Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is the process of creating long underground holes for the installation of pipelines, cables, and conduits. It entails the use of a drilling machine with an attachment that can dig holes without creating a trench or significant surface damage.
How it works
Three steps sum up the HDD process. First, a hollowed out pilot rod is employed to establish a line and grade. Next, the pilot rod is inserted into the ground and pushed out to the other end. The third step involves the use of jacking pipes to push out augers and casings.
In some cases, the HDD process involves the digging of pits to establish the start and end points of the holes. The drilling machine is then positioned in the pits before it can proceed to drill. The pits in such cases are needed to ensure the accuracy of the drilling.
Companies with advanced equipment may no longer need to dig a pit. They can directly insert the drill into the ground after stabilising the drilling machine. Their sophisticated technology, coupled with various sensors and software guidance, can directly drill into the ground and precisely drill according to the intended route. Some even employ hydraulic pressure to facilitate the drilling and guide the movement of the drill to areas with least resistance, thereby avoiding rocks or hard obstacles that are difficult to drill through.
HDD offers many advantages that make it preferable for various underground installations. The primary benefit of which is its minimal footprint. It does not create significant surface damage. Only the drilling pits are visible. Because of this, horizontal directional drilling does not have to disrupt traffic or regular activity on site. The drillers can adjust the location of the pit (where they position the machine for drilling) to minimise disruption or work around obstacles. The landscape or fixtures on top of the ground will mostly be unaffected.
Another advantage of horizontal directional drilling is that it is environmentally-friendly because it does not result in considerable damage near the areas of the drilling site. It is a trenchless process. It does not disturb natural landscapes or habitats on top of the ground. Likewise, it does not facilitate soil erosion.
Reliable HDD service
It’s important to ascertain the reliability, safety, and precision of the HDD service you get. Many companies can offer this type of drilling service, but not all of them can deliver the desired outcomes. Safety, in particular, should be given due attention especially when it comes to avoiding critical obstacles like pre-existing utility pipes and underground cables. An incompetent drilling service provider can mess up and create delays or severe problems.
When undertaken by an experienced drilling service company, HDD results in efficient underground installations. Not all HDD service providers, though, can provide the proper horizontal underground drilling you need. That’s why you need to carefully assess the track record of the companies you are considering.