Sunday, June 16, 2024

Horizontal Directional Drilling 50 Years On

Trenchless Works thought it might be appropriate to see what Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) has to offer the buried construction industry in the 21st century

Having recently celebrated 50 years since Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) first launched onto the underground construction market, Trenchless Works thought it might be appropriate to see what Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) has to offer the buried construction industry in the 21st century.

HDD essentially is a multi-stage process by which a pipe, duct or cable can be placed underground without the need to open-cut or excavate large tracts of ground along the planned route of the service. The process starts with a ground investigation which establishes what if any obstacles may lay in the proposed path of the installation route. This allows the route to be altered if necessary to avoid such obstacles and to establish the ground type(s) through which the drilling operation will need to pass.

The HDD process essentially comprises the boring of a pilot hole along the planned route of the installation. Depending on the ultimate size of the product pipe, duct or cable this pilot bore is then expanded to the required size using reamers. If the final dimensions of the bore are such that multiple reamer sizes are required this is done in stages with drill rods being attached behind each reamer to allow the next stage to be completed, until the final diameter is reached. Normally the final diameter of the bore is between 30-50% larger than the product pipe/cable that is to be installed. Finally, a lead reamer is attached to the final drill string to ensure the bore remains open as the product is pulled into the void created. A swivel attached to a towing head is then attached behind this reamer to which is attached the pipe, duct or cable. This product string may be a simple single pipe or cable or it may comprise several pipe or cables depending on the requirements of the installation.

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Generally, HDD is best suited for installing pressure pipes and ducts/conduits where precise grades are not required. However, with the correct skills of the operator and the right locating systems on grade bores are also possible.

Currently available HDD rigs can handle almost any ground type from soft soils
to hard rock. The difference comes in selecting the drill heads and follow-up equipment that are suited the ground to be encountered. In softer ground blade drill bits are generally sufficient, whilst for harder ground and hard rock drill bits with specially designed inserts may be used or there may be a need to utilise roller bit (similar to those seen on major vertical drill rigs). This selection important as the first stage of the drilling operation is a pilot bore through virgin ground to establish the primary route for the bore. The drill bit is usually angled so that it can be orientated to provide a steering bias as the bore advances to enable the drill operator to ‘steer’ the drill head along the required route. In harder ground a ‘bent sub’ is often utilised to provide the steering bias required.

Depending on the ground type, depth and length of the bore and the obstacles the bore may be passing beneath (such as roads, rivers, canals, developed land etc.), there are various navigation options.

For shorter bores and generally shallower depth there is what has become known as the ‘walk-over’ system. With this system, a transmitter sonde is place just behind the drill head in the drill string which emits a distinctive signal that can be picked up by a receiver on surface. The sonde is orientated such that when the receiver is over the top of the sonde the location of the drill head is known to the operator. The orientation of the sonde also indicates the rotational position of the drill bit and the signal can be used estimate the depth of the bore below surface. This system is usually used over ground surfaces but has also been utilised for shorter water crossings using a boat. Some navigation systems also have the facility establish position over some distance and can be used as an ‘aim-point’, minimising the need for personnel to enter hazardous areas such as trafficked roads or fast flowing waterways.

DigiTrak is probably one of the best-known names in the sector for this type of guidance system. Currently the company offers the new DigiTrak Falcon Plus range of HDD locating systems which it is claimed provide a worry free, easy to use and versatile solution that operators can rely on to get the job done without interruption.

The range includes the DigiTrak F5+ which offers a range of over 1,000 frequencies, for locating up to 180 ft (55 m) depth at 220 ft (67 m) data range. Increasingly, customers are requiring digital as-built reports for HDD installations. So, the systems offers integrated iGPS and Log-While-Drilling (LWD) functionality which allows the operator to easily generate polished and professional as-built reports with GPS data. The LWD Mobile app, with available DDM Cloud subscription, brings all the features of DigiTrak’s desktop as built software to the palm of the operators’ hand. It is also possible to quickly export, edit and email as-built reports right from a mobile device. It is also possible to monitor Downhole Fluid Pressure Data in Real-time.

The DigiTrak Falcon F2+ offers all the benefits of Falcon technology plus new improvements including:

• Increased depth and data range – 160/200 ft (48/61 m) combined with more frequencies to get more jobs done.

• Quick Scan Pair – with just two clicks, it is now easier to scan, pick and pair a locator to custom frequencies.

• New 19 in capability for the deepest and most powerful DigiTrak F2+ transmitter on the market.

The company also offers the Falcon F1® location system.

For longer, deeper bores HDD uses what is commonly known as wire-line navigation. Here, an assembly is attached behind the drill head that holds a directional instrument along with an inclinometer for grade monitoring. This is connected to surface via a wire running inside the drill string. By utilising the directional output, the inclination and the length of drill string in the hole the position of the drill head can be calculated.

A well-known name in this area of guidance is the ParaTrack system from Vector Magnetics. The ParaTrack Steering Tool is multi-functional in its role. State of the art magnetic and gravity sensors in a lightweight yet rugged housing provides reliable survey information on its own. When the project requires the added precision of guidance, the Tool acts as a receiver for multiple magnetic tracking sources including AC Surface Wires, and the Beacon Tracker System. When magnetic interference renders these sources less than ideal, the ParaTrack Gyro Module keeps the project on track.

ParaTrack2 is claimed to be the evolution of magnetic wire guidance. Based on low current AC power, driven by a small light weight power supply, and utilising inexpensive, light gauge wire, ParaTrack2 saves money by significantly reducing setup and survey time, while also offering superior survey quality at deeper depths or in magnetically noisy environments versus DC-powered systems.

Setup is flexible, with multiple possibilities of coil configurations. The most common configuration is a closed loop with the guide wire along the centreline and the return wire located offline minimising its magnetic contribution.

Alternate options include a single wire with earth return (no return leg, saving significant setup time), or even the placement of one leg in an existing product line to enable precise parallel pilot hole tracking from entry to exit. In cases where placing a wire along the entire length of the bore is not feasible, ParaTrack2 integrates seamlessly with our other guidance and tracking sources including the Beacon Tracker System and the ParaTrack
Gyro Module.

The powerful AC magnetic signal generated by ParaTrack2 enables tracking at extreme depths of up to 1500 ft (460 m), allowing the locating of the drill head as much as
10x earlier than competing surface verification methods. This translates to the most accurate punch-outs with the absolute minimum risk of costly positional errors.

Optional add-ons are available including the At Bit Inclination Assembly providing inclination measurements directly at the bit for the first time in the HDD market and the Pressure Module allowing the monitoring of annular and pipe pressures while drilling, preventing costly frac outs.

To lubricate the drill head, remove generated spoil and support the borehole sides, drilling fluid or ‘mud’ is used during HDD operations. Depending on the ground type, drilling muds can be adapted to most, if not all, circumstances. However, it may be that in complex soils or with changing geology, the support of drilling mud specialist engineers such as Cebo or Baroid may be required on site, as well as more complex mixing and pumping systems. Each project should be judged on its individual circumstances as rarely are two ground conditions alike. Contractors may find it beneficial to consult with mud specialists prior to commencing operations.

Across the industry there is a plethora of companies offering rigs and support equipment from drill bits and drill rods, through sonde housings and guidance systems to reamers and ducts pulling heads and swivels.

HDD Rig Manufacturers

Apollo Techno International FZCO – From its humble beginning in 2018, Apollo has emerged as a highly versatile provider of a comprehensive suite of HDD Rigs from 5 t to 160 t capacity. The company also provides a range of related services from its state- of-the-art factory where it offers a proactive and highly skilled technical team that is dedicated to advancing trenchless technology, reliability, and responsive service.

Contractors choose Apollo products as a durable and cost-effective means of installing product pipe in rigorous ground conditions. While innovation and technology have advanced, Apollo Rigs still accurately bore today with factory upgrades and available support parts/tools.

Apollo has built its reputation on delivering driller friendly rigs, personalised customer support and it takes immense pride in its customer’s successes. That is how Apollo’s core customer base has seen repeat business since its inception.

Ditch Witch/American Augers – Now part of the Toro Group, the HDD machines from Ditch Witch start at the JT5 model and range through to the JT100 model. American Auger drill rigs are also now marketed through the global Ditch Witch dealership network.

The Ditch Witch JT/AT32 model is the latest addition to the range and is designed to boost productivity, with the New Ditch Witch AT32 being an All-Terrain Directional Drill.

The Ditch Witch JT20 model offers an Auto-throttle feature which is designed to save fuel and reduce pollution by slowing the engine to idle after 15 seconds of inactivity. When the operator resumes work, the auto-throttle engages. The rig also offers an advanced cooling system that uses five fewer gallons of fluid than competitive systems offering exceptional efficiency and less environmental impact.

The Ditch Witch JT100 model offers All-Terrain technology that enables enhanced rock drilling at a low fluid level, decreasing overall jobsite waste, minimising clean-up and reducing the environmental impact. The inner pipe works as a mechanical motor, driving the bit during the bore. The outer pipe thrusts the bit forward while steering the drill shaft. During back reaming, the outer pipe transmits full machine torque downhole.

From the American Augers range of drill rigs are there are the DD240T and the DD110 models.

The American Augers DD110 is the latest design in the 100,000 lb drill range which features:

  • 110,000lb (50 t) thrust and pullback capacity
  • A hydraulic system with modern workloads in mind.
  • Flexible operator controls for all operators on the market.
  • Simple systems for increased reliability.
  • Bid power in a small weight conscience package.
  • Speed to improve productivity.
  • Quiet-Pak® engine enclosure to reduce engine noise.
  • Articulated cabin provides exceptional visibility and comfort.
  • Dual joystick controls with integral function switches.
  • An extended pipe-loader lift that enables pipe boxes to be changed without shutting down the drill rig.
  • Wire-line ready and equipped with the latest HDD technology and PinPoint® telematics.

The American Augers DD240T model is claimed to be the most customisable rig in the industry offering a truly customer-driven design in a rugged package for tough environments.

The drill rig features:

  • 240,000 lb (108 t) thrust and pullback capacity
  • The patented Dual man onboard offboard cab for fitting a wide variety of job sites.
  • Full length travelling wenches to assist those stubborn tool joints and allowing to pull tolling up on the drill frame.
  • American Auger’s standard slip spindle that can be easily changed when needed.
  • A low spindle centre which allows the pipe to enter the ground closer to the drill when entering at low angles.
  • A new MTU Engine that was designed for Tier 4 Final applications. It does not require a regen cycle and is a hard worker.
  • Flexible Operator Control settings for reduced training time.
  • Quiet-Pak® technology surrounding the engine compartment.

Equipped with the latest HDD technology and PinPoint® telematics.

Ditch Witch UK & Ireland, the UK dealership for Ditch Witch ad American Augers drill rigs also offers exclusively Supa Pit Dry Solidifier, a liquid waste solidification reagent by MetaFLO technologies.

Dumping or disposing of liquid spoils, like drilling fluids, can be both time consuming and costly for any contractor. Supa Pit Dry Solidifier is a safe and reliable way of turning liquid spoils into a manageable solid, reducing risk and liability while improving on-site safety.

It is claimed to offer an estimated 30% to 60% cost saving in waste material disposal, as users can decrease the number of trucks required to process the waste, as well as reduce the distance required to travel to the final disposal location. Plus, as the solidification reagent crates dry, stackable solids, the handling and transportation of waste becomes much easier.

As well as improved efficiency on-site, Supa Pit Dry can help significantly reduce environmental impact and carbon footprint. With a range of applications, including directional drilling and vacuum excavation, Supa Pit Dry is the perfect addition to any underground construction contractors’ toolkit.

Herrenknecht – HDD Rigs developed by Herrenknecht can be delivered in five different standard configurations. All models have a control cabin, as well as their own power supply pack powered by a diesel or electrical engine, in a sound-insulated container or onboard. Depending on the application, the attached power packs have an output ranging from 328 kW to more than 940 kW and are engineered to customer requirements.

Combinations of all types are possible and one of Herrenknechts’ strengths. Fusions of trailer and modular rigs or compact and crawler rig merged with an electrical power unit are often made and jobsite approved. Herrenknecht rigs are defined by their pulling forces, which are between 80 and 600 tonnes (800 and 6,000 kN).

Frame Rig: As the low weight and easy transport option, Frame Rigs are a reliable and economical solution. Without its own transport or motion system, the Frame Rig reaches the jobsite on a regular truck trailer. A standard crane is sufficient for loading and unloading and for aligning the rig on the jobsite.

Trailer Rig: The great advantage of Trailer Rigs is their extreme flexibility. Due to
their low-weight design, they can be transported with standard semi-trailer trucks.
A crane is not required, neither for setup and demobilisation, nor for alignment and commissioning. This makes Trailer Rigs particularly suitable for projects in which long distances in between several crossings are to be covered.

Crawler Rig: On jobsites in rough ‘off-road’ terrain not accessible to trucks or cranes, Crawler Rigs offer considerable advantages. Their robust and mobile crawler with its caterpillar tracks enables mobility and manoeuvrability on difficult terrain.

Modular Rig: To be able to use HDD Rigs in remote regions, Herrenknecht has developed another innovative solution. Modular Rigs can be dismantled into two or three modules and transported in standard freight containers. On site they are re-assembled. An optional, remote-controlled crawler adds further mobility on the jobsite.

Compact Rig: This short and compact designed rig is optimised for smaller projects and inner city applications. Using range 1 (6 m/20 ft long) drill pipes and optionally equipped with onboard control cabin and high-pressure Mud Pump, the rig serves all customer needs.

Target-oriented implementation of customer-specific requirements is part of Herrenknecht’s daily business. References from successfully completed projects are HDD Rigs operating
in ambient temperatures of down to -20° Celsius, a specially designed rig for a project on an Australian island where the focus on nature and wildlife preservation was of utmost importance, or corrosion-proof equipment for sea outfall projects directly along the coastline. Other specialised rigs can even be dismantled in such a way, that they can be transported by helicopter. Pipelines are successfully installed worldwide using powerful HDD Rigs from Herrenknecht. The geological application range of the proven trenchless HDD method covers everything from soft loose soils to hard rock. Ancillary HDD equipment such as high-pressure mud pumps, bentonite mixing equipment, separation plants, drill rod storage, mobile break-out units, or bentonite pumps are part of the Herrenknecht portfolio.

Prime Drilling – Prime Drilling has enlarged its drill rig spectrum and now also offers hybrid and electric equipment.

The innovative new hybrid and electric rigs manufactured by Prime Drilling provide a variety of benefits for the customer. Thanks to their electric power packs these machines run much quieter than conventional rigs and allow overall noise levels to be minimise.

Their special feature ‘Power on Demand’ enables significant energy savings with the majority of drilling sequences rarely requiring higher performance levels. In contrast to fuel-operated machines only the actual power required is generated.

Furthermore, the rigs can be operated independent of local engine directives or diesel quality, not to mention the substantially minimised risk of oil leaks or hydraulic hose bursts.

Low-maintenance technology and elimination of engine service requirements boast the advantage of their smooth on-site operation with next to no downtimes. The machines vibration-free drives, noise reduction and sensitive adjustment range increase working comfort significantly.

The electric drill rigs do not require any fuel logistics (if connected to the existing electrical network) and the available power packs are optional for any individual emission regulations. Prime Drillng also uses standard industrial components to ensure their high local availability.

The rigs use a state-of-the-art electric motor. The permanent magnet synchronous motor installed is equipped with a four-quadrant frequency converter. A transformer oil cooler with biodegradable oil serves for optimum heat dissipation.

They also offer a compact drive solution. Each motor features a 140 kW S1 continuous output at 650 V DC nominal voltage. The motors are protected to IP 69k. All load-sequence data can be saved and retrieved.

This in turn provides high customer satisfaction. Customers worldwide value Prime Drilling’s innovative technology and the company claims to have sold more electric drill rigs on the market than any other vendor so far.

Tracto – German manufacturer TRACTO is known for its innovative and high-quality No-Dig systems for underground pipe installation and renewal. Since the invention of the GRUNDOMAT soil displacement hammer, which laid the foundation for trenchless pipeline construction some fifty years ago under the trademark of the ‘Mole’, TRACTO has consistently advanced trenchless technology and raised it to new levels. This is especially true for the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) with steerable drilling rigs.

TRACTO, a pioneer of steerable drilling, offers the GRUNDODRILL range of drilling rigs which, over the years, have became more and more innovative, powerful and ‘intelligent’. Milestones of horizontal directional drilling technology at TRACTO are, for example, functions such as fully automated drilling or HDD devices such as the GRUNDODRILL 18ACS, known as the ‘King of Rock’, which for the first-time enabled jet and rock drilling with one device.

Now TRACTO has combined innovative technology and maximum automation to provide more flexibility and productivity in HDD drilling technology. An intelligent control concept ensures that the overall performance of the drill rig is optimally transferred to the individual components depending on the task at hand. This, it is claimed, makes the new GRUNDODRILL generation the most efficient and productive drilling rigs in its performance classes on the market.

Special features of the new GRUNDODRILL generation include:

  • Intuitive operating concept
  • Increased productivity of the drilling process
  • Remote controlled drilling
  • Rock drilling in all performance classes
  • Integrated locating solution
  • Digital tools

The design of the new GRUNDODRILL generation combines numerous innovative individual solutions in a steerable drilling rig with outstanding functions. Currently, two models are offered in the 130 kN class, the GRUNDODRILL JCS130 and the GRUNDODRILL ACS130. Thanks to the consistent overall concept, all future models in the series will also have the same features, which ensure that the maximum performance is always available for the drilling process and pipe pulling.

The intuitive operating concept was developed in close cooperation with master drillers and experts in ergonomics and biomechanics to consistently adapt it to the needs of the operator. Almost all functions of the drill are controlled via a central touch screen, which enables ergonomic and fatigue- free work. At the same time, the control of even the most complex drilling processes is significantly simplified, because the entire operating concept is self-explanatory and intuitive – along the lines of modern smartphones or tablets. Alternatively, all central functions of the drilling rig can be controlled manually.

In addition, an integrated camera concept provides the operator with an optimal overview of all important areas of the drilling rig at all times and automatically. This allows problems to be detected at an early stage, which improves safety on the jobsite.

Significantly increased rotational power and drilling fluid capacities lead to a considerable increase in productivity. The high drive power that is matched to this is efficiently implemented and is transferred to the individual components via the intelligent control concept in such a way that the drilling rig can be optimally adapted to any geology. Via a powerful rotary drive with variable torque adjustment, torque and speed can be optimally adapted to the respective geology and the drilling tools. Compared to conventional drilling rigs, the power output in the entire speed range is therefore considerably greater. Improved mud technology, in which the maximum amount of mud is applied at the same time as the highest possible pressure, ensures rapid drilling progress and maximum clearing performance during the back-reaming process.

The new generation GRUNDODRILL drilling rigs can be fully remote-controlled
even in drilling mode. All functions can be managed and monitored from outside the operator’s cabin with a specially designed remote control. The remote control combines the same operating elements found in the cabin in an outdoor-capable tablet that is used as the central operating unit for the machine control. In combination with a special camera concept, control of the entire drilling rig is always guaranteed, even when operating with the remote control. The greater flexibility also leads to more productivity. Short-term personnel shortages, e. g. when mixing new drilling fluid, can be bridged by having the machine operator working the drilling rig and the locating system at the same time. The fact that the operator can move freely with the remote control and keep an eye on all operations contributes to safety on the construction site as well.

With the intelligent machine concept, all existing and future models in the series can be used as a Jet Condition System (JCS) with single rods in conventional soils
or work as an All Condition System (ACS) with twin-tube rods in complex geologies and rock. A specially designed plug-in connection for the inner rods of the twin-tube rods ensures reliable torque transmission in the tightest of installation spaces to guarantee particularly high flushing performance in all geologies.

Permanent monitoring of the drill head’s position is vital for steering the directional drilling process properly. By integrating the locating system’s display into the control concept of the new GRUNDODRILL generation, all machine data and locating information are displayed on a central screen, even during remote controlled drilling. For this unique feature, TRACTO relies of the locating technology of renowned manufacturer Digital Control (DCI). The fusion of drilling rig and locating technology into one unit simplifies the control of the drilling process considerably and facilitates training of new operators and drilling experts.

New software solutions for three-dimensional route planning or simple fleet management also simplify planning and project management.

The overall concept of the new generation GRUNDODRILL offers the user even more advantages. A modular design with a large selection of options allows each drilling rig to be configured according to individual requirements and types of application. Design and equipment are tailored for high operating comfort and maximum ease of work. As an example, the comfortable operator’s cabin with its panoramic all- round view makes swivelling the cabin unnecessary for drilling and allows working even in very confined spaces.

Trenchless Solutions – Marketed in the UK by Trenchless Sales UK, part of the Trenchless Solutions Group, the EasyDrill FD10G is manufactured by EasyDrill Limited which claims to be the only company world-wide specialising in designing and building directional drills as attachments, using a quick hitch, for mini excavators. The EasyDrill FD10G horizontal directional drill is preferred by drillers for installing underground services such as fibre optic broadband, gas, power and other services because of its efficiency, cost effectiveness and versatility. Designed as an attachment via a quick hitch for mini excavators, the EasyDrill has a thrust capacity of 8,000 lb (3,628 kg) and pull back capacity of 10,500 lb (4,764 kg) as well as a torque capacity of 1,225 ftlb (1,660 Nm) which is claimed to exceptional for a drill of its size. The system can be Pit or Surface launched.

Also marketed by Trenchless Sales UK is the Roddie Pit Shot horizontal directional drill is used for installing underground services such as fibre optic broadband, gas, power and other services because of its efficiency, cost effectiveness and versatility. The pit launched Roddie has a thrust capacity of 15,000 lb (6,804 kg) and pull back capacity of 15,000 lb (6,804 kg) as well as a torque capacity of 1,100 ftlb (1,491 Nm).

Vermeer – Vermeer started manufacturing horizontal directional drills in 1991 and is on its S3 generation of drills. These drills have enhanced speed, simplicity and sound reduction. Most Vermeer HDD models available today have received high performance specs and can be equipped with Vermeer productivity tools for improved diagnostics and telematics.

Utility directional drills – The smallest Vermeer utility directional drill is the D8x12. This compact and highly productive drill is sized for working in tight spaces, features straightforward controls and is well suited for small service installations, including gas distribution, power, water and telecommunication networks. The Vermeer D8x12 horizontal directional drill is equipped with a 48 hp (35.8 kW) Kohler diesel engine and offers 1,000 ftlb (1,355.8 Nm) of spindle torque and 7,850 lb (34.9 kN) of thrust/pullback.

The next model in the Vermeer utility range is the D10x15 S3 with a 60 hp (45 kW) diesel engine, maximum carriage speed to 208 fpm (63.4 m) and 1,500 ftlb (2,033.7 Nm) of spindle torque to help contractors install more product per day.

The Vermeer D20x22 S3, D23x30 S3, D24x40 S3 HDDs are among the most popular models for installing fibre cabling. The D20x22 S3 features class-leading 167 fpm (50.9 m/min) carriage speed and rotational speeds of 257 rpm. With 24,000 lb (106.8 kN) of thrust and pullback and 3,000 ftlb (4,068 Nm) of rotational torque, the D23x30 S3 is equipped to maximise machine and jobsite efficiency. The larger D24x40 S3 has 28,000 lb (124.6 kN) of thrust/pull and can produce 4,200 ftlb (5,694.4 Nm) of rotational torque.

For larger utility directional drills, Vermeer offers the D40x55 S3 and D60x90 S3. Those units are capable of producing 40,000 lb (177.9 kN) and 6,000 lb (2669.9 kN), respectively.

Vermeer also offers two dual rod units in its utility drill product line. The D23x30 DR S3 and D40x55 DR S3 deliver similar performance as the single rod drills with the same model number. However, these units integrate dual rod technology to manoeuvre through rock efficiently.

Vermeer also manufactures a wide range of large directional drills designed for larger diameter and longer distance directional drilling. The Vermeer D220x500 S3 Navigator® horizontal directional drill is the latest model. With the ability to be configured for large-diameter water and utility installs in urban areas, as well as challenging pipeline work, the Vermeer D220x500 S3 delivers up to 52,600 ftlb (71,316 Nm) of torque at a spindle speed of 36 revolutions per minute, 240,400 lb (1,069.4 kN) of thrust/pullback, and fluid flow rates of up to 350 gal/minute (1,324.9 l/min) if the onboard pump is selected. The D220x500 S3 is available with an onboard or stand-alone operator cab and a 30 ft (9.1 m) rod rack.

Vermeer also produces a line of drills specifically designed for the needs of emerging markets in Asia, Latin America and other developing nations. Vermeer recently introduced two directional drills for contractors in these regions — the Vermeer D130S and D60S. The D130S is equipped with 130,000 lb (578,200 kN) of thrust and pullback and 15,000 ftlb (20,337 Nm) of rotational torque. Also, the D60S has 60,000 lb (266.9 kN) of thrust and pullback and 9,000 ftlb (12,202.4 Nm) of rotational torque.

Whilst this review covers a significant portion of the HDD market it is not fully comprehensive. For example, it should be noted that some of the manufacturers highlighted herein offer a range of smaller pit launched drills as well as their surface launched ranges, with at least one offering a rig that can be operated via a manhole access whilst being operated from surface fully remotely.

Anyone interested in this technology should contact any or all of the companies mentioned above and others that may be found by an online search or with a visit to a relevant trade event in their region, many of which are advertised in the Diary section of this publication.

However, summarising the technology, HDD offers the potential to install new or replacement pipelines, ducts and cabling without the need to excavate large pits and long trenches on the surface making the HDD process very environmentally-friendly compared with open cut techniques. The installation, when correctly planned and using the right equipment, can install networks from small to large diameters over a short to long distances, safely, at a lower cost compared with traditional methods (when all aspects of the traditional operations are taken into account including site waste disposal, traffic management, possible compensation claims etc.) and with minimal disruption to the surroundings, local businesses and the general public who can carry on with their daily businesses and lives.


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Trenchless Works bringing you balanced journalism, accuracy, news and features for all involved in the business of trenchless and no-dig from around the world

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