Horizontal Directional Drilling

Home » Services » Horizontal Directional Drilling

HDD, is a steerable trenchless method of installing underground pipes, conduits and cables in a shallow arc along a prescribed bore path by using a surface-launched drilling rig, with minimal impact on the surrounding area. It is used when trenching or excavating is not practical. Directional drilling is suitable for a variety of soil conditions and jobs including road, landscape and river crossings. Benefits include:

  • Less invasive than the traditional open cut
  • Surface disruption is minimized
  • More secure than above ground or trenched installations
  • Can make deep installations and avoid surface obstacles such as rivers, railways, or highways

Utility, power and pipeline companies responsible for the installation and maintenance of conduits, cable and pipelines face the task of complying with varying regulations governing safety, quality and environmental concerns. Our staff of specialized management and staff personnel provides clients with a sole-source solution ensuring the design and implementation of their directional drilling projects meet those challenges. Ranger Directional keeps the owner apprised of all activity throughout the entire project, making sure the goals and expectations of all parties stay mutually compliant. We have the expertise and experience to drill lengths up to 11,000 feet and install pipe up to 40” in diameter in all types of soil conditions. 

HDD Process

The process starts with receiving hole and entrance pits. The first stage drills a pilot hole on the designed path, and the second stage (reaming) enlarges the hole by passing a larger cutting tool known as the back reamer. The reamer's diameter depends on the size of the pipe to be pulled back through the bore hole. The third stage places the product or casing pipe in the enlarged hole by way of the drill stem; it is pulled behind the reamer to allow centering of the pipe in the newly reamed path.

Pilot Hole Drilling

  • Drilling begins with a pilot hole from the surface on one side of the obstacle to be crossed. Drilling follows a designed profile below and beyond the obstacle to exit at the surface on the other side.

Hole Enlargement

  • The second phase entails the reaming of the pilot hole to a diameter sufficiently large enough to accept the pipeline or conduit.

Pull Back

  • Finally the pipeline or conduit is pulled into place within the enlarged hole.

Intersect HDD Installations

Intersect HDD installations are utilized when conditions (soil, length) are not suitable for a single drilling rig to perform the bore. Two directional drilling rigs work from opposite ends of the project site and drill toward each other.  Utilizing a precision underground magnetic tracking device, they are guided to a pre-determined distance from each other. The primary drilling rig then proceeds toward the secondary rig as it retreats. The primary rig’s drill string is then steered into the vacated borehole created by the retreating secondary drill string creating a continuous singe borehole. Next, the borehole is reamed to allow the product pipe to be pulled through.