What are the Challenges Faced By HDD Companies?

Horizontal directional drilling is a process that involves installing pipes and conduits underground using machines. These drillers will bore through the ground without having to dig trenches in order to reach locations where such obstructions as other buildings or power lines exist.

This method eliminates these problems while also saving time, money, and resources on building materials by not having to move them around an obstruction-free space before laying down utilities like water mains which can be put into place quickly with this procedure.

Companies that specialize in horizontal directional drilling have been in high demand from the utility industry, particularly those involved in telecommunications, for several years. Nonetheless, these businesses face a number of challenges that could jeopardize their operations and profit margins.

Workforce And Employee Problems

To complete each job, each hdd company relies on qualified personnel. The inability to locate experienced and skilled workers is a major issue for many of these businesses. Although the telecommunications business has a steady demand, accepting projects can be difficult if you lack the necessary manpower.

The issue isn’t a dearth of opportunities in the business or the potential for good pay; rather, there’s a scarcity of personnel with proper training and expertise in horizontal directional drilling. Companies are finding it more difficult to hire locators and drill operators, which is hampering their capacity to sign contracts and execute projects.

Aside from the labor scarcity, there’s also the risk of wasting money and time training new employees who have little experience and lack the necessary abilities. There is always the possibility that such well-trained individuals would leave the company and work for the rival. Although training is an unavoidable element of the job, the attitude of new employees typically determines whether or not the investment is worthwhile.

Issues Concerning Mud Disposal

Environmental requirements must be followed in order for a hdd company to keep its operating license. Drilling businesses are also challenged by differing viewpoints on how to effectively handle waste and mud disposal. Many of the regulatory requirements demand increased operational costs.

Safety Hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established guidelines for the safety of construction workers.

Workers may be exposed to a variety of hazards, therefore the contractor should ensure that they are wearing suitable safety equipment such safety shoes, gloves, goggles, and helmets. Human error can be reduced with proper training before starting work on the job site.

For example, separating a pipe string with a pipe wrench rather than tongs can result in serious or even fatal injuries, and handling coiled plastic pipe without sufficient precautions can cause the pipe to uncoil violently. Because workers are prone to prioritize comfort above safety precautions, it is the contractor’s obligation to enforce safety requirements on the job site.

Getting a Comprehensive Report on Geotechnical Investigation

The significance of conducting a thorough geotechnical investigation cannot be emphasized. Every report is specific to the site, client, and project type, and it cannot be used on another project, even if it is in the same place.

Contractors should make sure that the geotechnical report contains as much information as possible on the surface and subsurface conditions along the pipeline’s path. However, because sampling is done at particular intervals along the pipe path, even a geotechnical report can have moderate to large variation in terms of subsurface conditions.

Accuracy of Drilling

Another challenge faced by these industries is the precision of drilling. Due to the fact that this technique uses a drill bit, it is not possible to control its movement, and therefore, accurate measurement of depth cannot be achieved by this method. This can cause problems for industries such as mining or water supply networks because some products can lose their quality if they are mixed with rocks or other sediments.

Shortage of Technical Data

Another challenge faced by these industries is the lack of modern technical understanding about how best to design underground construction projects using this method. There are certain elements that can help improve the design of tunnels, such as the use of “oil” lubricants in order to increase the speed and efficiency of drilling.


The potential for the horizontal directional drilling industry is immense and not to be missed. There are many challenges that these companies face, but as long as hdd companies can compete with such obstacles on a level playing field, there’s no telling how far it could go!