How Do You Steer a Drill?

May 19, 2020 5:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Steering a car is one thing, but a heavy-duty drill bit that is burrowing into the ground—how do you steer that? The secret is directional boring in Roseville, CA. This technique offers unique advantages that allow technicians to carefully guide the drill where they want it to go. Here’s how it works.

Steering a drill

With traditional drilling, such as that used for digging a well, technicians simply push the drill straight down into the ground. Mud is used for lubrication as the drill creates the hole.

With directional drilling, the drill pipe does not rotate in the same way as in traditional drilling. In order to allow the technician to change drilling direction, the pipe includes an elbow. Only the front of the drill pipe, the bit, rotates. Mud is used to turn the bit. Located farther back from the bit, the elbow allows for adjustments in direction as the pipe goes further into the ground. The operator can rotate the pipe so the bend guides the drilling in the desired direction. Meanwhile, the drilling mud creates the force needed to change the angle, so the drill can go up, down, right or left.

Monitoring the direction

As the drill goes deeper and farther away from the original drill site, it must be monitored to ensure it is going along the desired path. To achieve this, operators use one of three methods. The first is radio communication. For this method, the drill string includes electronics that communicate with sensors on the surface. Technicians can either walk along the path and use sensing equipment to determine where the pipe is underground, or, second, they can attach guide wires with electromagnets along the pipeline route. The third method is to use a gyroscope to determine the drill’s position.

Gradual turns

Of course, this directional boring in Roseville, CA does not allow for the same sharp turns that a car can handle. The path must be carefully laid out in advance, with slight adjustments being made to the direction of the drill to achieve that path. If a 90-degree turn is required, trenching must be used to lay pipe in the new direction.

Drilling stages

After directional boring in Roseville, CA has allowed technicians to create the initial pathway, they then enlarge the hole. The pilot hole allows them to re-drill the same path in larger and larger sizes until the desired width is achieved. Once the hole is big enough, technicians attach a pipe to the drill string and pull it through the hole to the other end. As sections are placed underground, they are welded to the next piece, creating the full pipeline to reach the other end.

Get more answers

For additional insights into directional boring in Roseville, CA, contact the team at Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. We’ve been the area’s go-to source for drilling since 2000. Our technicians can answer any questions you have or help you get started on your next project. We offer fast, friendly and efficient service to get utilities up and running in your home or business as quickly and carefully as possible.

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