The new FTA test field covers an area of 35x60 m and is designed to carry out field tests on new equipment, as well as to offer complete training opportunities for our courses. At Soilmec we believe training should offer the right balance between theory and practice. As part of the training courses run by FTA, the test field is the jewel in our crown, as not only does it provide opportunities for improving practical operating skills but it also encourages the development of a HSE culture. The test field allows participants to put the theoretical concepts learnt in class into practice, and it shows staff how to perform the necessary operations on the rigs while respecting the highest safety standards. The test field also helps our clients to get over their initial uncertainty when operating a new rig, considerably reducing the amount of downtime caused by limited knowledge of the rig itself.
The field is equipped with three test shafts.
The first one has an internal diameter of 874 mm and a total depth of 42.2 m, and allows us to simulate the use of mechanical locking kelly bars, showing the operator how to pull the bar sections out and lock them inside so they are used better and have a longer useful life.
The second one, with a working diameter of 1000 mm and a depth of 30 metres, allows trainees to try out all the necessary stages in the drilling of a pile.
The third shaft, which is rectangular and measures 2800x155 mm with a depth of 25 metres, is for a hydromill, definitely one of the most complex rigs in the foundation sector.
Allowing operators to climb into the cab and try out rig controls and settings is fundamental. The control room is located on the test field and is equipped with DMS Manager, which allows us to monitor all the drilling or digging operations and remotely view what the operator is doing so we can check his actions.