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Gold Prospecting, Exploration, Mining Trommel Reviews


Active member
The first trommel I am posting a review on is the Hecklar Fabrication 2410 V. Right off the bat I will say that these trommels are well built for heavy duty commercial use. I used the electric motor version and powered it with a generator. I also used a custom built Gold Claimer hopper/feeder to feed the hopper on the Hecklar. The V version gives you a vibrating hopper and pre wash system that I found to give superior gold recovery. The Gold Claimer feeding system was used to keep pay gravel loading and rocks away from the Hecklar loader and give it a steady feed rate. When you load heavy material over a trommel there is always a risk to the unit and the separate hopper, while not required, worked well together.
I found that the Grizzly bars on the Gold Claimer hopper needed to be beefed up as one was broken with a large rock pretty early on. A Kabota skid steer was used for pay gravel feeding and tailings removal. The Gold Claimer had a conveyor that I used to feed the gravel into the Hecklar hopper where it was pre washed under an adjustable vibrating system. The conveyor had an adjustable feed rate as well. Once washed, the pay gravel entered the trommel barrel and the fine gravels entered the sluice system. The unit is set up on an off road trailer for easy portability and set up.
I give this set up a 9 out of 10 rating. The trommel is rated for 30 tons of gravel an hour. I was only able to run about 60% of this rating at best. That is not unusual because in my experience the practical run rate for washplants is usually 50% - 70% of the stated rating. There is no easy cleanout if the material jams up between the vibrating hopper and trommel barrel. You'll need to climb up on a wet and slippery hopper with a shovel and rockbar if you get the inevitable jam up of gravel. Also, there is a metal sleeve where another rubber sleeve connects the trommel fines into the sluice box. It is a bit short in my opinion and can slide apart unless fastened with a chain or the sluice propped up with timber or rock. It is supposed to be held together with a big hose clamp but it won't do the job. Just a minor thing but still aggravating.
The Hecklar 2410V is around $30K plus options. It is very well built and made in Rosevill, Ca. The custom built Gold Claimer hopper feeder pictured was priced around $10K. It is a great unit for exploration or small scale mining but will not process enough material for larger scale operations where you would want to run 2 - 3 times the material minimum. The pictures posted are from a claim in n IMG_5739.jpgIMG_5740.jpgorthern California.


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The next trommel reviewed is the mighty Gold Claimer Brand Pioneer 30. This is a heavy duty, American made trommel that comes in two versions - the Pioneer 30 & Pioneer 30 Shaker. The plain 30 will set you back about $50K with options & the Shaker version about $65 - $70K with options. Both plants are rated to process up to 30 cubic yards of gravels per hour. My experience with trommel ratings are to cut them in half for real world use. The plant I operated was the Pioneer 30 and it processed a steady 15 - 18 yards per hour. The ground being processed contained plenty of fine silt which may have been a factor.
This is a sturdy unit and will run all day long without issues. The standard motor is an OHC 13 HP electric start gas motor that will use about as much fuel as a small riding lawn mower. There is an option for a diesel motor if you are so inclined. The grizzly hopper comes standard with 3 inch bar spacing but can be custom ordered. It comes with a double hydraulic pump and 65 gal hydraulic fluid resevoir. It's mounted on a trailer for easy mobility and set up. I really liked this trommel. I have included the specs here as well.

Pioneer 30

Pioneer 30 Specifications
  • 13HP OHC w/ Electric Start Engine w/ Double Hydraulic Pump
  • 65 gallon Hydraulic Fluid Reservoir
  • 8' Discharge Conveyor w/ Self Cleaning Return Roller
  • 8' Main Feed Conveyor w/ Self Cleaning Return Roller
  • 8' Grizzly Over sized Discharge Conveyor w/ Self Cleaning Return Roller
  • 3" Spacing on Hopper Grizzly
  • Positive Chain Drive
  • 48" x 96" Trommel Drum w/ High Tensile Trommel Screen w/ 3/8" openings
  • Solid Steel Trommel Rollers
  • 2" Nugget Trap
  • 7' Long x 2" Spray Bar
  • 24" x 8' Oscillating Sluice
  • 2" Auxiliary Port for Sluice
  • 1 - 1/2" Spray Bar for Material Chute
  • 3" Intake on Water Manifold
  • 4 Flow Controls (Trommel, Feed, Oscillator & Discharge)
  • Sealed Centric Locking Pillow Block Bearings
  • 4 Hydraulic Stabilizing Jacks
  • Hydraulic Filter
  • Trailer Lights w/ Break-away Switch
  • Adjustable Tongue Height
  • Clean up Water Supply Connect w/ Valve
  • Tandem Axle w/ Electric Brakes on Leading Axle
  • Easy Lube Axle w/ Joined Equalizers
  • ST205-75-R15BC Tires
  • Hydraulic Tilt Grizzly
  • 30 Yard Per Hour Capacity
  • Formed Channel Frame Construction
  • 98" Wide x 96" High x 294" Long
  • 4,500#


Diesel Engine
Security Covers for Motor and Controls
Replacement Screens
Water Supply Pump & Hose
Spare Parts Package
Spare Tire and Rim
48" x 20' Stationary Sluice with Adjustable Pitch
Floor Storage Compartment​

The Pioneer 30 will process 15-30 yards per hour depending on the material. Featuring variable fine speed
tuning you are able to establish an even material flow which will enable the unit to adapt to any type of material
while maintaining a recovery rate of 85-90%. It is also industrially built which will allow for years of operation
with proper maintenance.

If you are an independent or small scale operation, this is an ideal solution for your production needs. If you
have scaled up operation, the “P-30” is also an ideal machine for use as a pilot plant for testing prior to
applying for time consuming permits and moving larger equipment onto a prospective property. With an
estimated production of 15-30 yards per hour, the “P-30” could be the answer to your mining needs!​

I could not handle my Goldfox trommel, 25 pounds was too much weight not including the monster 12 volt battery .sold it to a friend and he is doing great with it. I went to a home made mini highbanker with ball bearing wheels and handle, so much easier to move around at 66 years old. Got rid of my 2.5 inch gold dredge, old age got me there too, downsized to 1.5 inch.Its a toy size but better than ditching the hobby altogether.