What Are Construction Drills Used For?

What Are Construction Drills Used For?

From mining to oil and gas rigs, construction drills can play an essential role in many applications. While they're not necessary for every project, they're indispensable for others. Learning about the applications and drill types can help you find the right equipment for your next job.

What Is a Construction Drill?

Drills of any kind are excavation tools, and they can be hand-held or large and truck-sized. While hand-held drills are important to construction, that's not what the term "construction drill" is generally used for. Rather, a construction drill is a large excavation machine that can cut through rock and other tough materials. 

These machines include a few notable components. A large, durable rock drill handles the excavation. This machinery also has a shaft to house the drill and some type of power source — many units will connect to a truck or heavy machinery like an excavator to receive power. These drills often come with stabilizing arms to keep the unit steady as it works through challenging materials like rock.

When Do You Need a Construction Drill?

Construction drills have many uses. Some of the top applications for industrial drills include:

  • Blasting: In mining, blasting is the process of using controlled explosions to get through rock and excavate materials. Teams often use drills alongside explosives to focus excavation in one area. 
  • Foundation work: Homes and commercial buildings require foundations for stability. The best way to lay a foundation is with a drill. These excavation tools create large, deep holes for inserting structures like piles, as digging deep into the ground allows teams to take advantage of stable bedrock below the surface. Once these pieces are in the ground, crews can build the rest of the structure and pour concrete into the space.
  • Fencing: Much like foundation, fencing needs a stable base to keep the structure in place. Drills can create the holes required to secure fence posts. Usually, these drills are used when the ground contains refusal, a type of hard rock that can't be dug up with an excavator.
  • Utilities: Utility companies need to place telephone poles to hold communication wires. Since these poles carry electricity and have to withstand all types of weather, stability is essential. The drills used for this job often have large drill bits to attain the best size for a telephone pole.
  • Water well: Home water wells use metal shafts that run deep into the ground to retrieve natural water. The need for an extremely deep hole makes a construction drill the perfect tool for starting a well. 

With all the uses for construction drills, it's important to consider the unique needs for each job, as some types of drills will outperform others when applied to specific tasks.

Different Types of Construction Drills

There are two main categories of drills, and they each have distinct functions. The two types are:

  • Auger: This type of drill is also considered a rotary drill. These drills pull earth out of the ground as they push through, which is ideal for working in soft soil. When you have to dig deeper, an auger drill isn't the best tool.
  • Percussive: For deeper digging, a percussive drill can deliver a sharp impact that breaks through rock. When you get far into the earth, percussive drills are a necessity. Applications like making wells and mining require this type.

Within auger and percussive drills, there are a few subtypes with different functions. These subtypes include the following:

  • Tophammer: This drill style is meant for creating small diameters in uniform rock. Operations will typically rely on this type for getting through concrete or in other specialized conditions.
  • Down the hole (DTH): DTH drills cut large diameters in inconsistent and severe rock formations. Rotary drills can be DTH types.
  • Boom: This type has an adjustable arm for changing the drilling angle and adapting to different surfaces. Boom drills are often used in mining applications.

Find Drills at The Cat® Rental Store

At The Cat® Rental Store, we carry various types of construction drills to suit your needs. We want to provide the equipment you need to succeed. With our flexible rental terms, you can keep a rental drill in your fleet for as long as you need it, and our competitive prices allow you to work within your budget.

If you're not sure what drill you need, you can discuss your options with one of our team members at 1-800-RENT-CAT. You can also request a quote online for more information, or find the nearest Cat dealer serving your area. We look forward to supporting your production goals.

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