The resulting waste mud and fluids from the hydro excavation process can be effectively managed, making life easier for drilling operators and creating possible new revenue streams.
Successful collaboratio: Tapping partners’ expertise critical to success for Ontario HDD project
As the old saying goes, “two heads are better than one.” Nowhere is this truer than in the world of HDD, where technology and infinite job site variables make even the simplest bores unique. Having a trusted source to consult for ideas and solutions gives contractors a decided advantage.
That’s exactly how Tyler Gordon approached a recent job outside the community of Orleans, Ontario. Gordon, a 16-year HDD veteran with Greely, Ontario-based Marathon Drilling Company, Ltd., tapped the expertise of Marc St.-Onge of HDD Plus, Inc.
Privately-held Marathon Drilling received a contract from the City of Ottawa to install 600 metres (2,000 feet) of high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) in Orleans. The 107-cm (42-inch) final product was part of an 8-kilometre (5-mile) secondary water feeder system intended to meet water service demands of a growing sub-division.
The bore plan
After reviewing the project, Gordon observed that the bore contained sticky clay, typical of the area. The path of the bore was straight-forward, with uneventful steering and elevation changes. The job site was tightly nestled between a commercial complex parking lot and a highway. Maintaining easement and dealing with soil conditions in this area were not new challenges for Gordon.
As with any HDD job, this one contained a couple of issues that had to be addressed. The first was environmental. Contained within the 600-metre bore path were three crossings, including Rockcliff Parkway Road crossing two creeks.
One of the creek crossings was an environmental concern to Ottawa city planners. “The Green’s Creek crossing required extra attention,” explained Gordon. “This particular creek is a tributary feeding the Ottawa River, so we had to come up with a bore plan to eliminate the possibility of drilling fluid intrusion caused by frack-out into Green’s Creek.” Following an environmental study, the bore path was specified to place the bore at a depth of at least 10 metres under the Green’s Creek bed. This depth was critical to prevent intrusion into the protected waterway.
The second issue Gordon faced was the sheer size of the utility to be installed. “One of the biggest challenges in completing the bore was the size of the pipe. At 42-inches OD – combined with the clay soil – I knew we had to have large machines turning a series of large-diameter reamers,” recounts Gordon.
Marathon Drilling committed two rigs for the job: a Ditch Witch JT8020 and a Vermeer D330x500. The JT8020 was tapped to perform the pilot hole and 16-inch pre-ream. The D330x500, equipped with 5.5-inch IF Full Hole drill pipe, was specified to supply the 2,884 litres per minute (762 gallons per minute) of mud that was to be used on the bore. A 3,785 litre per minute (1,000 gallon per minute) mud recycler was added to the mix to handle the large projected mud volumes.
It’s good to have friends
Having specified the necessary rigs, Gordon turned to the critical issue of tooling. For that, he reached out to Marc St.- Onge, owner of HDD Plus, Inc. Based in Les Cedres, Quebec. St.-Onge’s extensive knowledge of local geology and tooling was instrumental in matching soil conditions with the reamers for the job.
“The soils along the bore path were not necessarily hard,” says St.-Onge, “but, it was clear from the very beginning it was going to be a challenge to flow cuttings out of the hole.” St.-Onge knew that keeping the cuttings flowing was key in stopping the reactive clay from swelling. Also, maintaining the easement on the bore would be difficult due to the need to make multiple reamer passes.
From that point, the pair spent considerable time weighing reamer options. Early in the process, StraightLineHDD reamers emerged as a leading contender for the job. St.-Onge and Gordon were both familiar with StraightLine reamers.
“I’ve had success using StraightLine reamers in the past and actually had a 16-inch StraightLine reamer sitting in the shop from another job,” said Gordon.
As the list of reamer options narrowed, St.-Onge contacted StraightLineHDD’s technical sales specialist, Lorenzo Chapman, to validate their assumptions. According to St.-Onge, StraightLine had come through in the past when tooling was required for a specific job application.
“Lorenzo has over 10 years’ HDD technical experience. I knew he’d be a great asset when Tyler and I sat down to analyze the tooling needed for the multiple passes required to accomplish the bore.”
During the course of the discussions, all parties focused on the need to avoid frack-outs and fluid management. A consensus quickly emerged that an aggressive, open-bodied reamer design was needed to mix and shear the high volumes of drilling mud.
Again, Gordon and St.-Onge tapped the expertise of StraightLineHDD to help solve the issue. “In my business, part of my job is to connect my clients to vendors that not only have the right products for the job, but are also willing to apply their expertise to the problem at hand,” says St.-Onge.
After reviewing the details of the bore, the StraightLine team went to work. The company’s Reverse Radial Flow reamers were selected, in 24-, 36-, 48- and 54-inch diameters, to perform the initial reaming passes. To stabilize the cutters during the initial passes, 22-and 34-inch Maxi-Barrel reamers were specified to follow each Reverse Radial Flow. Finally, a 54-inch Reverse Radial Flow, followed by a 46-inch Maxi Barrel was selected to handle pipe installation.
According to Gordon, the Reverse Radial Flow reamer’s aggressive cutters and large fluid ports – in both push- and pull-back – combined with its freeflowing, open-bodied design, provided the cutting and mixing performance required. Running the barrel reamers in tandem with the Reverse Radial Flows gave the Marathon crew the flexibility to deliver high volumes of drilling fluid, while providing vital wall stability.
Over a five-week period, the Marathon crew conducted the progressive reaming process. Each pass was carefully pulled and pushed to ensure that the hole was being prepared for the next step. From Gordon’s perspective, even with the multiple reams and the heavy burden associated with the fluid management, the payback was a picture perfect pullback process and a project that ran about as smooth as any he’d been involved with.
“I can’t peg any single factor that resulted in the smooth installation process,” said Gordon. “But I do think that several factors combined. We started with a great plan. We also had great partners in HDDPLUS and StraightLineHDD.”
And while the residents of Orleans might never give it much thought when they turn on the water tap, the water that’s feeding this growing community came about because a manufacturer, supplier and a contractor “played” on the same team to achieve a common goal.
More from Horizontal Directional Drilling
The rise in underground utility projects is good news for contractors across the country. However, whether it be due to fiber build-out or aging infrastructure replacement, this growth requires underground utility contractors to find and employ more horizontal directional drill (HDD) operators. This demand has resulted in a shortage of qualified, skilled and confident operators in the underground construction industry.
Vermeer's new Navigator horizontal directional drill designed to deliver in rocky, congested environments
The new Vermeer D23x30DR S3 Navigator horizontal directional drill (HDD) integrates dual-rod technology into a compact machine design to efficiently maneuver through rock in congested cities, busy neighborhoods or tight jobsites. Featuring a class-leading narrow footprint and a weight of 16,500 pounds (7,484 kg), the D23x30DR S3 is the lightest rock drill on the market and is well suited for fibre, electrical, gas and water installation in hard rock, as well as other challenging ground conditions.
More than 50 percent of reported underground utility damages are the result of insufficient excavation practices according to the 2017 DIRT Report. The Ditch Witch organization, a Charles Machine Works Company, has introduced an industry-first Virtual Reality (VR) Simulator to better prepare horizontal directional drill (HDD) operators for safe underground construction through cutting-edge training technology.
The Ditch Witch organization, a Charles Machine Works Company, has updated its line of fluid management systems to increase productivity and reduce costs on horizontal directional drilling (HDD) jobsites. These advanced models incorporate new design features to meet the highest standards for jobsite productivity, improved drilling fluid flow, increased durability, and faster mixing cycles and yield times.
Technical Toolboxes, a global provider of integrated and cloud-based pipeline software, consulting and industry training for pipeline engineering and technical professionals, has launched its new Horizontal Directional Drilling PowerTool (HDDPT).
Sandvik has acquired privately-owned Inrock, a supplier of rock drilling tools and services for Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) in North America. Headquartered in Houston, TX, Inrock is a market leader in pilot hole bits, reamers, guidance systems, accessories and services for the premium maxi rig segment within HDD.
MTI Equipment, a Charles Machine Works Company, recently completed construction of their new facility in North Port, Florida. Moving from their longtime location in Englewood, company officials say the new facility carries a larger inventory, offers improved service capabilities and is more conveniently located for customers.
HammerHead Trenchless, a Charles Machine Works company, has promoted three of its top personnel to newly created management positions. HammerHead President Kevin Smith said the new positions are part of an internal expansion initiative that strengthens the company's existing focus on customers and users.
Designed and tested with the help of small bore contractors, the Radius HDD Over-Bit Reamer easily attaches to an existing rock bit without breaking a single connection. The Radius Over-Bit Reamer only needs 16 inches of clearance. With the pilot tool still attached, the sonde can be used to track progress through tight easements during pullback. The Radius Over-Bit Reamer is available in 6- and 8-inch sizes with a variety of cutting styles.
Two of the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) industry's leading equipment and tooling manufacturers, Vermeer Corporation and Mincon Group PLC, have formed a distribution alliance to expand contractors' access to quality rock tooling worldwide. As part of the agreement, Vermeer dealers are now the exclusive channel for Mincon HDD air hammer systems, HDD pull reaming hammers and HDD support equipment, including HDD support stations and oilers.
Vermeer expands its line of utility installation equipment with the launch of the D8x12 Navigator horizontal directional drill. This new compact and highly productive drill is sized for working in tight spaces, features straightforward controls and delivers quiet operation. With two drill rod options for added versatility, the Vermeer D8x12 is well suited for small service installations, including gas distribution, power, water and telecommunication networks.
The Ditch Witch organization, a Charles Machine Works Company, has released an advanced version of their industry-first, web-based tool that helps customers be more efficient and reduce downtime by quickly finding the service parts they need. The Ditch Witch Parts Lookup gives customers easy access to detailed parts information and a direct line of communication to dealerships for part verification and pick-list creation.
The longest horizontal directional drilled (HDD) installation of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe in the United States and Canada was recognized as Project of the Year by the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI). The award was presented to PPI member company ISCO Industries at the association's annual membership meeting in May 2017. PPI is the major North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry,
StraightLine HDD announced the addition of multiple pipe sizes to its growing offering of in-stock drill pipe. The product expansion more than doubles the number of available Vermeer-compatible pipe and adds three common Ditch Witch-compatible pipe sizes.
TT Technologies' redesigned Grundopit pit-launched mini directional drill is well suited for difficult fiber-to-the-home and utility service line installations in tight working conditions. The unit is compact, 54 inches long, 43 inches wide and 57 inches tall. The Grundopit delivers 13,489 lbs. of thrust and pull back and 553 ft. lbs. of torque with bore length up to 150 feet. The Grundopit is an ideal entry-level system for utilities, cable industries or as a supplement to larger units.
Utility and underground contractors have a new solution to save time and streamline operations with the introduction of the innovative Toro DD2226 directional drill.
Pipeline and utility contractors attending the 2017 International Utility and Construction Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in Louisville, Kentucky, were first to see the newly released American Augers M-300D HDD fluid cleaning system. Based on American Augers' successful, highly portable M-200 platform, the M-300 system's small trailer size lowers registration and excise tax requirements while supporting any make of 60- to 100-ton drill unit with a true 300 gpm fluid-cleaning capability.
HammerHead Trenchless, a Charles Machine Works company, introduced its new 22-ton, radio remote-controlled HydroGuide® HG2200 cable winch at the 2017 International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in Louisville, Kentucky. The HG2200 completes the HammerHead line of next-generation winches designed for maximum efficiency and ease-of-use in pipe-bursting, slip-lining and pipe-slitting applications.
Ditch Witch offers next generation AT40 all terrain directional drill optimizes downhole performance in hard rock
To enhance utility contractors' efficiency while drilling and steering in hard rock, Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, has released the new AT40 All Terrain horizontal directional drill (HDD). The machine features an advanced, two-pipe All Terrain drilling system that provides 33 percent more torque than competitive units. The newly optimized All Terrain drilling system includes multiple patent-pending designs that improve downhole operation. An inner-rod design provides a flush system that improves tool-joint durability and steering in hard rock conditions. To further improve steering and optimize fluid flow, a reliable All Terrain connection reduces the risk of collar damage.
DITCH WITCH unveils enhanced, next generation underground construction equipment, parts and technology at ICUEE
The Ditch Witch organization, a Charles Machine Works company, is planning to unveil a wide variety of new and enhanced underground construction equipment, parts, tools, and technology—all designed to boost productivity at the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) Oct. 3-5 in Louisville, Kentucky.
The spring 2017 acquisition of Armadrillco solidified StraightLine HDD's position as a leader in hard condition tooling. The announcement today of the adaption of the patented Armadrillco transmitter housing to the RockEye Hammer System is a significant step in diffusing Armadrillco technology throughout StraightLine HDD tooling platforms.
StraightLine HDD recently expanded its hole opener offering with the introduction of the XL-I Series. Designed from the ground up for horizontal directional drilling, the XL-I Series is positioned as a cost-effective alternative to "split-bit" hole openers.
Success in the HDD business is about more than boring a stable hole and completing a successful pullback. It's about running your entire HDD operation like a well-oiled machine. Here are five ways we've seen successful HDD companies make businesses function more smoothly and create lasting success, followed by an example of what to look for in on specific type of tool, the backreamer.
Ditch Witch has introduced the new Rock MonsterHD backreamers to help today's horizontal directional drilling (HDD) operators improve drilling performance in hard rock conditions.
Utilities and underground industry contractors have a new tool to increase productivity with the launch of Toro’s new directional drill operating system, TDOS-1 with SmartTouch. The new system allows pipe handling functions to be performed using a single input on the joystick in SmartTouch operating mode.
StraightLine HDD, Inc. announced the implementation of an upgrade to its popular Performix Mud Mix System. At the heart of the Performix System is the centrifugal pump, which generates the best laminar flow in the industry. The performance pump now features an upgraded silicon-carbide shaft seal. Compared to traditional ceramic seals, the new seal represents a considerable advancement in resiliency when subjected to the highly abrasive elements present in mud mixing. In field testing, silicon carbide seals improve service life by a factor of three,over ceramic seals.
Vermeer has bolstered its line of HDD tooling and accessories with the addition of the Silver Series drill rod. Building on the tradition of it's acclaimed Firestick drill rod, Silver Series drill rod gives contractors a quality aftermarket drill rod at an economic price.
To equip utility contractors with the latest technology for optimal drilling productivity, Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, has added the innovative new JT40 horizontal directional drill (HDD) to its fleet of drills.
In the fall of 2016, drilling contractor PPI Chrobok S.A. installed two new gas pipelines in Poland. The alignment runs along existing gas lines and through geologically challenging terrain. With the laying of the 700 and 464-meter-long pipelines, Herrenknecht's Direct Pipe technology was used in Poland for the first time.
Ditch Witch has introduced the JT10 horizontal directional drill (HDD) providing operators with exceptional power in a compact, reliable platform. For superior productivity, the machine incorporates advanced features found on larger units while remaining the most compact drill in its class.
Today’s horizontal directional drilling (HDD) operators face plenty of challenges on large installation projects, including difficult terrain and tough soil conditions. To provide operators with the power and performance to conquer any job, Ditch Witch has introduced Tier 4 emission standard upgrades to the JT60 and JT60 All Terrain directional drills.
For operators who need the power to drill through the toughest conditions, including solid rock, Ditch Witch has upgraded the JT100 and JT100 All Terrain horizontal directional drills (HDD) to Tier 4 emission standards.
Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, has introduced the Air Saber lance, a new excavation accessory for the company’s FXT air-excavator equipment line.
Ditch Witch, has introduced the new Prospector Nozzle for better productivity on hydroexcavation jobs. Operating at 3,000 psi, the nozzle helps operators conquer the toughest challenges while boosting performance by 30 percent compared to similar nozzles on the market today.
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. Your equipment will only continue to work properly if you take the time to perform simple routine maintenance.
They are two words no contractor or municipal engineer wants to hear: cross bore. A cross bore is what happens when one underground utility intersects another. Most worrying is when a gas line punches through a sewer main or lateral. Cross bore risk has risen with the use of trenchless technologies like horizontal directional drilling, because the operator can’t physically see what’s in the immediate vicinity of the drill bit.