Directional Drilling by Trackson Horizontal Drilling

Trackson’s specialise in end-to-end project management of directional drilling contracts for the communications, water, electricity and gas industries.

Urban horizontal directional drilling

Horizontal directional drilling in a built-up area

Horizontal directional drilling is used extensively for the installation, relocation and reinstallation of cables and pipes as it minimises disruption to surface operations and structures.

There are many benefits of horizontal drilling:

  • Preservation of environmentally protected vegetation and historically or environmentally significant sites as the only visible surface disruption is at point of entry and point of exit
    (after ‘length shot’ has been completed);
  • Avoidance of reinstatement costs as surface area and above surface structures are disrupted minimally, if at all;
  • Minimisation of traffic disruptions, as well as removing the need to obtain permits from traffic authorities and traffic control;
  • Superior public safety management than exposed trenching;
  • It is ideally suited for product installation in which watercourses are an issue as pipes and cables can be installed under rivers and waterways, eliminating the need for cabling
    attachment to bridges and minimising the need for additional pipe infrastructure;
  • Directional maneuverability prevents disruption to existing underground services.

What Is Directional Boring or Drilling?

Directional boring, also known as directional drilling, is a process of installing underground services without  trenching it is an efficient and professional method widely used in many developed and developing countries.

Proven to be faster, more cost effective and definitely less disruptive to surface activities; directional  boring is a welcome technology  whether installing utilities in the city, rural areas, parks or major infrastructure.

How Directional Boring Is Achieved

Directional Drilling in a Built-up Area

Trackson horizontal drill rig at work near Cooktown

The process is handled by three experienced and well trained operators. The machinery is equipped with digital control panels and is operated by one operator to launch the drill rod into the surface.

Meanwhile, the locator with the directional guidance tracker coordinates with the machine operator to guide and steer the drill rod along a predetermined route as it bores underground to the required distance.

At the end of the bore, a back reamer is  attached to the drill rod and pulled back together with the materials to be installed, e.g. pipes, cables and conduits.

This is a highly sophisticated system of accurate, controlled boring allowing precise guidance of the drilling operation to avoid pre-located underground obstacles and existing services.

What Can Directional Drilling Achieve?

D330 Drill Rig Boring

D330 Drill rig boring across the Norman River for a new water main for Normanton township

Ability to lay up to distances of 300-400 meters in a single bore.

Capable of boring up to 900mm in diameter with a capacity to pull back  multiple conduits in one bore.

It is surface launched and can be tracked down to a depth of 10 meters below the surface.

Directional boring gives people and the environment the convenience and protection of an otherwise polluted and sloppy  work site.

As directional drilling is one of our core capabilities, we have acquired, operate and maintain a dedicated fleet of specialised Vermeer drilling machines.

Capabilities range from the small ‘D7x11’, suitable for working in restricted space, with a maximum bore length (before surfacing) of approximately 100m, to the large scale ‘D330x500’ which is able to bore in excess of 1200m without resurfacing until 1.5km. Our equipment includes four drills capable of drilling through rock, which are ideal for remote area projects.

JRLMT has nine full crews with three spare drills to meet the directional drilling requirements of the business. The crews are complete with fully qualified drill plant operators and drill rigs. In-house plant and equipment servicing and maintenance enables us to provide an end-to-end, efficient and high quality solution to directional drilling contracts.

By Ken Wilder


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