New Ditch Witch System Tackles Line & Grade HDD

First Look
By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | May 2009 Vol. 64 No. 5

The 8500 is capable of 0.1 percent grade resolution, has a target steering function for left/right alignment, can accurately track the bore head from the side of the bore path, and is accurate to depths of 30 feet in most soil conditions.

Specialized downhole tools and pipe can increase the effectiveness of on grade installations when used with the OnGrade system, added Levings.

"We have developed backreamers that help keep the enlarged bore hole on grade," he explained. "Special beacon housings are stiffer and have rear stabilizers to keep the bore on target. Drill pipe used with our All Terrain (AT) model drill units also is stiffer than standard pipe and is less prone to ‘wander' in the hole."


Levings said tests show that AT equipment which has a dual pipe drilling system provides better on grade control with the OnGrade system in soft soils because the inner pipe that does the drilling does not wear away or "float" in the hole.

Available as an option for use with the system is an inexpensive trolley with closed circuit television camera to check the installation before the final inspection.

"On line, on grade directional drilling is a discipline that requires skill, experience and patience, and it is not a job all drilling contractors want to undertake," said Levings. "However, there is increasing demand for on grade drilling and for contractors, consultants, engineers and project owners, the new Ditch Witch OnGrade system is another tool to help make on grade installations more efficient and effective."

In addition to HDD equipment and tracking systems, the Ditch Witch product line includes trenchers, vibratory plows, compact utility equipment, vacuum excavators and support equipment which are sold and supported through the worldwide Ditch Witch dealer organization.

Ditch Witch, (800) 654-6481,

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