Bore Planning Software Provides Valuable Aid To Contractors

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

Apex Directional Drilling completed six bores to install duct for fiber optic cable with bore paths going up and down steep, heavily-wooded mountainsides and crossed canyons, some containing streams and lakes (a report on the project was published in the May 2011 issue of Underground Construction). Geophysical information was carefully gathered and inputted in the TMS Plus system.

“Planning each bore was critical,” said Apex President Michael Lachner. “With the severe downward angles, it was essential to level off at exactly the correct point and then start up the opposite slope at exactly the right spot to hit the projected exit point. Profiles were critical, and we had to maintain a 40 to 45-foot depth because our plan was to use walk-over tracking equipment and if we went deeper, we could lose tracker signal.”

Atlas Bore Planner/Terrain Mapper
Vermeer offers two bore planning programs, said Duke Reynolds, trenchless solutions specialist.

The Atlas Bore Planner software package can be downloaded from the Vermeer website or from a CD. The current version operates with Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. The Terrain Mapper is an add-on option that comes preloaded on a PalmPilot with laser, prism, rods and interface cable.

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Atlas Bore Planner

“Atlas Bore Planner software plans the bore before the job begins, said Reynolds. “It takes into account the drill stem, tooling and product bend radiuses. It helps determine pay footage, proper set back of the machine, the optimal bore path, and estimates mud usage for the particular type of soil conditions where the bore will be made.

“The Terrain Mapper is a tool that the crew will use to map the topography of the area they are looking to complete their bore in. It can provide variances in terrain along a bore path and assist in making required calculations for the bore. It uses a laser, prism and poles to map the terrain and downloads that information into a handheld PalmPilot. From there, the information can be loaded into the Atlas system.

“The Terrain Mapper isn’t always necessary, especially if boring will be fairly easy and the terrain is level. We estimate Terrain Mapper is used about 25 percent of the time bores are planned with the Atlas system.”

Atlas Bore Planner works on all Vermeer HDD equipment and is model specific.

Reynolds said steps in planning a bore with the Atlas system are: