Horizontal Directional Drilling: Utility and Pipeline Applications

Chapter 5: HDD Installation

5.1 Installation Basics

All HDD installation work should be performed according to the design documents and in accordance with any permit agency requirements. Before beginning construction activities the HDD contractor should become familiar with the work area and the technical requirements of the project plans. The project limits and controls should be identified by marking or staking prior to any construction to indicate the HDD entry and exit locations and the proposed HDD alignment, using no greater than 50-foot intervals. The desired location for the entry and exit points should be established after the geotechnical and topographical surveys. When choosing the relative locations of the entry and exit points, it is important to note that steering precision and drilling effectiveness are greater close to the drilling rig. Where possible, the entry point should be located close to anticipated adverse subsurface conditions.

Regardless of the planning effort, sometimes it is not possible to fit all the required HDD drilling and support equipment at the drill rig launch area. This limitation can be overcome by locating nonessential tools, parts, equipment, and supplies offsite and delivering them to the work area as needed. While this approach is frequently used, it usually results in reduced project efficiency, which means higher project costs. It is important for a HDD project s success that the planners try to provide adequate workspace. It is also important that the bidder or contractor confirm that the workspace is acceptable for the plans and the equipment they are intending to use.

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