Various kinds of drilling techniques have been developed over the years and classified according to their applicability at present, namely: mechanical, thermal, hydraulic, sonic, chemical, electrical, seismic and nuclear. For almost a century, directional drilling methods have been exercised. In the past years, technological advancements have indicated that angles, turns and subterranean intervals covered are wondrous feats of engineering; one of which is the horizontal directional drilling method that plays a vital role in breaking new ground.


Experts consider horizontal directional drilling to be the fastest-growing trenchless technology for the installation of pipes, cables, and conduits in subsurface construction when it comes to creating bore-paths. It can deal with hard and loose soil conditions, and has applicability in traversing natural barriers such as rivers, lakes, and valleys, and artificial barriers such as airport runways, highways and bridges. 

This innovation has been extensively utilised mostly for gas or oil channels beneath intersections in complex locations. Besides, it can also be employed in municipal engineering in circumnavigating buildings. With the benefits of a faster construction timeline, less peripheral restraints, a more suitable set-up, cheaper construction expenses, the fact that it does not damage the ground environment, and increased stability control, this kind of system has attracted attention throughout the global trenchless business.

Application and process

The horizontal directional drilling system tackles creating a horizontal borehole from a specific area to another. It usually starts with making a little pilot hole to the target centreline of the projected profile beneath a crossing obstacle using a drill rod made of steel. The drill head’s position is controlled accurately with equipment that can sense and track it. Through the operator’s adjustments, it can move around almost all kinds of obstructions. 

Once the drill head and the steel rod surface on the crossing’s opposite side, a back reamer will be attached to the head and eventually pulled back to the first hole. It bores on the pilot hole so it can push through the pipe. Meanwhile, the tube is typically pulled through from the reverse side of the crossing.

Damages and risks

HDD installation treats pipes harshly, but with valid reasons—particularly if obstructions, like oversized rocks must be passed—using extreme axial towing forces and there is a possibility of scoring on the tube wall. Because of the uncertainty of the conditions along the tube hole, however, some restraints are commonly taken. Joints are typically structured like a welded casing cover, furnished with an outside double-expanded shrink jacket for protection. Another cause for caution that may affect your project is the risk of exposing the pipe to extreme resistance forces.HDD is recognised to be one of the most thrilling innovations that give us opportunities to build pipelines, sewers, power and telecom cable conduits where conventional open-cut techniques are not feasible, and this will be inventive and more useful in breaking new ground in the future.