Directional Drilling: Tips for Preventing Equipment Failure and Minimising Delays

If you are planning a directional drilling project, consider the importance of keeping the equipment in the best condition. Keep in mind that the failure of the drilling machinery during this type of boring will cause significant delays and increase the total costs. In simple terms, a broken-down drill will mean downtime to ensure proper repairs. Moreover, you should note that directional drilling involves inserting the pipe at a horizontal angle. When the equipment fails, the removal of the pipe from the ground will be difficult. Additionally, reinserting the pipe into the hole could prove challenging. Therefore, use these simple tips to prevent directional drilling equipment failure and subsequent complications.

Understand Site Conditions

Your drill will fail if the design and structure are not compatible with the specific site conditions. In simple terms, the tooling for your directional drilling work must match with the ground. A poor match will lead to equipment stress and subsequent decline and failure. When preparing for your drilling project, consult a geotechnical specialist for a field survey and report. Then, discuss the best equipment options with your drilling equipment supplier or specialist contractor.

Conduct Daily Inspections

Directional drilling machines rarely fail without warning. Often, these pieces of equipment deteriorate over time, and the underlying damage causes failure during onsite operations. You can minimise the risk of your machinery failing in the middle of horizontal directional boring by conducting pre-work inspections. This process involves examining the condition of the equipment before beginning a job session. Use a checklist to systematically assess the condition of each component of the drill, including the pipe, pits, hydraulic pumps and cooling elements. If you are using a modern drill, utilise the advanced gauges that provide performance information. All anomalies should be reported and addressed before proceeding with the work. Remember, removing a failed directional drill for repair is complicated and will cause significant delays.

Choose a Good Water Source

The preparation of drilling fluids in horizontal directional drilling requires the use of water. This makeup water is essential for creating the best fluid for lubrication during boring work. In theory, preparing the drilling fluid is easy. However, the resulting product will be compromised if the quality of water is poor. Therefore, think about the best source of clean water on the site before beginning the project. In some cases, finding good water is impossible due to the specific site conditions. In this case, consider installing a suitable filtration system because dirty water will compromise your equipment.

Reach out to a directional drilling professional for assistance.