Auger Boring Steering System Includes Left/Right Control

First Look
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | March 2012, Vol. 67 No. 3

The McLaughlin Group has introduced a new auger boring steering system that provides both left/right control as well as vertical grade control.

“The McLaughlin On Target Steering System is the first single-pass auger boring system in the industry that provides left/right steering control,” said Dave Gasmovic, president and chief executive officer. “Until now, auger boring heads were limited to changing horizontal or grade direction during a bore. The On Target system changes that and provides much greater bore accuracy.”

Introduced at the 2012 UCT (Underground Construction Technology International Conference and Exposition) in January, the units are now available to the general market. On Target systems can be used on any brand and model in diameters from 16 to 60 inches.

“Lateral steering of the steering head is controlled by patented hydraulically-actuated flaps that open and close to direct the steering head on the desired path,” said Gasmovic. “Twin line XpXprojection halogen lights enclosed in the steering head provides the ability to check and maintain line throughout the progress of the bore. The simple deign does not require special technicians to operate the system. For monitoring grade, water remains the best, most accurate method, so the system uses a built-in vertical alignment spirit level to read grade.”

Cutting heads have hard-faced cutting edges for durability and extended life and a tapered band to improve cutting efficiency. A sonde housing is available as an option.

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Specs
A self-contained operator’s station controls movement of the steering head. It also includes grade indicator, and maintains hydraulic, water and electrical lines. Dimensions are 81.5 inches long, 70 inches high, and 30 inches wide with a weight of 1,960 pounds. Hydraulic pressure is 5,000 psi at 345 bar. Water tank capacity is 50 gallons; the water pump develops 1/2 horsepower.

Steering system component weights vary with size (the 16-inch diameter unit weighs 800 pounds; weight of the 48-inch model is 6,000 pounds).

Prior to introduction, the system was tested by several U.S. and international-based contractors, who continue to use it.

Gasmovic said On Target systems can install on-grade, on-line casing in one pass, compared to the multiple passes required by pilot tube guided boring.

“The system allows completion of longer on-grade bores than are possible with other methods, and at a reduced cost,” he concluded. “Typically, bores also can be completed in shorter periods of time using the On Target system.”