Directional Drilling


Directional Drilling

Geothermal Loop Installations - Is This the Right Expansion Market for Your Business?
Emerging markets are always evolving. Some find long-term success and others fizzle out after a few years. One market is quietly growing and has a bright future as an alternative heating and cooling source in residential and commercial applications. more >>

What to Think About When Drilling in Rock
Completing bores in rock can be one of the most satisfying accomplishments of a horizontal directional drilling contractor. more >>

Why Is Drilling Fluid Non-Newtonian?
Drilling fluid manuals generally differentiate between Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. This is an important distinction because the relationship between shear stress and shear rate, and thus the formulas for calculating viscosity, are different depending on whether the fluid is Newtonian or non-Newtonian. more >>

Directional Drilling Used to Install Michigan Force Main
Both Hampton Township and the City of Essexville in Bay County Mich., were in need of a way to transport wastewater from their respective communities to the West Bay County Wastewater Treatment Plant located in Bangor Township — roughly five miles away. more >>




October 2010

Saving Money, Time & the Environment Through Chemistry - A Performance-Enhancing Case Study with Parker Lane Directional Drilling Using Amphoteric Drilling Fluid

In an effort to demonstrate the importance of chemistry in directional drilling mud recycling systems, Kem-Tron Technologies recently completed a field trial that demonstrated the benefits of chemically-enhanced mechanical separation. more >>

HDD Crossing in Florida Completed Using Design-Build

Mears Group Inc. completed in April a 7,400-ft horizontal directionally drilled (HDD) bore in Jacksonville, Fla., a design-build project that allows a regional energy producer to expand its natural gas pipeline to serve new facilities. more >>

Case Study: Escambia Superfund Site in Pensacola, Fla.

In the summer 2009, Directed Technologies Drilling Inc. (DTD) installed one of its longest horizontal remediation wells to date at the Escambia Superfund site in Pensacola, Fla. more >>

DrillMaster: New Methods for Gravity Sewers

If we in the infrastructure business — whether municipality, contractor, consultant or equipment supplier — are to learn to accomplish more with the scarcity of available funding, we must be open to alternative sewer-installation methods. more >>

September 2010

Lessons Learned from an HDD Project Plagued by Delays & Cost Overruns

The City of X and its engineer bid during summer 2005, 3,200 ft of 36-in. HDPE pipe for a lake crossing to be installed via horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in order that this water transmission line could be put in service by May 1, 2006. more >>

Directional Drilling for Environmental Remediation - Project Opportunities Appearing, but the Price of Admission Is High

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to install environmental remediation wells entered the market in the mid-1990s as a response to the invasive nature and spiraling costs of traditional reclamation methods like soil excavation and groundwater pump-and-treat. more >>

HDPE Outfall - Presents Challenges on California Beach

A 2,500-ft, 36-in. HDPE outfall in an affluent beach area of Port Hueneme, Calif., required the use of horizontal directional drilling for its installation. more >>

August 2010

Maxi Rig Market: Sales Slow But Work Remains Steady

The maxi rig market seems to grab all the headlines in the directional drilling community, with their ever-growing bore lengths and size of the rigs. more >>

Pneumatic Boring Head

When traveling through the Mississippi River Valley of La Crosse, Wis., the challenges of construction work are quite evident. more >>

Tracking Plastic Pipe

During the industry boom a few years back, a large number of conduits were installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD). more >>

July 2010

Product Profile: Fast Fusion - Perspective in the Pipe Fusion Market

A new technology has been developed in the fusion of HDPE pipe that brought a new facet to both the HDPE industry and the construction industry as a whole and that has made a significant change in the welding of polyethylene pipe. more >>

Taking the Pulse of the HDD Market

One thing the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) community has learned is that the HDD market is resilient. After bouncing back from a crushing recession in the early 2000s, the HDD market took another body blow — as did the rest of the construction industry — in 2008 when the worldwide construction market tanked. more >>

HDD in Nigeria - Last Leg of Extensive Pipeline Project Secured Using HDD Technology

Chris Frisch and Darwin Wiebe and their HDD team went a long way from home to complete a difficult horizontal directional drilling project, using all of their collective knowledge about directional drilling in the process. more >>

June 2010

Five Questions With: Mike Burns, Co-Owner of Underground Tools Inc. (UTI)

Mike Burns has been involved with the drill pipe market since 1993 and has experienced its ups and downs. Burns created UTI — a wear parts manufacturing company for the underground construction industry — with Tim Passon and Jamie Lindahl in 2003. more >>

HDD in the Bayou - 4,500-ft Pipeline to Carry CO2 to Louisiana Oil Fields

Monty Scruggs with Isaacks Directional Drilling has some basic advice when it comes to large-diameter pipeline installation projects — don’t take a knife to a gunfight. Scruggs recently took his own advice on a river crossing project located near Vicksburg, Miss. more >>

Air Hammer Technology Used on Texas HDD Project

On a pipeline installation near Godley, Texas, pipeline contractor Pumpco Inc. of Giddings, Texas, was contracted to install numerous 12-in. steel pipeline laterals. more >>

DRILLMASTER Report - An Overview of the Geothermal Market

Installing geothermal or ground source heat pump systems to heat and cool homes and businesses is nothing new and has been around for many years. What is new is the amount of interest that geothermal has been receiving during the last couple of years. more >>

May 2010

Shopping for a New Backreamer

You just took two days to make an incredible directionally drilled pilot bore. You snaked around all the existing utilities — even the ones not marked. Kept the path right on target and at depth. more >>

Ground Penetrating Radar: The Final Piece in Your Locating Puzzle

Development of new technologies in today’s world seems ever more so to move at light speed in many disciplines — utility location technology is no exception. more >>

Directional Drilling Safe Practices

Underground utility contractors are familiar with horizontal directional drilling (HDD). more >>

HDD Success in Poland

In the Polish city of Kielce, a 76-m long HDPE pipe OD 160 mm had to be laid to the exhibition area. more >>

April 2010

Selecting a Mud Engineer: What Contractors Should Know

Engineering drilling fluids for HDD rigs is becoming more popular — it can be as simple as measuring and monitoring drilling fluids or a very detailed plan with subsequent monitoring. In this article, I will detail what is involved in a more complex mud engineering plan. more >>

Electronic Drillmaster: Things to Keep in Mind When Investing in an HDD Locating System

A locating system is an integral part of the HDD process and it represents a substantial investment, ranging from about $10,000 to $20,000. more >>

69 Bores Completed on Pipeline Project - HDD Makes It Possible for Unique CO2 Pipeline to Overcome Environmental & Logistical Issues

The Green Pipeline — a project of Texas-based oil and gas company Denbury Resources Inc. — is designed to carry 800 million cu ft of CO2 per day for use in enhanced oil recovery. more >>

Innovative Thinking in Maine HDD Project

A 220-ft bore may not sound like the most intriguing or difficult of directional drilling projects, but for Enterprise Trenchless Technologies Inc. (ETTI), this was no ordinary bore.more >>

March 2010

Let’s Keep It Running Mud System Maintenance Tips to Remember

Equipment maintenance is a topic that no contractor particularly wants to address, but in light of the ever-growing need to maximize production and cut down time, it is extremely important. more >>

Indiana Broadband Networks - Look to HDD for Installation

It is not unusual anymore to read that small communities and independent telephone companies are building state-of-the-art fiber networks to serve relatively small, often rural service areas. more >>

Drilling into the Albermarle Sound

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in Albermarle Sound in North Carolina played a key role in the Currituck County Mainland Water Treatement Plant Reverse Osmosis Expansion project. more >>

February 2010

Getting the Most Out of Your HDD Tooling

The goal of every boring contractor is to complete a project as quickly and efficiently as possible. Doing so requires proper planning, skill and experience, as well as successful operation of machine, electronics and a variety of drilling tools. more >>

A Mud Recycler Adds Value to Your HDD System

Going “Green,” carbon footprint, carbon calculators and reduced emissions are all terms that have become a regular part of our vocabulary. more >>

Demolished Iowa High School Rebuilds with Geothermal

On May 26, 2008, the small, rural town of Parkersburg, Iowa, (population 1,900) was nearly leveled by an enormous EF-5 tornado — the most devastating twister to strike the Hawkeye state in decades more >>

20 Large-Diameter Crossings

It’s rare to see plans for two separate pipelines to be constructed in tandem along the same right of way for any distance, especially across the North Woods of the Upper Midwest. more >>

January 2010

Compact Drills: A Look Inside the Market

Compact horizontal directional drills have evolved over the past decade to include more features that not only have expanded their capabilities but also made them easier to operate. more >>

Design-Build - HDD Project Solves Water Supply Problem for Canadian Yacht Club

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) had a serious problem. Hydrant flow testing had determined that its water supply from the City of Toronto’s watermain system was insufficient to protect its historic Clubhouse on Toronto Island from a potential total loss due to fire. more >>

Disposing of Disposal Costs: Use a Centrifuge

The cost of mud disposal has been on the rise in the United States for years and the days of calling the local farmer to land farm drilling slurries are rapidly approaching their end. more >>



December 2009

Sewer Bore Success in Texas: Locating Equipment Key to Project’s Completion

Described as a “true Texas size sewer bore,” John Wright Construction undertook a job in Buffalo, Texas, that was initially specified to be done using auger boring. However, the contractor came up with a different plan to get the job done. more >>

Electronic Drillmaster: Troubleshooting HDD Locating Equipment

Today’s locating equipment consists of sophisticated state-of-the-art electronics. If the designers of the equipment have done their job properly, all the vast complexities on the inside should make things easier for the operators. more >>

Position Your Business to Rebound with the Economy

While the construction industry has joined virtually every business sector in enduring the pains of the recession, better times are on the horizon. more >>

November 2009

What Is Viscosity? Part 2

In the October issue, Manley Osbak opened his discussion of viscosity and considered shear stress and shear rate in detail. In this final article of the two-part series, he will explain how shear stress and shear rate are connected to viscosity and define exactly what viscosity is. more >>

Meeting Rock Drillers’ Needs: DTH Percussive Hammers

The down-the-hole (DTH) percussive directional rock drilling market is a fast growing market, particularly in the Southeastern United States due to the extremely abrasive igneous type rock found in the region. more >>

Thinking Lean - With Your Mud Mixer

When you’re tightening a nut onto a bolt, did you ever step back and think — that it is only the last turn that makes a difference and the other turns are just wasted motion? more >>

15 Long Bores in Five Months - Arizona Contractor Tackles the Keystone Pipeline Project

Southeast Directional Drilling, Casa Grande, Ariz., recently completed 15 bores over five months totaling more than 32,600 ft as part of the ongoing $12 billion Keystone Pipeline project that will bring crude oil down from Canada to Illinois and Oklahoma. more >>

October 2009

Drill Mud or Industrial Liquid Waste?

As environmental regulations continue to come to the forefront, the HDD industry is now being challenged to change its methods in how it handles and disposes of drill muds. more >>

What Is Viscosity? - This two-part series takes a look at drilling fluid viscosity

Viscosity is an important property of drilling fluid because it’s the viscosity that determines the fluid’s ability to suspend and carry cuttings out of the hole. more >>

Drill Master: Cold Weather & Your Drilling Pumps

Well, it’s that time of year again when the weather outside is getting colder and we need to start thinking about getting our equipment ready for those freezing temperatures. more >>

September 2009

Drill Pipe: Technology Upgrades Allow HDD to Push the Boundaries

It’s not uncommon today to see horizontal directional drilling (HDD) projects that push the envelope of what is considered possible, with ever-deeper and longer bores. As the industry discovers the benefits of HDD, the demands for more depth and length have grown exponentially. more >>

Water Project in South Dakota

A massive $15 million raw water delivery system construction project is under way near the City of Wakpala, S.D., and one early portion of it necessitated the use of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to install a 24-in. fusible PVC pipeline under the Grand River. more >>

Geotechnical Investigation by Directional Core Drilling

The need for development and improvements of infrastructure is always present, often including tunnels and other geotechnical constructions. Many of these tunnels are constructed in low quality ground conditions and often below rivers, lakes or cities. more >>

August 2009

Right Tooling

In the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) business, many items become key to a successful completion of a project. more >>

Ground Conditions

The soil conditions in Idaho create challenges that can leave the most experienced horizontal directional drilling (HDD) contractors scratching their heads in disbelief. more >>

Drill Master: Locate — The Need to Expose & Monitor

Underground utilities and the HDD industry have mixed liked oil and water since the industry’s inception. more >>

July 2009

HDPE and the Art of Fusion: The Plastics Pipe Institute Is Working with the Fusion Community to Develop a Fusion Guide

High-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) has been around for more than 50 years, and today’s resins provide pipes and end users with higher performance qualities and life expectancy. more >>

2009 HDD Roundtable: State of the Market

Each year, Trenchless Technology gauges the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) market by interviewing leading industry experts, manufacturers and contractors for their take on the state of things as they see it. more >>

HDD Plays Key Role in South Dakota Project: City of Sioux Falls Uses HDD, Pipe Ramming and HDPE Plowing to Install 11 Miles of an HDPE Gas Line

Communities across the United States are currently facing many challenges. Two of these challenges are the creation of new sources of revenue and the proper handling of waste generated at local landfills. more >>

June 2009

HDD Used to Make Fiber Connections in North Dakota

Much has changed since the Dakota Central Rural Telephone Cooperative was formed nearly 70 years ago to provide telephone service to farms in central North Dakota. more >>

Selling Drill Pipe? - You Need to Know the Industry

In the past couple of years, it’s been a challenge to find a good deal on premium or new drill pipe to supply the horizontal directional drilling industry. more >>

Intersecting the Peace River - HDD Used to Install 1,110-m, 42-in. Gas Line in Canada

The intersect method was recently used to directionally drill a 1,110-m section of 42-in. gas line under the Peace River for the North Central Corridor project in northern Alberta, Canada more >>

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

Paying Attention to Your Mud Pump
The industry is in another economic turndown but hopefully not as severe as the last. It is a fine time to look at ways to stretch ones working capital. more >>
May 2009

Tool Selection - For a Successful Finish, Start with the Right Tools

When Brian Kenkel decided the time was right to start his own business, there were several underground drilling contractors already firmly established. more >>

Montana HDD Project Benefits from Custom-Built Rig

Pro Pipe Services, Energy Contract Services and Mears Group Inc. set a high standard in safety, design and planning on a horizontal directional drilling (HDD) project in Billings, Mont. more >>

Locator Technology - What’s the Right Locator for Your Business?

Locating underground utilities is becoming more of a challenge as the vast array of lines in the ground continues to increase. more >>

Swivel with Care - Tips for Keeping Swivels in Top Form

It’s well known that preventative maintenance will reduce costs in your operation — the challenge is making the time to maintain your equipment before there’s a problem. more >>

April 2009

Energy Market Turns to HDD

The demand for energy coupled with rising gasoline prices has led to a boom in oil and gas pipeline construction in North America. more >>

From the Field: Drilling Through the Clay

I receive more phone calls from drillers who are heading out to areas of the country that have clay soils, asking for help. more >>

Drill Master: Other

Remote Steering Road Crossing Application
Most of the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) industry would agree that jobs are not getting easier, particularly in urban areas. more >>
March 2009

HDD on Dubai’s Logo Island

Dubai’s Palm Trilogy is one of the most ambitious engineering ventures ever undertaken. more >>

Mud Maintenance Tips What You Need to Know

In today’s economy, keeping your equipment in tiptop condition is even more critical as budgets continue to shrink. more >>

HDD in Denmark Horizontal Directional

Drilling Successfully Used in Environmentally Sensitive Area more >>

Design Issues for HDD Projects Part 2

Good engineering design demands all relevant issues be addressed in a balanced, rational way. more >>

February 2009

FTTH Market Seizes on HDD to Make Connections

The fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) market is proving to be an economic boon to the compact rig segment of the horizontal directional drilling industry more >>

Crossing Italy’s Po River

The Po River is Italy’s largest river. Flowing west to east, it stretches across northern Italy from the French border to the Adriatic Sea more >>

HDD Design Issues: Hydrofractures

What are the important design issues associated with large diameter HDD projects and how can these issues be addressed? more >>

Drill Master: Other

Rigging Up Maxi Drills
As contractors move up to maxi drills — drills with more than 100,000 lbs of pullback capability — there are several items that need to be decided before the rig ever leaves the yard. more >>
January 2009

Drill Bit Selection: Simplifying the Process

With many choices available today, selecting the proper bit for a particular application can become quite confusing. more >>

HDD: Technology for Overcoming the Natural Environment

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) has become the premier process for installing underground applications, but to do so the HDD process has had to overcome the challenge of minimizing disturbance to natural features. more >>

Island Hopping

Michels Completes Tricky Powerline Installation Under Mississippi River more >>

Stretching the Life of your HDD System

Isn’t it amazing how the ebb and flow of economic cycles can come and go so quickly? more >>



Decemeber 2008

Locators & Vacuum Excavators:

Underground contractors must safely and efficiently identify existing infrastructure. more >>

Gyroscopic-Based Mapping Aids in HDD Utility Installations

A project for a major transit authority was recently undertaken in the western United States more >>

Crossings in Connecticut

Wisconsin Contractor Successfully Completes Challenging HDD Bores for Sewer Project more >>

November 2008

Drilling Fluid Flubs

Drilling fluids have been described as a project’s lifeblood, comparing them to the blood that circulates through a human body. more >>

Getting Greater Penetration When Drilling Horizontally

The residential construction near Washington, D.C., is booming with new developments. more >>

Ground Proves Unsettling for Maintaining Guide

As a utility contractor, you try to prepare for the worst. more >>

October 2008

Michigan Contractor Uses HDD to Keep His Business Rolling

In the 47 years the company has been in business, Selge Construction, Niles, Mich., has built a reputation as one of the most respected utility contractors in the Southwest Michigan-South Bend, Ind. area. more >>

Mud Systems: Use of a Centrifuge Can Play Key Role in Mud Success

Solids control equipment has come a long way in the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) industry over the last 10 years. Mud systems are now considered critical pieces of the drill rig packages and it would seem the next leap is at hand. more >>

Drill Master: Other

Maintaining Emissions Compliant Engines
Owners and operators of late model diesel-powered trucks and off-road equipment are well aware of changing exhaust emission requirements. more >>
August 2008

Canadian Crossing - Two Challenging Crossings Completed in Toronto Using 800,000-lb Rig

Mears Canada Corp. (a division of Mears Group) based out of Nisku Alberta, Canada, recently completed a successful project consisting of two crossings for the installation of a 36-in. steel pipe in Toronto, Canada. more >>

Mud Motors 101 - Five Questions with: Steve Cornwall, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Sharewell LP

Need to buy a mud motor but not sure what size is required for your job? Or what about the common mistakes contractors make when using this HDD tool? more >>

Classic Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Locating Under Water
For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the water crossing will take place using a walkover locating system more >>
July 2008

A Good Direction- The Horizontal Directional Drilling Market is Experiencing a Strong Year

As 2008 continues to quickly roll by, the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) market is keeping pace with projects across North America more >>

Michels Installs Mammoth HDD Crossing in Texas: The 6,000-ft Plus Crossing Involved 42-in. Pipe

Crews from Michels Directional Crossing, a division of Michels Corp., have just successfully installed a record-breaking 42-in., intrastate crossing more >>

Product Profile: Increase Productivity and Decrease Cost When Fusing HDPE Pipe

Improving efficiency, productivity and safety on the jobsite are always important. more >>

June 2008

HDD Intersect- West Coast Intersect Sewer Project Completed

On Nov. 16, 2006, Michels Directional Crossings, a division of Michels Corp., was awarded the Coronado Transbay Sanitary Sewer Force Main project for the City of Coronado, Calif. more >>

Drill Pipe: More Than a Supporting Player on HDD Projects

Drill pipe can be described as the unsung hero of a directional drilling job — not the part of the project that gets the flashy headlines or even a mention of its contribution to the project’s completion.more >>

Induction: An Important Skill for Locators to Learn

Some locators may have been taught to use induction as a last resort and that is what they practice much of the time.more >>

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

You Can Lead a Horse to Water but You Can't Make It Drink
Even though it is only 18 years old, the HDD industry has greatly matured. more >>
April 2008

Drilling Fluids: Tackling HDD Spoil Disposal Issues

The disposal of drill spoils is becoming increasingly difficult for drilling contractors today. more >>

What's Holding Back the Open-Cut Sewer Industry From Using HDD?

This article will address several issues that seem to be holding back the open-excavation sewer industry from going trenchless using HDD. more >>

Prosperous Pipelines

As the population expands, the need for resources increases year after year. more >>

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Planning and Managing HDD Installations
Today’s HDD contractors have some very good planning tools at their disposal. Not surprisingly, you will hear different opinions on why a contractor does not always utilize these tools. more >>

February 2008

Troubleshooting in the Field

You are on location in the middle of a bore and everything seems to be running fine. Then WHAM — you’re down. The inevitable “gloom of doom” overcomes you as your mind is telling you “time is money.” more >>

Pump It Up

In today’s society, we’re always upgrading. Whether it’s super-sizing a value meal at the local fast food restaurant or turning in the modest sedan for a rugged SUV, we’re always pushing to make things bigger and grander. more >>

On-Grade in Granite in Atlanta

It’s not too often that the methods of horizontal directional drilling and pilot-tube microtunneling cross paths in dramatic fashion in one project. But that’s what happened in the City of Atlanta last summer when the best of both trenchless methods were utilized to install a sewer pipe. more >>

City of Dover, Del:

By its sheer nature, you expect a sewer bypass project to be messy. Contractors, engineers and pumping solution specialists continue to team to refine bypass sizing, installation, operation and dismantle into swift, efficient segments. more >>

January 2008

Swivel Talk

As one of the leading manufacturers of HDD pullback swivels, DCD Design & Mfg. Ltd. offers maintenance and purchasing advice. more >>

Meets the Needs of Expanding Communities

Thomas Township, Mich., uses directional drilling to expand its water and wastewater infrastructure to supply a greater capacity for growing communities. more >>

HDD & Fusible PVC Team for a West Virginia Sewer Project

Around the United States, directional drillers are starting to use fusible PVC pipe as part of their HDD projects, learning it is a viable alternative for pipe installation. more >>



December 2007

HDD Gas Project in New York

HDD is used in New York to complete a project located in an enivironmentally sensitive area. more >>

HDD Roundtable: HDD Rates--Fair or Foul?

HDD contractors discuss the directional drilling market for 2008. more >>

Fusible PVC & HDD Forge Successful Project in South Carolina

10-in. diameter fusible PVC pipe was used in this record breaking HDD project. more >>

Drill Master: Other

Interference & What Can Be Done About It
Locating systems for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) are responsible for the directional aspects of this construction method. more >>
November 2007

Drill Master: Other

Imagine a thick chocolate malt with a straw sticking out of the top of the cup. In order for the malt to flow through the straw more >>
October 2007

Purchasing a Mud System?

The top 5 questions to ask before purchasing a mud system. more >>

Operator Comfort

European creature comfort trends reach the United States. more >>

HDD in Florida

City officials of Pinellas Country, Fla. access the need for a new pipeline. more >>

Drill Master: Mud Systems

Three Must Have Tools on a Mud Recycling System
There are three tools that I consider a must have if you are going to run a mud system on your job, that too often are nowhere to be found on a jobsite. more >>
August 2007

Looking to Buy Pre-Owned Equipment?

When deciding to add on to your HDD equipment fleet, the option of purchasing used machines comes into play. Rather than buying a new piece of machinery, many contractors and businesses opt to purchase used — a choice that often proves to be cost-effective and practical to their needs. more >>

Locating & Identifying Utility Lines

Horizontal directional drilling and auger boring contractors are purchasing electro-magnetic locators to verify the utility markings and depth at their jobsite. These locators transmit a radio signal on the metallic utility and a receiver, with antennas mounted inside, pick up the signal aboveground. more >>

June 2007

Canadian Intersect

The rugged eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies contain vast oil and gas reserves. Feeder and transmission pipelines must often traverse the slopes and canyons formed by glaciers and rivers over many millennia. more >>



October 2006

HDD Successfully Used to Install Maine Sewer Pipe

Horizontal directional drilling was the trenchless method selected to upgrade an aging cast iron sewer force main that served the popular coastal town of Ogunquit, Maine — a project that also necessitated some innovative thinking by the contractor handling the job. more >>

Drill Master: Other

Developing a Training Program?
Whether you’re purchasing a new drill or hiring new personnel, as a drilling contractor, training is typically one of your top priorities. more >>
August 2006

HDD Intersect in Florida

Set up two directional drilling stations about 8,400 ft across from each other, start drilling and then meet in the middle to connect the two bores. Sounds simple enough but the key word there is “sounds.” Getting this accomplished takes an incredible amount of careful planning, teamwork and drilling experience. more >>

Mears Canada Completes

Mears Canada recently completed a challenging horizontal directional drilled (HDD) crossing of the Labiche River in the Yukon Territory in Northern Canada. The project was undertaken for Duke Energy Gas Transmission (DEGT) and involved the installation of a replacement crossing of the river for an existing 20-in. high pressure sour gas pipeline. more >>

June 2006

Ohio HDD Rodeo Revival a Success

Technically, it did rain on their parade, but that didn’t stop the drill crews and attendees of the Ohio HDD Rodeo from having a good time. more >>

Crossing Pearl Harbor

The recent attack on Pearl Harbor was not by an enemy, but by hundreds of friendly construction workers contracted to make it a better place to live and work. more >>

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

Buying a Used Pump?
Since the HDD market has improved considerably over the last two years, new rigs and remanufactured equipment are headed back into the field. more >>
April 2006

Mid-range Rigs Continue Growth

The mid-range drill rigs may not be as glamorous as the mini rigs or as spectacular as the maxi rigs, but these machines are considered the workhorses of the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) market. more >>

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Tracking Plastic Pipe
During the industry boom a few years back, a large number of conduits were installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD). more >>
February 2006

HDD Market Forecast

When asking manufacturers and contractors how things are progressing in the HDD market over the past several years, it hasn’t been a fun topic. Sales were slow, work was scarce and spirits were low. more >>

Michels Goes Under Seaway, Over Record

It’s like a word problem. You know the one: Two trains on the same track leave at different times, one from the north and one from the south, where will they intersect? more >>

Drill Master: Other

Drill Pipe: Handle with Care
With the recent increase in drill pipe replacement for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) units, now is a good time to review the techniques for proper use and maintenance of the entire drill string. more >>


December 2005

Drilling Rock in Virginia

The recent attack on Pearl Harbor was not by an enemy, but by hundreds of friendly construction workers contracted to make it a better place to live and work. more >>

Tough Rock Encountered in Texas

When Nebraska-based contractor Georges Specialty Group (GSG) started an extensive fiber-optic project last year in the City of Carrollton, Texas, the ground conditions it dealt with were extremely different from those its crews work with in its home state. more >>

Drill Master: Other

Back to the Basics — Pitch & Roll
An HDD machine is a complex combination of mechanical and electronic systems and every directional drilling installation depends on all systems functioning smoothly. more >>
October 2005

Mud Recycling Systems Operating & Maintenance Tips

Mud recycling systems in general are fairly simple units to operate but there are some items that need to be watched and maintained in order to to keep your system running smoothly. The following are some suggestions and tips in order to get the most out of you mud recycling system: more >>

HDD Used as Part of Chilled Water System Replacement in Missouri

The year 2005 has been a big one for both celebrating the old and welcoming the new at Missouri State University. The university, located in Springfield, Mo., is in the midst of centennial celebrations and in August, dropped the longstanding “Southwest” from its name. more >>

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

HDD Risk Reduction
Many contractors are often a victim of what they call the “I’ve done a shot like this before” syndrome. So corners end up getting cut and risk on the job starts from that moment on. more >>
August 2005

Looking at the Maxi Rig Market

After several status quo years of work, the maxi rig market appears to have stumbled a bit in 2005 — at least in regard to rig sales — with those in the industry attributing the drop off in large diameter work to a sluggish gas and oil pipeline market. more >>

One-Pass HDD Installation

In January, a 720-ft, 24-in., DIPS HDPE sanitary sewer line was installed using horizontal directional drilling in Corunna, Ontario, Canada. The entire project took about five days to complete. more >>

Electronic Drill Master: GPR

GPR: An Important Tool for Damage Prevention
Damage prevention is still not an exact science, but locating strategies, tools and processes are helping to reduce the possibility of damage during utility installations. more >>
June 2005

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

What You See Is What You Get?
There are several reasons to be testing the properties of drilling fluid: verification, maintenance and troubleshooting. more >>
April 2005

Mid-Size Rigs Making Their Move

more >>

HDD Helps to Expand a Municipal Water System in Thunder Bay, Ontario

The City of Thunder Bay, situated on the rugged north shore of Lake Superior, is home for approximately 130,000 residents. In 1970, the City was created through the amalgamation of the former Cities of Port Arthur and Fort William. more >>

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

What to Consider When Purchasing a Locating System
Alocating system is an integral part of the HDD process and it represents a substantial investment, ranging from about $10,000 to $20,000. more >>
February 2005

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

Pump Efficiency
I am often asked if the viscosity of the drilling fluid affects the efficiency of a positive displacement, single-acting, reciprocating pump. more >>


December 2004

Electronic Drill Master: Other

GPS and Fleet Management
As most contractors know, the cost and time required to maintain and manage equipment is one of major activities that do not directly generate revenue for the business. more >>
August 2004

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Interference & HDD Locating Systems
Depth, direction, pitch and roll are the most basic information displayed by all directional drilling receivers. more >>
June 2004

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

Pump Efficiency
I am often asked if the viscosity of the drilling fluid affects the efficiency of a positive displacement, single-acting, reciprocating pump. more >>
April 2004

Electronic Drill Master: Bore Planning

Planning a Bore?
Because of their familiarity with the HDD process, workers have, in some instances, found shortcuts to bore planning procedures in order to cut their pre-bore time. more >>
February 2004

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

Universal Formula?
The following happens as the pump crankshaft makes one complete revolution: As the piston or plunger moves away from the pumping chamber (i.e. suction stroke), the liquid within the pumping chamber expands and the chamber pressure falls. more >>


December 2003

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Locate--Expose and Monitor
Underground utilities and the HDD industry have mixed liked oil and water since the industry's inception. more >>
October 2003

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

Shopping for a Used Pump?
In the past months, I have received numerous calls regarding used pumps.more >>
August 2003

Electronic Drill Master: GPR

Keys to GPR System Selection
In the April 2003 issue of Trenchless Technology, Christopher Proulx of TBE Group Inc. discussed the evolution of ground penetrating radar (GPR) as a tool for the detection of subsurface infrastructure. more >>
June 2003

Drill Master: Mud Systems

Lost Circulation Material LCM
Loss of returns, flow or circulation can be a problem in HDD installations. more >>
April 2003

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

HDD Locating -- Knowing the Basics
Locating is an integral part of any horizontal directional drilling operation, but is often viewed as the black magic part of the operation, since many people do not fully understand how the locating system functions. more >>
February 2003

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

Viscosity: Friend or Foe?
Viscosity can be a misunderstood drilling fluid property when horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is concerned. more >>


December 2002

Electronic Drill Master: Other

Electronics & Asset Management
Today more than ever, excellent management of an HDD company is needed in order to be in the black at the end of the year. more >>
August 2002

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Patience is the Key in Locating Gravity Sewer Bores
The preparation for a gravity sewer bore will sometimes take longer than the actual bore. All of the HDD locating manufacturing companies will first stress patience. more >>
June 2002

Drill Master: Other

Understanding Bend Radius
One of the most important aspects of any HDD project is the planning that goes on before the job is started. more >>
April 2002

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Understanding Calibration
What happens at calibration and what is being calibrated are two of the more commonly misunderstood aspects of a locating system. more >>
February 2002

Drill Master: Other

Making the Exit Side a Safer Place to Work
Either you have had the unfortunate personal experience of, or could imagine the dangers of, the common practice of using a pipe wrench and backhoe to unscrew a threaded tool or pipe connection on the exit side of an HDD bore. more >>


December 2001

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Damage Prevention, Project Planning and Locating
Construction professionals understand the importance of not damaging buried utilities while performing any type of new construction and maintenance work. more >>
October 2001

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

The Relationship Between the Mud Motor & the Mud Pump
A mud motor is no more effective than the volume of fluid that is pumped through it, which generates power. If the mudflow is on the low side of specifications, the mud motor will have low bit speed and a slower penetration rate.more >>
August 2001

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Protecting the Transmitter While Rock Drilling
It was virtually unthinkable to drill solid rock eight to 10 years ago with a mid-size or smaller HDD machine.more >>
June 2001

Drill Master: Mud Systems

Monitoring Your Solids
There is more solids removal equipment used in the HDD industry today than ever before. This is causing some problems. more >>
April 2001

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Locating Under Water
For the purposes of this article, we will assume that the water crossing will take place using a walkover locating system. more >>
February 2001

Drill Master: Other

The Technology Quest
Electronics continue to shape the way we live and work. The Internet has revolutionized the way we receive our information, and e-mail has forever changed the way we communicate. more >>


December 2000

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Monitoring What's Down There
With HDD being recognized as the preferred method of installing underground utilities over the past couple of years, the number of jobs being completed using HDD has skyrocketed. more >>
October 2000

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

What's the Problem?
The main problem with problem solving can be the identification of the problem. This, in many cases, may lie with the information we have at our disposal. more >>
August 2000

Electronic Drill Master: Bore Planning

How to Plan a Proper Bore
How many times have we been out on a directional boring job and our locator is just not acting properly? more >>
June 2000

Drill Master: Mud Systems

Shaking it Up
As more and more contractors are discovering the strong economics of recovering, cleaning and reusing boring fluids, there is a need for them to understand how and why cleaning systems work. more >>
April 2000

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Interference: The Invisible Obstacle
Depth, direction, pitch and roll are the most basic information displayed by all directional drilling receivers. more >>
February 2000

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

Drilling Fluids With Solids Removal Systems
As more utility contractors are moving up to larger rigs, they are also moving toward the use of solids removal (solids control) systems. more >>


December 1999

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

What's Next For Locating Technology
In the past few years, there has been incredibly innovative technological advancements in the horizontal directional drilling industry. more >>
October 1999

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

Plunger Mud Pumps vs. Piston Mud Pumps
The mud pump used on most directional boring machines is either of the piston/liner or plunger/packing technology. more >>
August 1999

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Pitch & Roll: Keys to Tracking
A modern horizontal directional drilling machine is a combination of several different systems, and every directional drilling installation depends on all systems functioning smoothly. more >>
June 1999

Drill Master: Tooling

Pushing Forward -- An Inventive Method of Reaming
We all know what back reaming is-make a bore, remove the bit, install a back reamer or hole opener and ream back to the boring machine. more >>
April 1999

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

Locating's True Depths
It is often debated whether the locator or the drill operator is in charge of directionally drilling a pilot hole. The truth is that they are both responsible. more >>
February 1999

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

Drilling Fluid Properties
Bentonite-based drilling fluids are used in both vertical and horizontal drilling. The desirable drilling fluid properties, however, are different. more >>


December 1998

Drill Master: Tooling

Getting the Most From Your Directional Mud Motor
Directional mud motors are the most proven and common method utilized by HDD contractors to complete installations in hard rock formations. more >>
October 1998

Drill Master: Mud Systems

The Dollars & Sense of Mud Recovery and Cleaning
The benefits of pumping greater volumes of fluid (mud) while boring are rapidly gaining favor from most horizontal directional drilling contractors. more >>
August 1998

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

Fluid Volumes -- How Much is Enough?
There seems to be a certain amount of confusion about the role of drilling fluids in horizontal directional drilling, especially under roads, streets and highways. more >>
June 1998

Drill Master: Other

Taking Care of Business
In a short time, some drilling contractors have grabbed hold of the technology and are making really good money. more >>
April 1998

Electronic Drill Master: Locating

What to Consider When Purchasing a Locating System
Alocating system is an integral part of the HDD process and it represents a substantial investment, ranging from about $10,000 to $20,000. more >>
February 1998

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

Four-Square Drilling
When a contractor calls about a drilling fluid problem, he's sometimes surprised when we seem to ask questions about what seems to be everything except drilling fluid. more >>


October 1997

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

While We're Making Things Cleaner for a Better Tomorrow -- Let's Not Leave Out Mud
One of the hot new topics in the horizontal directional drilling industry today is fluids recirculation and reclamation. more >>
August 1997

Drill Master: Mud Pumps

How to Poison a Pump
Expendables such as valves, plungers, packing, pistons and liners are exactly that: expendable. Over time these items will wear out and will need to be replaced. more >>
May 1997

Drill Master: Other

Electronic Equipment in HDD
In recent years the advancement of technology in the electronics field has made electronic equipment the key element in the viability of directional drilling. more >>
February 1997

Drill Master: Tooling

Why Are Reamers Like Pocket Knives?
Reamers and pocket knives are both cutting tools with about as many sizes, shapes and descriptive names for one as the other. more >>


May 1996

Drill Master: Drilling Fluids

You Might Not Be Stuck After All -- You Might Be the Latest Victim of Hydrolock!
You're in the middle of a backream operation and everything is going well. You lose flow. Gradually your reverse thrust pressures increase until you run out of pulling power. more >>