Modifications make the Sandvik DR461i easier and safer to operate.

The Sandvik DR461i is a diesel-powered, self-propelled, crawler-mounted blasthole drill that is automation-ready and features forward-thinking design and technology for bulk mining operations. It is designed to withstand the harshest conditions. The DR461i replaces the DR460 drill rig and includes upgrades that make the drill extremely reliable, easy to maintain and safe.

“For decades, customers have counted on Sandvik to develop the most durable products on the markets — rigs that will be able to work a mine site for decades,” said Ken Stapylton, vice president of rotary drilling, Sandvik Mining. “In developing the DR461i, we’ve taken our customers’ feedback into our research and development efforts, and are proud of the newest addition to our drilling equipment product line.”

The DR461i includes several safety enhancements such as autonomous pipe handling, above-the-deck bit change, additional walkways, hand railings and safety interlocks. The drill was designed to fully comply with the various safety standards around the world, such as Mining Design Guidelines (MDG) for mobile and transportable equipment in mines, Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMESRT) Design Philosophies and CE conformity marking.

The machine has a completely new cab designed to ensure the maximum comfort and ease of operation for the operator. The cab includes air conditioning and sound insulation to 80 decibels or less. It also offers unique “all in the seat” drilling and tramming controls, as well as a roof designed as a canopy, which sits above the actual roof with a 4-in. air gap between them. Due to the air gap beneath it, the actual cab roof will heat up less, keeping the cabin at more comfortable temperatures.

The graphical user interface (GUI) digitally displays the features of the DR461i while operating and tramming. Running off of the CanBus system on the drill, it acts like an electronic depth counter and drill monitoring system in one, picking up information that sensors monitor in different parts of the machine such as the motor, compressor, rotary head, tracks, etc. It then presents this data through an interactive touch screen that the operator can then easily scroll through to track the condition of the drill, how it is drilling, whether it needs maintenance, etc.

Developed to be a safer alternative to accessing the drill rig rather than using vertical hanging steps, a hydraulic main access stairway enables the operator or maintenance personnel to bring tools up onto the drill with a reduced risk of falling.