5 Times When It’s Good To Hire HDD Contractors

Austin directional drilling contractors

Both trenchless and traditional drilling are used on a variety of projects year-round including utility installations and plumbing repairs. However, traditional drilling isn’t the best method for every construction project.

Here are five times when it’s a good idea to leave the traditional drilling equipment at home and to contact your local Austin directional drilling contractors instead:

  1. You’re working by a roadway. Horizontal directional drilling works best when you’re working around a roadway or another populated area. If minor construction projects like road repairs cause major traffic jams, you can only imagine the nightmare that traditional drilling would cause. HDD allows you to drill by busy areas without impacted the surrounding environment.
  2. You need to drill as quickly as possible. Construction projects don’t always go according to schedule. If you’re falling behind on your project and you still need to drill to make repairs, install utilities, or access an oil line, traditional drilling could delay your deadline even more. HDD takes less time because you don’t have to worry about damaging and repairing the surrounding area around the drill site.
  3. You’re working by a waterway. Horizontal directional drilling actually became a popular method of drilling when it was first used to drill under a river crossing. It minimizes the negative impact of construction on the surrounding areas, which makes it eco-friendly and the ideal method of installation.
  4. You’re working on small-diameter gas lines. In the past, HDD was used by the oil and gas industry on large-diameter, cross-country pipeline transmission lines. But in recent years, HDD has been approved for small-diameter gas distribution lines in suburban and urban areas. They’ve also been used for municipal water and telecommunication cable crossings at airports.
  5. You’re looking for lower-cost drilling. Horizontal directional drilling not only gained popularity because of its ability to drill under waterways. It also became the preferred technique of utility and pipeline companies because of its lower costs and decreased surface disruption.

Looking for Austin directional drilling contractors?

It’s no secret horizontal directional drilling is an efficient and cost-effective method for boring. In fact, the global horizontal directional drilling market is expected to reach as high as $14.95 billion by 2022.

If you’re looking for Austin directional drilling contractors for your project, American Directional Boring has got you covered. For more information on our Texas directional boring services or our previous construction projects, contact American Directional Boring today.

How Do HDD Contractors Run Pipelines Under Rivers?

underground boring contractorHorizontal directional boring is the first choice of contractors when it comes to drilling and installing pipelines by highways and waterways. But just how do contractors run pipelines under rivers and waterways in the first place?

Here we’ll go in depth about how underground boring contractors go about drilling efficiently beneath waterways.

It all starts with the pilot hole

A drilling rig is built on a movable chassis, but their size ultimately depends on the diameter of the pipe used in the project. The rig is controlled from a booth next to the rig that can be moved from job site to job site.

Underground boring contractors will start the HDD process by drilling a pilot hole from one surface point. A rotating drill head is then passed through the length of the crossing guided by a surveying system.

The pilot hole is smaller than the final pipeline width, but it’s made wider by the crew once they remove the surveying system and drill bit from the machine. After this is done, several reaming passes are run to make the opening wider.

Reaming on a prayer

Reaming passes are made by a device called a reamer that’s attached to a drill string that runs through the entire length of the tunnel. On the other side of the river or waterway, the second rig receives the reamer. The crew monitors the location of the reamer using a steel drill string.

The tunnel is pumped full of drilling fluid (a water/bentonite mixture) to prevent the area from collapsing or filling with soil. The drilling fluid passes through long sections of drill pipe into the drilling area where it carries soil and debris to the surface.

The final pass and pipeline installation

The final hole after the reaming passes is between 30% to 50% larger than the diameter of the final pipeline. Contractors will run a final pass with more mud to make sure the opening of the hole is clear of debris.

The reamer is then removed and the pipe is pulled into the reamed hole. Once the pipe is installed, the project is a success.

Looking for underground boring contractors for your project?

It’s estimated that there are 2.5 million miles of pipelines that transport fuel products in the U.S. from source to market. Horizontal directional drilling is the safest, efficient, and most cost-effective method for installing those pipelines.

If you’re looking for Texas underground boring contractors for your project, American Directional Boring is the underground drilling service for you. To learn more about our services and HDD contractors, contact American Directional Boring today.

Need Sewage Line Repairs? HDD Can Give You An Advantage

boring contractorsWhen it comes to plumbing, only about 20% of Americans (those who use septic tanks) know where their wastewater goes. Wastewater will travel through sewage lines to treatment facilities or to disposal.

But sewage lines don’t last forever. All sewage lines will eventually need some kind of repair. The good news is horizontal directional drilling contractors can make sewage line repairs that much easier because of the benefits HDD provides.

What kind of benefits does HDD offer?

Many people think that sewage line repairs mean messy excavations that can damage the landscape and yard surrounding the area. But that isn’t true with horizontal directional drilling.

HDD typically only disturbs the area where the drill rig is set up and the place where any utilities need to be connected. The property surrounding the sewage line will be almost entirely untouched.

HDD contractors will dig two small access holes at either end of the sewage line section that needs to be repaired. They’ll then pull a new section of pipe into place and remove the old section.

The innovative technology used in HDD eliminates the need for excavations, so you don’t have to worry about turning the area into a major construction zone. With HDD, your sewage line will be repaired in no time and with minimal impact on the surrounding area.

When do I need to repair my sewage lines?

Your sewage lines might need repairs for many different reasons including natural wear and tear, human activity such as clogs, or plant activity. Trees, in particular, are known for wrapping their roots around pipelines.

Some of the most common causes for sewage line repairs include:

  • Joint leaks. The line joints of your sewage lines can come apart and leak because of shifting soil, root penetration, or settling foundation.
  • Damage. Your sewage lines can suffer from breaks, cracks, or bending because of pressure caused by frozen ground, root penetration, or settling foundation.
  • Corrosion. Even if your sewage lines are undamaged, they can naturally corrode over time.
  • Blockages. Sewage lines commonly suffer from blockages caused by a buildup of too many non-degradable objects such as baby wipes.
  • Line sinking. Your home’s foundation isn’t the only thing that can sink. Your sewage lines can also sink lower in some areas when the ground settles. This causes the line to accumulate water and lose its grade.

Looking for horizontal directional boring contractors?

Horizontal directional drilling is not only great for pipeline installations but also for pipeline repairs. If your sewage lines are having issues, it might be in your best interest to contact your local Texas boring contractors.

American Directional Boring provides underground drilling services so you can make the sewage line repairs you need without the fuss. To learn more about our underground boring services or our boring contractors, contact American Directional Boring today.

4 Frequently Asked Questions About HDD

underground drilling servicesHorizontal directional drilling is commonly used for highway bores and drilling near waterways. Because you don’t need to use HDD for every project, chances are you outsource your underground drilling services when you need them.

If you have some questions about directional drilling, you’re definitely not alone. Although this method of drilling is popular, there are many misconceptions about the practice.

That said, here are some of the most common questions asked about horizontal directional drilling, answered.

  1. How does horizontal directional drilling work? HDD starts with the setup of the drill rig. The drill rig is placed on the ground over the specified location of the pilot hole. From there, a small hole (the pilot bore) is drilled from one point along the surface to another. This makes way for the installation of the product pipe, gas line, or telecommunications line. The pilot bore is then enlarged to the diameter needed. This is called reaming. When the hole is big enough, the pipeline, gas line, or telecommunications line can be installed.
  2. What are the different applications for HDD? Horizontal directional drilling can be used for a wide variety of projects including the installation of gas and irrigation pipelines, drinking water lines, and sewer pressure lines. Other applications include fiber optic installations, electrical conduit installations, duct and culvert installations, traffic routing system installations, and water intakes.
  3. When is HDD considered the best option? HDD can be used for any drilling application, but it isn’t necessary for every drilling job. The applications where HDD is the best option, though, including areas with large waterways, roads, rail yards, vineyard, sidewalks, hillsides, and other sensitive areas. HDD is used when traditional trenching would be impractical or costly.
  4. Does HDD have an environmental impact? HDD barely impacts the surrounding environment, which is why it’s chosen for drilling in sensitive areas or areas where there’s high foot-traffic or vehicle traffic.

Where can I find underground drilling services near me?

Horizontal directional drilling is considered the industry standard for drilling because, in most cases, HDD will only disturb two areas. These areas include the location where the machine is set up and any place where the utilities need to be connected.

If you’re Texas horizontal directional drilling services in your area, American Directional Boring is the place for you. For information about our underground drilling services or HDD contractors, contact American Directional Boring today.

A Brief History Of Horizontal Directional Drilling

texas horizontal directional drilling

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is considered the industry standard because it’s one of the safest methods for highways bores. For both construction companies and the general public, HDD offers many benefits including minimized traffic disruption and more efficient installation.


But HDD wasn’t always the industry standard. To see just how far the HDD market has come in the last 60 years, here’s a brief history on horizontal directional drilling.


Cherrington and the start of HDD


Back in the 1960s, job sites for horizontal directional drilling were nowhere to be found. It wasn’t until Martin Cherrington observed a gas line being installed using a hand-held air drill that the idea for HDD became more than just a suggestion but a possibility.


Cherrington recognized that he could use similar principles as the air-drill installation on a large scale project. In 1964, he went out to combine air-drilling principles with guided drilling and launched his own drill rig, Titan Contractors, Inc.


Surprisingly, the first HDD rig looks very similar to the ones that are currently in use today. Cherrington and his crew relied on “potholing” to determine the angle and direction of the bore head in a basic, but impressive, early method of HDD.


The first underwater bore


The first river crossing was completed using HDD in 1971. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company asked Cherrington and his team if they could drill under the Pajaro River to install a 4-inch gas line.


To anyone else, the project may have seemed impossible. But to Cherrington and the capabilities of HDD, the job was no problem. With only a few difficulties, Cherrington completed the underwater bore in a single month.


Horizontal directional drilling takes off


After Cherrington’s success with the underwater bore at the Pajaro River, Cherrington was contracted to do another major river crossing. After the success of that crossing, he was later contracted to do another as HDD took off.


By the 1980s, the HDD market had exploded with popularity. The number of HDD units increased by over 100 between 1984 and 1994.


During the 1990s, HDD technology improved with breakthroughs in machine controls and electronic tracking, and innovations like the bottom-feed pipe loader. By the 2000s, HDD was no longer a novelty drilling technique but a major part of the drilling market.


Looking for Texas horizontal directional drilling services?


Trenchless drilling is the most efficient and effective method for highway bores. In fact, the telecommunications installation market increased its HDD market to 24.4% in 2017, according to the 2017 Horizontal Directional Drilling Survey.


If you’re looking for Texas horizontal directional drilling services in your area, look no further than American Directional Boring. We offer professional trenchless boring services so you don’t have to worry about buying all the equipment yourself. To learn more about our Texas horizontal directional drilling services, contact American Directional Boring today.