Directional boring—also referred to as horizontal directional drilling—is a technique used to install underground utilities without having to dig a trench. This is a good way to install utilities while minimizing the amount of surface disruption. The main areas of earthmoving are at the surface and where the utilities are eventually installed.
However, there are still problems that can happen when using directional boring. Experienced contractors will know what to look for and how to solve any problems that crop up—but it’s always wise to know what to watch out for when you plan to use directional boring. Here are some of the most common problems contractors encounter.
Underestimating the installation force
The stress of operation and installation can damage your utility pipes. Thankfully, if you choose a skilled contractor, you’re much less likely to encounter these types of issues. Experienced directional boring contractors know how to bore lines without overstressing or damaging the pipes.
This generally involves working with the pipe material and designing a directional boring plan around it. Different pipe materials have different wall thicknesses, diameters and material strength, so your contractor will decide how to proceed based on those factors. This ensures that you won’t run into any problems with the pipes or run into delays after the project begins. It’s also a good way to make sure the utility installation is safe for public use.
Encountering issues with the soil
Trenchless drilling is suitable for a wide variety of soil types, including clay, silt, sand and rock. However, it’s not good for every type of soil. Boulders, abrasive rock and coarse gravel are difficult to navigate. They may require special tools to bore, such as all-terrain or dual rod drills.
Depending on the soil type(s) where you plan to drill, your drilling contractor may need to use several different methods to achieve the appropriate effects. This can increase the cost—but knowing you’re benefiting from a safe, effective drilling process is worth the extra effort and expense. Your contractor will test the soil and let you know whether they anticipate any special circumstances.
Lack of field observation
Field observation is the key to ensuring your project not only goes off as projected, but also, if there are any changes or issues, they can be addressed right away. When you’re talking to potential directional boring contractors, make sure they’ll keep up on the right documentation. You want them to provide you with daily reports so you can keep on top of any problems that may arise. Observing and managing your field progress is the key to staying on time and on track.
If you have questions about these common directional boring problems, be sure to ask your prospective contractors about how they approach them. They’ll usually be happy to give you an overview of what to expect.
For more information about what to watch out for when using directional boring, call Es7 Comm-2 U, Inc. Our team is skilled at a variety of drilling and trenching techniques—let us take on your next project!
Categorised in: Directional Boring
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