Horizontal Directional Drilling: Cost of Downtime and How to Avoid It – from Melfred Borzall
There are a lot of factors that impact the complexity and difficulty of modern horizontal directional drilling. Cost can be affected by local requirements, government regulations and other widely-varying factors that every contractor needs to consider before accepting a job. Some of the factors that could impact the profitability of a project include:
- Transportation costs
- Crew availability
- Environmental issues
- Equipment prices
However, there is one thing that has consistently improved during the rise of HDD as the premier technology for trenchless underground construction: the actual time it takes to complete a pilot bore and pullback. In fact, many experts estimate that the bore itself accounts for less than half of the time it takes to do a job, in large part because HDD technology and tooling has gotten better and more accurate. Instead, a lot of time is used in the planning process — locating existing utilities, surveying ground conditions, coordinating with local authorities and more. As such, the time it takes for the actual drilling is one of the few things in contractors’ control, meaning downtime could be detrimental to the job’s profitability.