Directional Boring

Horizontal Directional Drilling

Directional boring, commonly called horizontal directional drilling or HDD, is a steerable trenchless method of installing underground pipes, conduits and cables in a shallow arc along a prescribed bore path by using a surface-launched drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area. Directional boring is used when trenching or excavating is not practical. It is suitable for a variety of soil conditions and jobs including road, landscape and river crossings. Installation lengths up to 2000 m have been completed, and diameters up to 1200 mm have been installed in shorter runs. Pipes can be made of materials such as PVC, polyethylene, polypropylene, Ductile iron, and steel if the pipes can be pulled through the drilled hole. Directional boring is not practical if there are voids in the rock or incomplete layers of rock. The best material is solid rock or sedimentary material. Soils with cobble stone are not recommended. There are different types of heads used in the pilot-hole process, and they depend on the geological material.

Directional boring is 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, and areas where other methods are costlier or not possible. It is used instead of other techniques to provide less traffic disruption, lower cost, deeper and/or longer installation, no access pit, shorter completion times, directional capabilities, and environmental safety.

The technique has extensive use in urban areas for developing subsurface utilities as it helps in avoiding extensive open cut trenches. The use requires that the operator have complete information about existing utilities so that he can plan the alignment to avoid damaging those utilities. Since uncontrolled drilling can lead to damage, different agencies/government authorities owning the urban right-of-way or the utilities have rules for safe work execution. For standardization of the techniques, different trenchless technology promoting organizations have developed guidelines for this technique.


Types of customers:

  • Electrical Contractors
  • Utility Contractors (Sewer & Water)
  • Telecommunications/Wireless
    Phone Service Providers
  • Water Well Drillers
  • Geothermal
  • Landscaping Firms & Irrigation
  • Fortune 500 Companies
  • Local Government Agencies/Municipalities
  • Property Developers
  • Golf Courses
  • Residential Home Owners
  • Builders & Property Mgmt. Companies

Types of jobs:

  • Underground Drainage
  • Under Pavement Projects
  • Phone/Fiber Optic/CCTV
  • Under Driveway/Parking Lot/Streets
  • Cable Runs
  • Drainage Pipes
  • Conduit/Street Signage
  • Underground Waterlines
  • Irrigation Lines
  • Parking Lot Lighting

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