Empire HDD Horizontal Directional Drilling / HDD Site Tour Video

Step One: Safety

At Empire HDD, on-the-job safety is paramount. Our team has been through extensive safety training. Any job worth doing is worth doing right the first time! Before each phase of our operations, our team inspects, calibrates, and measures every piece of equipment before it goes into the ground.

Step Two: Line Location & Determining Soil Type

Advancements in adjustable frequency line location technology allow drillers to know exactly what is in the ground and the variety of soil types.

Before we dig, we always call 811, and if needed a private locator to identify and locate all underground utilities to avoid damage to existing services, which could lead to serious injuries and costly repairs.

Determining soil type allows us to mix the most suitable drilling fluid for the job, ensuring the highest productivity levels. Our mixes are made with an environmentally safe Bentonite base. Ask your local vintner, and they’ll tell you it’s a common additive in vineyards throughout our home of Sonoma County, California!

Step Three: Exposing Crosses

Daylighting all crosses with our vacuum excavator is the next step in our process. This way, we are sure to bypass any existing utilities during boring and avoid unnecessary accidents.

Utility crossings within the bore path are now easy to daylight in order to obtain visual confirmation of a clean crossing and proper separation.

Step Three: Pilot Hole

The process begins by creating a receiving hole and an entrance pit. These pits will collect and reclaim drilling fluid, reducing cost and preventing waste. The pilot hole is begun and is drilled along a predetermined path.

Step Four: Backreaming

This stage enlarges the hole by returning a larger cutting tool known as the backreamer through the pilot hole. This can be done several times in order to achieve the necessary diameter, typically 1.5x the placed-product size.

Trenchless Technology Graphic

Step Five: Pullback and Placement of Product

The final step in the process is the placement of product when the pipe is pulled into the reamed hole. At completion of boring, clean up and demobilization take place.