Arto Mattila became interested in drilling contracting some 20 years ago, when he bought equipment to drill rock on his own land. His hobby evolved into a job, and now his work is also his hobby.
This shows how much Arto enjoys working on site. In the flatlands of Ostrobothnia (Finland), the small family firm is known for its flexibility, absolute adherence to time schedules and the high quality of its work. The company is now using Atlas Copco’s new generation FlexiROC T30 R Construction Edition. By November 2016, the new machine had notched up 250 hours of drilling. Mattila has three different drilling units and two excavators. In addition to the Atlas Copco tophammer rig, he has a tractor-based unit as well as an excavator-mounted ExcaDrill drill unit. The man himself shuttles from one drilling team to another as required, while the next generation handles groundwork contracting activities.
Mattila’s drilling equipment is also a familiar sight on the Ostrobothnia railway tracks. Exact timing is of the essence for the windows of time allowed by the Finnish railway company VR. Drilling and blasting are strictly tied to the service intervals in train timetables. The track must be clear when the next train goes past the work site.
In the middle of November last year, one of the company’s drilling sites was at Kauhava. Most job sites are found within a 100-150 km radius of Kauhava. More than 1,000 cubic meters of rock was blasted to build a roadbed. The road construction project was the responsibility of a company called Juhan Paja, which specializes in infrastructure projects.
“This site represents a normal job for us. We work for several different clients and at several different drilling sites a year. The sizes of the jobs vary, as do drilling depths. Here, the depth of the hole was two meters at the highest point. The maximum hole depth is 14 meters.”
The new Atlas Copco FlexiROC T30 R Construction Edition was operated by Ari-Pekka Pahkajärvi. Mattila charged the holes drilled by Pahkajärvi. The new Atlas Copco is the second one owned by Mattila. The first one, a previous generation machine, was in use for six years. Mattila’s experience of the rig was so encouraging that sticking with the same make was a given. “I didn’t really have any problems at all with the old model in all that time”, said Mattila.
Because one of the company’s selling points is that job sites are for doing work, not repairing machinery, the company likes to keep its equipment fairly up-to-date.
“The new drill rig has a lot of nice updates and automated systems. The hammer is also very powerful and the transmission, too, is stronger than before. The undercarriage is well balanced, i.e. it has a low center of gravity and wide crawler track support width (2,410 mm), which improves driving in terrain. The new radio remote control can now be used to program and regulate a diverse range of drill event values.”
According to Pahkajärvi, the automatic depth setting is a particularly welcome feature. The remote control has been used to set e.g. drill depth, inclination and angle in advance. Drilling is performed completely automatically based on the set values. Pressure and RPM data are also controlled via the remote control.
In November, Mattila reported that his company’s work situation was good. The company had jobs booked for most of the winter.
This article was written by Olli Päiviö for Konepörssi.