New Vermeer Ultra X3 Drilling System for utility horizontal directional drills

Vermeer is expanding horizontal directional drilling (HDD) crews’ tooling options with the introduction of the new Vermeer Ultra X3 Drilling System for utility-sized rigs.

The Ultra X3 is designed with a unique, non-torqued spline connection system, and it offers compatibility with a wide range of pilot bit and pullback configurations. The Ultra X3 is designed to be ultra-versatile and delivers value and efficiency in three ways:

  1. The ability to swap out tooling quickly with two knock-out dowel pins
  2. The capability of reaming directly from the transmitter housing
  3. The elimination of starter rods and adapters in certain applications

Since the Vermeer Ultra X3 uses a robust spline connection system, tooling doesn’t have to be threaded on, eliminating the need for breakout tongs to make and break torqued tooling connections. Operators just need to align the spline on the tooling with the spline on the housing, then secure tooling by tapping in dowel pins. The system is capable of handling the torque of reaming diameters up to 10 inches (25 cm) in most conditions from the transmitter housing. Also, it’s set up to use a full offering of plate bits and rock tooling like the Vermeer Gauntlet, Lance and single roller cone bits.

The Ultra X3 housing uses a standard API rear connection and also works with quick-connect systems like the Vermeer QuickFire® HD connection system. However, Jason Zylstra, product manager for Vermeer Lifecycle products, said contractors who seldomly remove their housing may find value in skipping the expense of starter rods and collars because there is a quick connect on the bit side of the housing. “With the Ultra X3, contractors can sub out conventional quick-connect components for a transition adapter rod, increasing operational efficiency.”

Zylstra also said that using the Ultra X3 system can help reduce the size of the exit pit in some applications. “Since the Ultra X3 doesn’t require the housing be removed for most pullbacks, HDD crews can changeover from pilot to pullback in a smaller space,” he explained. “Smaller pit requirements can also help reduce restoration work.”

The Vermeer Ultra X3 is available in three different sizes covering all HDD models rated up to the 40,000-pound (177.9-kN) drill range.

  • Ultra X3 375 for HDDs in the 40,000-pound (177.9-kN) drill range — Vermeer D40x55 S3 HDD or Ditch Witch JT40 HDD
  • Ultra X3 325 for HDDs in the 24,000-pound (106.8-kN) drill range — Vermeer D23x30 S3 HDD, D24x40 S3 HDD or Ditch Witch JT30 HDD
  • Ultra X3 275 for HDDs in the 10,000-pound (44.5-kN) drill range — Vermeer D10x15 S3 HDD or Ditch Witch JT10 HDD

For more information about the new Vermeer Ultra X3 Drilling System, contact your local Vermeer dealer and visit

About Vermeer Corporation

Vermeer Corporation delivers a real impact on the way important work gets done through the design, manufacture and support of high-quality industrial and agricultural equipment that helps connect people to the necessities of life, manage natural resources, and feed and fuel communities. With a reputation for being built tough and built a better way, that equipment is backed by localized customer service and support provided by independent dealers around the world. To learn about Vermeer Corporation, products, the dealer network, financing options and careers, visit

Vermeer Corporation reserves the right to make changes in engineering, design and specifications; add improvements; or discontinue manufacturing at any time without notice or obligation. Equipment shown is for illustrative purposes only and may display optional accessories or components specific to their global region. Please contact your local Vermeer dealer for more information on machine specifications.

Vermeer, the Vermeer logo, QuickFire and BORESTORE are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries. Ditch Witch is a trademark of The Charles Machine Works, Inc. © 2021 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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