“Look for a drill stand with an appropriately sized anchor slot for the job,” Tremain adds. “A longer anchor slot might reduce the amount of holes needed to anchor the stand when drilling multiple holes in close proximity.”
Axt points out that Hilti stands are constructed from aluminum, rather than cast iron or steel, to make them lighter and easier to transport. Aluminum stands typically weigh one third of what a steel stand weighs, so the user can get the job done more quickly and efficiently — and with less physical exhaustion.
CS Unitec’s drill stands are also constructed of lightweight aluminum for easy transport and assembly, Saunders points out, adding, “They all have a quick change motor block to attach the motor to the rig after the drill stand is set up.”
Hilti also offers motors with a quick-connect chuck which greatly speeds up the process of changing the bit. “With a threaded chuck, changing the bit requires two wrenches. If you don’t have those wrenches, there’s no changing the bit,” Axt says. “With the quick-connect system, what typically could take five minutes can be done in seconds, and with no extra tools.”
Another feature which speaks to premium quality is CS Unitec’s CS 2000 Water Recycling Vacuum. “When wet core drilling, water is often an issue, either creating a mess or not having it available at the jobsite,” Saunders says. “Our recycling vacuum addresses both issues.”
ROI is the goal
Core drills offer a high ROI potential because they require minimal maintenance and yet, they offer many opportunities for complementary product sales. Contractors will need core bits, either rented or purchased, and this presents an excellent chance for a rental house to provide additional service to the customer.
Tremain notes another good add-on sale or rented item is an extension cord. “A heavy-gage extension cord is perfect for any drilling application,” he says. “If a job location does not have power, the dealer can potentially rent a generator as well.”
Axt says overall, core drill ROI is typically very high. “Average rental rates are about $100 per day plus the fees for renting accessories like core bits and vacuum pumps. Core rigs are normally in service longer than hammer drills and breakers, which increases their ROI.”
But like everything else, in the diamond core drilling business, you get what you pay for, Saunders says. “Regarding ROI, an inexpensive drill and core bit will initially save you money because the price is cheap,” he says. “Always remember what we are really selling is holes, and the higher-quality machine — with the properly matched core bit — will yield less expensive holes in the long run because your customer will drill faster and be more productive, thus saving labor and money.”