Phase 1 of a $10 billion upgrade for
Melbourne International airport in-
volved creating new aircraft parking
bays. These comprised 200,000
square meters of new concrete.
The airport authority awarded the work to contrac-
tors, Fulton Hogan and McConnell Dowell, who subcon-
tracted the concrete and formwork to Oak Park
(Tullamarine) Pty Ltd.
During the course of the project, Oak Park completed
work in two areas.
At the international terminal, they drilled holes for
21 new aircraft parking bays. For Terminal 4 construction,
they drilled holes for the aprons where airplanes park
while loading and unloading passengers.
Renee Bell, Oak Park’s general manager said that
although they had the experienced crew to take on the
project, the challenge was to determine the best equip-
ment to use. The equipment needed to be extremely
fast and efficient to keep on target with project pace.
In other projects where Oak Park worked as the sub-
contractor, the primary contractor supplied the rock
drill. However, too often the drill significantly lacked
manoeuvrability, reliability and efficiency. They could
take up to 5 minutes to drill a single hole which was not
fast enough for this project.
Oak Park decided to follow the advice of the principle
contractor, Folton Hogan who recommended the 210-3
SRA 3-gang slab rider drill from E-Z Drill based on past
experience. This model has a typical hole diameter of
5/8 to 2.5 inches (15.9 to 63.5 millimetre) and depth up
to18 inches (45.7 cm)
Before the project started, Shane Dunstan, executive
director of Aran Australia, recommended the 3-gang
slab rider drill to Fulton Hogan, the project’s principle
contractor. Fulton Hogan knew the benefits of the E-Z
Drill already, which is why they recommended it to Oak
Park, which purchased one.
With nearly 12,000 holes waiting to be drilled,
speed, reliability and manoeuvrability were key to deliver
the project and make it more profitable.
Throughout the numerous stages of the project, Fulton
Hogan and McConnell Dowell poured 580 concrete strips
from 450 to 525 mm deep. The crew turned over the 5
m wide sections that ranged from 30 to 100 m in length
to Oak Park for drilling.
The E-Z Drill operator drilled sets of three holes — each
set taking less than 90 seconds - some 70% faster than
the previous equipment used.
Commenting on the progress, Renee Bell said:
“We drilled as many as 300 to 400 holes in one
stretch of concrete. When it was time to start
drilling, our E-Z Drill operator completed the
work quickly and this dramatically increased our
overall efficiency. This significantly reduced the
cost per hole compared to the old machine. The
slab rider has been a very productive purchase
The drill has a patented tri-steering system and foam-
filled tyres that makes repositioning the drill easy for
operators. Plus, the auto alignment feature ensures that
workers do not require extra time to accurately space
The drill’s automatic shutoff stopped the drill motor
after reaching the desired depth. This prevents dry firing
and the multi-point oil injection system ensures each
drill motor has enough lubrication, reducing wear on
the drill motors, which minimized servicing downtime
for Oak Park.
When operators changed worn bits, the quick-bit
release guide allowed them to replace the bits in minutes
with minimal interruption to drilling.
Contractors World International Vol 7 No 5