What You Need to Know
Use the following list of questions to evaluate the needs and requirements of your directional drilling project.
What size drill rig will I need for the job?
We determine which of our rigs is best suited for the job by assessing the soil conditions, pipe size, and space available.
What type and size pipe will I need?
We can install pipes made of HDPE, steel, ductile iron, or PVC ranging in diameter from 1 to 20 inches. The size of pipe you require depends on whether you are laying water, cable, fiber optic, or other lines. The size of pipe also determines the rig that will be used for the job.
How much space will I need for entry and exit pits?
The entry pit is the starting point for the bore, and the exit point is the end of the bore. For an entry pit, a space generally between 3 and 40 feet is required, depending on the bend radius and bore path. At both the entry and exit pits, there will be some disruption of the surface and the emergence of drilling mud and underground material. How much room is needed to accommodate the pits is determined on job by job basis, which we can help calculate.
Do I need to have the location inspected by Dig Safe?
Yes. Every job must be inspected by Dig Safe. This is a simple process that we can assist you with.
What kind of infrastructure or water bodies will I be boring under?
We have successfully bored under rivers, highways, and airport runways. Our only requirement is that we can track the drill head. When boring under water bodies and areas too dangerous or difficult to navigate by foot, we use boats or wire line technology to locate the head. Safety is our top concern, and we assess what controls we need for safety before setting up on any job site.
What if I have rock to bore through?
We have full rock boring capabilities; however, rock boring is a more expensive process than sandy soil and gravel boring. A rock bore is defined by the need to use rock tooling and equipment.
What time of year will I be boring?
We can bore in most weather conditions, including snow. Freezing temperatures may prohibit drilling.
What kind of on-site disposal will I need?
During the drilling process, we use a mud called bentonite. It is a naturally occurring substance produced by the alteration of volcanic ash. On small jobs, we can remove the bentonite mud used during drilling. For larger jobs where the quantities of bentonite and drillings are large, take on-site disposal into consideration.
How do I assess a bid for directional drilling versus a bid for open cutting?
The cost of restoration is the most overlooked aspect of an excavation bid. The cost of fixing roads and controlling traffic are often not included in a bid for excavation. When assessing an excavation bid, be sure to factor in the cost of repairing road damage and hiring traffic control. Traffic control and road restoration are often not major expenses when directional drilling is used. On our bids, we inform you of all costs to complete the project.
Why should I choose directional drilling over open cutting?
HDD equipment requires a relatively short set-up time; a mini-rig can be set up and start boring within an hour. Labor requirements are minimal, as it only takes a small crew to operate a small drilling rig. The need for traditional excavation during horizontal directional drilling is minimal or non-existent.
In open areas, directional drilling is an efficient way to cross rivers, highways, railroad tracks, even active airplane runways, without major disruptions to traffic or costs for traffic management. In crowded urban areas, horizontal directional drilling is increasingly viewed as “the preferred technology” because:
- Surface disruption is minimized
- Restoration costs (roads, infrastructure) are minimized
- Less impact on residents and businesses
- Minimizes the need for earth removal and the long-term costs of trench settlement