Water-source drilling relies on FAW
Richard Duckworth, owner of Duckworth Drilling, acquired his FAW 15.180FL by default, but hasn’t regretted a day of running the FAW drilling rig.
“When my partner who had originally bought the flat-bed FAW15.180FL left the business the vehicle had just been delivered. I naturally took on the control of the fleet of seven vehicles, and started driving the FAW unit myself; and did so for its maiden 5 000 kilometres,” explains Richard Duckworth.
Duckworth Drilling’s main customer demand is in drilling for water, mainly for farmers in search of supplementary sources. As the company is based in Howick in the Natal Midlands, the demand has picked up with the drought, not only in KZN, but further afield.
“I had the opportunity to drive very long routes to distant places in KZN, the Eastern Cape, the Free State and even Mozambique. While main routes were on the highways, I also drove on what must surely be some of the worst dirt tracks in rural areas. I can attest personally to the driving attributes of the FAW 15.180FL, as well as its economy and its operating efficiencies.
“One of the most attractive aspects of this vehicle is its good pulling power, great performance and exceptional payload.”
The 6-cylinder Weichai engine delivers a strong 132kW at 2 300rpm, with a torque of 650N.m between 1 350 and1 600rpm. The 8-tonne payload on the FAW flat deck is, according to the owner, an absolute advantage on this rig, which has to carry “a very sizeable drilling machine, a 5-tonne air compressor, as well as the borehole casings”.
Richard Duckworth says: “One advantage of using the FAW 15.180FL is certainly the driver comfort with the well-sprung air-suspended seat, adjustable steering column and air-conditioning system. On top of this is a thrifty fuel consumption of 18,5/19,5 litre per 100 kilometres.”
Adding to everyone’s safety, the FAW 15.180FL comes standard with ABS with automatic slack adjusting brakes.
“I found the vehicle exceptionally easy to drive. Probably one of the easiest in my modest fleet.”
“What is naturally important is the aftersales support I enjoy from the FAW regional centre in KZN, with their excellent standards of service and parts supply. I also appreciate their willingness to understand the demands of a relatively small business such as mine where downtime is not only critical, but can be very harmful to my customer satisfaction, thereby impacting cash flow and professional reputation,” Duckworth points out.
“Besides the obvious back-up service and support, the cost of running the vehicle – its economy and affordability, make it a prime contender for this and similar work both on- and off-road.”