Horizontal Directional Drilling: Choose the Right Blade for the Job

When using the horizontal directional drilling technique to create trenches for your building's pipes and conduits, choosing the right blades is a critical part of the process. The right blades will increase the success rate of the process and reduce downtime that occurs when drilling tools break down. However, there is more to getting the right blade than making sure that it matches the drilling rig. Here are useful tips that will help you select the right blades for the directional drilling project.

Assess the ground on your site

Ground conditions on the site determine the blade that will be best suited for the job. Note that using the wrong tool will get the job done, but you will end up wasting a lot of precious time and energy. In this light, determine whether the ground is hard, compact, or soft. If hard, you need a blade with a sharp, pointed end that will penetrate the compact soil easily. This kind of blade will also help with penetration as you change from the vertical to the horizontal direction. On the other hand, if the soil is soft, go for a blade with a large surface area as it will help as you change directions. Using a sharp drill in soft ground will not be effective as the blade won't be able to facilitate the drill's directional changes.

Consider your pullback

The pullback operation is the last step in horizontal directional drilling, and it involves placing the pipe or conduit into the drilled hole. In fact, the success of this project primarily depends on how the pullback goes. If the diameter of the trench doesn't match that of the conduit, you cannot install the product. That is why you need to ensure that the blade diameter is correctly matched to the diameter of the product you want to lay into the trench. In this light, also ensure that the blade has adequate carbide cutters to protect it from unnecessary wear during the pullback operation.

Don't forget the transmitter housing

The transmitter housing is a critical component in a drill string. If it gets worn during directional drilling, your project will have to come to a halt. Unfortunately, if you don't choose a blade with the ideal diameter, the transmitter housing will be exposed to wear. Since the transmitter housing is more expensive than the blade, it is only logical that you protect it during drilling. Choose a blade whose diameter is sufficiently larger than the transmitter housing. Even if the blade wears out, the housing will still be protected.

Contact a company like Rock On Ground if you are having a hard time choosing the best blade for your drilling project.