill rod is being moved, said locking means including a first linking element connected to said movable gripping arm, a second linking element connected to said arm means, a hinge means for connecting said first linking element to said second linking element and means for moving said hinge means relative to said arm means thereby locking or unlocking said movable gripping arm on said drill rod, said means for moving said hinge means including a hydraulic cylinder; and

shock absorbing means connected to said arm means for absorbing shock when said drilling means contacts said drill rod.

2. A gripper for a drill rod handling apparatus that will grip and retain a drill rodthereby removably connecting the drill rod to an arm of the drill rod handling apparatus, comprising:

a first gripping arm connected to said arm of the drill rod handling apparatus;

a second gripping arm pivotally connected to said arm of the drill rod handling apparatus;

means for moving said second gripping arm into contact with said'drill rod and locking said second arm in engagement with said drill rod, said means for moving said second gripping arm into contact with said drill rod and locking said second arm in engagement with said drill rod including a first linking element pivotally connected to said second gripping arm, a second linking element pivotally connected to said arm of the drill rod handling apparatus and hinge means for connecting said first linking element to said second linking element;

means for moving said hinge means thereby locking or unlocking said second arm in engagement with said drill rod, said means for moving said hinge means being a hydraulic cylinder;

a movable pin connecting said second linking element to said arm of the drill rod handling apparatus, and

a positioning element for moving said movable pin relative to the arm of said drill rod handling apparatus.

3. A drill rod handling apparatus for an earth boring machine, said earth boring machine having a support frame and drilling means mounted to travel along said support frame for supplying drilling force to a drill column wherein said drill column includes individual drill rods connected together end to end with the first drill rod of the drill column adapted to be connected to said drilling means, comprising:

arm means connected to said support frame for moving an individual drill rod into and out of line with the drill column said arm means including a first arm and a second arm;

gripping means connected to said arm means for grasping and retaining the drill rod when said drill rod is being moved; and

shock absorbing means connected to said arm means for absorbing shock when said drilling means contacts said drill rod, said shock absorbing means including a shock absorber positioned between said first arm and said second arm.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3097011 *May 31, 1960Jul 9, 1963Don Foster RobertPipe tongs
US3464507 *Jul 3, 1967Sep 2, 1969Westinghouse Air Brake CoPortable rotary drilling pipe handling system
US3506075 *Oct 4, 1967Apr 14, 1970Atlas Copco AbDrill string element transfer mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3885679 *Jan 17, 1974May 27, 1975Swoboda Jr John JRaching arm for pipe sections, drill collars, riser pipe, and the like used in well drilling operations
US3905426 *Jun 28, 1974Sep 16, 1975Dresser IndEarth boring machine positioning system
US4128135 *Jul 13, 1977Dec 5, 1978Gardner-Denver CompanyDrill pipe handling mechanism
US4595066 *Jul 8, 1985Jun 17, 1986Becor Western, Inc.Apparatus for handling drill pipes
US4924954 *Jul 14, 1989May 15, 1990Mead Raymond ABit breakout system
US5622232 *Jul 5, 1994Apr 22, 1997Harnischfeger CorporationBlasthole drill with drill-through pipe rack
US6364036 *Feb 22, 2000Apr 2, 2002Tracto-Technik-Paul Schmidt SpezialmaschinenAutomatic rod assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification414/740, 294/104, 175/85
International ClassificationE21B19/20, E21B19/00
Cooperative ClassificationE21B19/20
European ClassificationE21B19/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 6, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: TAMROCK CANADA INC., A CORP. OF ONTARIO, CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:DRESSER INDUSTRIES, INC., A DE. CORP.;REEL/FRAME:004634/0252
Effective date: 19860909