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What Is Horizontal Directional Drilling

Jan 05, 2018

What is Horizontal directional drilling 

Horizontal directional drilling is a process where a pilot hole is drilled between two points along a planned route using a guided and steerable drill stem. The installation of a service is then achieved by using the drill string to pull back the service pipe or cable along the route whilst up sizing the hole by reaming if necessary, to the start point of the hole.

How does HD Drilling work

Among the major benefits of horizontal directional drilling is the ability to trace the drill head using electronic sensors (SONDE) in the drill head and make changes in the alignment of the bore. Tracking the drill head is achieved with a walkover or downhole location system, in which a crew member tracks the bore from the surface. The battery operated SONDE provides depth, location, direction and angle. After analysing this information the drill operator can make steering corrections to keep the drill head on the correct path and avoid existing buried utilities.

Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) is a highly versatile technique that enables the safe installation of Utilities, it is a technique used for installing infrastructure such as telecommunications and power cable conduits, water lines, sewer lines, gas lines, oil lines, product pipelines, and environmental remediation casings. It is used for crossing waterways, roadways, shore approaches, congested areas, environmentally sensitive areas; often a preferred method because it causes the minimum impact on society, Residential locations benefit greatly from this Trenchless keyhole procedure, Heavy Traffic is a global problem and HDD alleviates congestion.

Environmentally it is the preferred method causing negligible surface disruption and it prevents totally the chance of the production of toxins like sulphuric acid and heavy metal pollution caused by the exposure of potential acid sulphate soils. In some cases it makes it possible to install a utility where it would not be possible by any method, ie where the depth or location of the utility would mean it would be impractical shore or support.

The flexibility of the steerable navigation make it possible to thread a utility through a myriad of crossing utilities surface and subsurface obstacles by a skilled operator. It is used instead of other techniques to provide less traffic disruption, lower cost, deeper, no access pit, shorter completion times, directional capabilities, and environmental safety.

Advantages of Horizontal Directional Drilling 

. Less disruptive to the public as there is no need to close roads as in traditional open cut methods

. Little to no reinstatement of job site. As there are only two small pilot holes at either end of the drill system, no grass, driveways or consumers are disrupted

. No removal of trees or vegetation along bore route which is an advantage in environmentally sensitive areas

. Faster than open cut trenching

. Ability to work in confined spaces

. Able to work in most soil conditions including rock, which eliminates the need for often expensive rock breaking machines and also reduces the time spent in completing the job

Learn more about Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD)

Our credentials are based on a reputation as one of the pioneers of the introduction of Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) into Australia in 1996. Trenchless was the first company in WA to install Water, Gas and Power Cable by HDD.

Some of the systems and processes developed in those early years have subsequently been adopted as the blue print procedures for large scale infrastructure role outs nationally and internationally. In 2002 Trenchless oversaw and project managed the operation of a fleet of over 100 Horizontal drill rigs involved in installing over 72000km of optic fibre through the Indian sub-continent.

Today the company operates Drills from 10- 30,000 lb capacity and installs pipe and cable for all Utility applications and some Enviro remediation Process. HDD forms part of our specialist equipment fleet and enable us to provide one off crossing small or large and/or full turnkey end to end solution.