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“I started Aaron Enterprises because I felt there was a great opportunity and need for a trenchless installation contractor to serve the south-central region of Pennsylvania,” says Rice. “The area is rich with rock so rock boring and drilling was destined to become our specialty. The Pottstown project is certainly no exception. I was prepared for the ground conditions, and expected that we would likely have to deal with some groundwater issues since the jobsite was so close a major river. But when we started the project in May, an inland-bound hurricane certainly wasn’t on my radar.”
Irene dumped more than eight inches of rain on the area when it came roaring inland in late August 2011. With calculations estimating the damage in excess of $15 billion, the storm ranks among the costliest hurricanes on record in the Northeastern United States.
Staying on target
Auger boring had been specified by the team of engineers hired by Pottstown municipal officials as the installation approach to complete the sewer relocation project. After encountering time-consuming challenges with the specified method on the first two bores, Rice employed the ON Target auger boring system -- developed and manufactured by McLaughlin, Greenville, SC -- to navigate the strict, narrow gradient tolerances required for the two remaining bores. According to Dave Gasmovic, president of McLaughlin, the ON Target system allows contractors to control both horizontal and lateral directional changes within the bore path.
“Contractors were limited to a steering head that offered only horizontal (up and down) directional changes during a bore,” says Gasmovic. “The ability to control the boring direction in a lateral, left to right movement provides greater accuracy for difficult on-grade bores. The ON Target system provides contractors with a significant upgrade from the traditional manual knuckle technology that has been used by the industry for many years.”
The cutting path -- grade and lateral movement -- of the ON Target steering head is controlled by hydraulic actuated panels that open and close to keep the head on the intended path. A control station featuring a hydraulic power pack to control the movement of the steering head, along with a built-in water level, helps monitor grade throughout the bore. Two halogen lights in the control station indicate lateral (left-to-right) steering head movements. The system can accommodate bores and subsequent steel casing installations of between 12 and 70 inches.