2009 A Bumpy Road But Bright Future Awaits HDD

11th Annual HDD Survey
By Robert Carpenter, Editor | June 2009 Vol. 64 No. 6

Education also is another challenge cited by many survey respondents. It is important to “Convince owners that HDD costs are justified over open cut methods . . .” stressed this Northeast contractor. “Educating the public is critical,” added a Midwest contractor. Other challenges frequently cited by respondents include spoil removal and environmental issues, liability insurance, finding and retaining competent personnel, improved utility locating and overcoming the poor quality work from previous projects.

Overall, positive attitudes and expanding opportunities are how most contractors view the HDD industry. “For a lot of years, I fought getting involved with HDD but finally we couldn’t avoid it,” said this Pacific Northwest contractor. “But it was a move I haven’t regretted. It has opened up a lot of work in areas that I would not have expected.” A California respondent related that “we just purchased our first machine and have already lined up jobs to cut down paving restoration costs and keep our landscape in tact. If the machine continues to prove useful, I may consider buying a second machine in the near future.”

A Southwest contractor offered some sage advice to the HDD market: “If you are going to participate in the industry, be a good steward and make sure you can do the work, that you practice good safety and damage prevention practices, and you leave everyone with the best impression of HDD possible – otherwise, you shouldn’t be drilling.”

For most involved in the HDD market, this Texas contractor optimistically summed up the industry outlook: “It’s the future! Everything is involved with directional boring.”