Customer Testimonial

DigiTrak Falcon Technology Delivers in Salt Lake City

6/12/2023 by Jon Meyer

After passing a large, community-supported infrastructure bond in 2018, work began in Salt Lake City in the Spring of 2022 to replace over 11,000 feet of steel gas pipeline with over 3,330 feet of the new pipe being installed via the HDD method. Challenges to the project included drilling in high-traffic areas, substantial underground utilities, and the need to adhere to strict path requirements of being no more than 1" off the planned line and grade. The HDD work was planned to take place over 3 months and include 8 different installations with the expected shot details below:


Before the new pipe could be installed, however, each individual bore had to have its pitch, line, and distance data confirmed before the process of installing the new pipe would begin. If any bore were found to be more than an inch off, the bore path would be abandoned and open trenching would commence.

Matt Taylor from HDD/Willco was on point to ensure everything went smoothly on the HDD side. HDD/Willco has been trusting DCI equipment since early installation work in the late 1990s.

"The most challenging part was the accuracy requirements of +/- 1” for the pilot bore. (The client) even considered wireline guidance to be more accurate, but we convinced them that the Falcon F5 was equal to or even better. In reality, the client would allow up to 3” - 4” of deviation on the designed bore path, but our crews routinely installed them with 1” or less deviation."

Because HDD/Willco used DCI equipment tools to drill and log the bore path, this high-stakes scenario ended in near perfection. Their experienced crews fully utilized the power of the DigiTrak Falcon F5, minimizing local interference and consistently logging each rod. After each bore was complete, HDD/Willco was easily able to share their LWD data logs with the inspectors to be overlayed with the previously drawn, planned paths for confirmation that the new pipes would be exactly where they were supposed to be. In Matt Taylor's words:

"(It was) very easy to build our bore logs from the data (the Falcon F5) provided. It's extremely easy to use and gives our locator and operator a high level of confidence to execute the work quickly and accurately."


There was a scary moment of doubt though. After completing one of the bores, inspectors suspected that the path may have been up to 6 inches off plan. Following a number of meetings and field investigations, it was determined that a crown in the roadway was the cause of the irregularity, the bore was eventually finished and confirmed to be within the margin of error. Reaming then commenced in preparation for the final installation of the new pipe.

Special thanks to John Beckos, PE of HDD/Willco for presenting this project at No-Dig in Portland and allowing us to share it.


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