Bore Planning Software Provides Valuable Aid To Contractors

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | September 2011, Vol. 66 No. 9
Terrain Mapper

“TMS is used to help determine the best bore path by identifying critical points such as entry and exit points, topography changes and obstacles,” said Bieberdorf. “During the bore, TMS records the drill head position each time a new drill pipe is placed in the ground. It provides quick reference information on bend radius for more efficient use of drill pipe and installed product and compiles pipe information such as pipe number, depth, drill head roll angle, pitch, directional beacon temperature and battery level, date and time. As the product is pulled back, TMS records its actual position.”

Total Management System

To properly plan a bore, Bieberdorf said it is necessary to know topography elevation changes and known obstacles along the bore path between the pilot bore’s entry and exit points.

After installing the TMS program on a PC, planning the bore is a four step process:
• Open the TMS Plus program and access the planning grid and enter topography points relative to starting and exit points;
• Enter obstacles along the bore path, such as roads, landscape features and utility crossings;
• Enter additional bore parameters such as cover depth, drill type, or pipe for calculating bend radius; and
• The TMS system generates a bore profile of the plan with the driller having the ability to make any necessary adjustments.

“Planning a bore in advance saves time, money and reduces complications,” said Bieberdorf. “With a plan, the drill operator knows when and where to guide the drill head to optimize the ability to avoid underground obstacles. With planning, the usable life of the drill pipe can be extended by following the recommended path that will not exceed the bend radius of the pipe.”

Typically, Bieberdorf added, the planning process helps to uncover previous “unknown” issues, thus helping to reduce complications.

“With TMS Plus,” concluded Bieberdorf, “it is possible to create multiple bore plans for the same job based on different units or paths, giving the user options in how to complete the bore. After the completion of the bore, an as-built document can be provided.”

Bieberdorf cites a project in Washington’s Cascade Mountains as an example of the important role a TMS Plus system played on a complex project.