Unexpected Challenges: Sand, Soil, Clay And Rock On 4600-Foot Bore

June 2011 Vol. 66 No. 6

"The project certainly wasn't without its challenges," he recalls. "But with good equipment, the right tooling and the experience of our drill operators having previously completed jobs in similar conditions proved to be a tremendous benefit. I've been involved with jobs that didn't go nearly as well as this, despite how complicated it was. I felt like DrillTech did everything properly, the way it should be done. The Vermeer drill performed beautifully and has been a good investment for us."

There's little doubt that the abruptly changing soil conditions encountered by the DrillTech crew on this installation was the greatest challenge, compounded by the lack of detailed sampling data that would have better prepared them for what to expect. That said, Davidson was emphatic about the crucial role that the experience of his drill operator played in successfully overcoming the challenges presented by conditions below the surface.

"Never underestimate the value of a skilled drill operator," Davidson says. "It takes some time to learn and our operators have what it takes to overcome most any challenge the earth can dish out. Sure, it takes some time to learn, but experience is the best teacher. Anyone can learn to drive a car, but not everybody can drive a NASCAR car. The same can be said for horizontal directional drilling. Anybody can get up there and pull levers, but you want somebody aboard that drill who knows what he's doing and is also safety conscience. Safety is among the most important attributes an operator can have and is always top of mind with all DrillTech employees."

DrillTech Inc., (903) 427-0836
Vermeer Corp., (888) 837-6337, www.vermeer.com

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