Underground directional boring, also known as horizontal directional drilling or HDD, is a trenchless means of installing underground utilities. One of the main benefits of HDD is that it minimizes ground impact. Generally speaking, underground boring contractors will mention that this process disturbs only two main areas: the location where the drilling machine is set up and the location of utility installation.
But while directional boring is more versatile and less environmentally harmful than traditional forms of trenching and excavating, there are a few different challenges that underground boring contractors may have to face on the job. In order to complete a successful underground boring project, Texas HDD contractors will need to consider and take steps to avoid the following issues.
- Soil-Related Difficulties: HDD can be used in a number of environments and is suitable for numerous soil types. Silt, sand, rock, and clay soils can all work well for HDD. However, there are certain kinds of soil conditions that aren’t ideal for this type of trenchless drilling. Soil with coarse gravel, boulders, and abrasive rocks require specific tooling and all-terrain or dual rod directional drills that make HDD possible no matter the soil type. A specific drilling process may be recommended if the entire subsurface of a given area is made up of gravelly soil, as HDD installation, under those circumstances, can lead to higher cost. It’s essential for underground boring contractors to gain an understanding of the soil type prior to taking on any project to ensure pipeline installation will be successful.
- Lack of Field Observation: Field observation can ensure that a project goes according to plan and that any potential disputes or change orders can be taken care of promptly. While you should be able to trust that your underground boring contractors and construction team will follow specifications, it’s also important that proper documentation will be made throughout the process and that daily reports will be created to minimize any effects relating to disputes or claims in the future. By increasing field observation, your contractor can also offer recommendations for any areas of concern that exist before the project begins; this can minimize delays and extra costs, which any site owner or project manager will appreciate. But without proper field observation, your project could be slowed, or claims could be filed under certain conditions. It’s better to be proactive with your project management and observation.
- Underestimation of Installation Forces: Operational and installation stresses can be disruptive to safety unless they’re understood thoroughly and appropriately planned for. Your contractor should know how to design HDD installation properly so that the pipes being used do not become over-stressed or damaged during the process. Pipes will react differently to these forces depending on their material strength, wall thickness, and diameter, so it’s important to evaluate these properties prior to beginning the job. This will ensure there will be no hidden costs or delays and that public safety will be protected during use.
In most cases, this underground drilling process acts as a welcome alternative to traditional forms of pipe installation. That said, precautions still need to be taken to ensure a project goes according to plan. By working with reputable HDD contractors and taking the time to properly map out a project before it begins, you can ensure that your trenchless pipe drilling job will provide the best solution with minimal disruption or downtime. To learn more about how our underground boring services can improve your property, please contact us today.