Tracto-Technik pioneer trenchless cable installation with Grundomat moles

Tracto Tracto Communications AfricaTracto-Technik's Grundomat hemmer for trenchless installation. (Image source: Tracto-Technik) Tracto-Technik sees benefits of its new trenchless technology for the underground installation of pipes and cables

German manufacturer Tracto-Technik first pioneered the Grundomat hemmer in the early 1970s and from then on have been synonymous with trenchless technologies. Today, the applications are wide from laying new piping for infrastructure to replacement old or outdated piping. 

The 'moling technology' is widely-used in civil engineering, and the benefits are clear, being technical, economical and ecological. There is no disruption to valuable surfaces with minimal excavation, re-instatement work costs are almost omitted, no conflicts with residents, no traffic disruption, less noise and CO2 pollution, reduced construction times and a cost saving of up to 50 per cent against open trenching. 

These advantages have been shown when installing power or telecommunication services, particularly if there is a need to cross many busy roads.  

The pneumatically driven Grundomat 'moles' work their way through the ground displacing the spoil into the surrounding soil. That way a channel is produced into which sleeveless short or long pipes made of plastic (PE, PVC or PE-X) up to 160mm OD or cables can be pulled into. Depending on the type of soil, up to 30 metres lengths can either be pulled in successively or later on.  A compressor with six to seven bar operating pressure is required for these types of operations. Exact alignment of the machine towards the target is necessary for a high target precision. 

The mole can be used for establishing short crossings or property service connections. Pipes and/or cables can be installed in any displaceable soil. To do so, the mole placed on a starting cradle and launched from inside a pit. Using a telescopic sight, aim is taken and the height and sides of the machine are adjusted accordingly. The mole is moved forward by a piston driven with compressed air (normal jobsite compressor), external friction on the outer machine casing is required for the forward movement, if this is missing e.g, in soft or loose, soils, external static pushing support can be added.

Precise target accuracy as well as exact alignment and adjustment of the Grundomat mole are guaranteed by the proven 2-stroke principle. The piston initially strikes the multi-cutter cone which advances in order to produce the bore hole and to destroy any possible obstacles. The second strike impacts the casing which is pulled in with the pipes attached. Peak resistance and casing friction are separated and alternately easier to overcome. This makes the Grundomat work dead on target even in stony grounds.

Advantages of the Grundomat include installation of pipes and cables up to 30 metres in length without the need for trenches, minimal set up times, low air consumption for easy work-side air supply and premium quality with low wear and tear. 

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