Underground Magnetics

How to “Track-On-The-Fly” HDD Pilots

Underground Magnetics

Today, more than ever, production and accuracy in HDD fiber installation is essential. As equipment costs continue to rise, the price per foot to contractors struggles to keep pace. Underground Magnetics provides the most affordable and powerful HDD locating systems by offering the unique but simple ability to track-on-the-fly with outstanding accuracy. Aircraft pilots know this as ‘staying ahead of the airplane’. Locating a drill housing in the ground is much like flying a plane on instruments. Knowing your flight instruments, where you are at, and where you are going can be the difference between a safe landing and a disaster. Moving through an ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach is something pilots must practice and perfect. Not unlike HDD locating, operators need to know their equipment to best utilize the technology. We have taken this philosophy with the UMAG systems and made ‘flying’ your HDD approach as simple as possible.

Tracking-on-the-fly is a method of HDD locating that not only speeds up the drilling process, but also maintains a much straighter and accurate bore path. Once the front locate point (FLP) is located and marked, the operator moves back in line to the last FLP until the locate line (LL) is centered. The locator should now be directly over the transmitter and the depth will be displayed in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. From there, the operator proceeds past the front locate point by approximately 10 ft or one full length of rod. Once the operator places the locator on the ground, they press the enter button to activate Bore-To-Mode and give the signal to the drill operator to begin drilling. They watch from the front locate point as the drill head moves towards the locator. The drill operator sees the same screen from their display as well. Once the front locate point is marked, the operator can simply repeat the process.

If the drill head starts to deviate from the intended bore path, both the locating operator and drill operator will see it happening in real time. With a few quick adjustments they can bring the bore path back online and continue drilling. Tracking on the fly, for more accurate and faster drilling. Visit umaghdd.com to find out how to ‘fly’ to increased accuracy and profits.

Michael Young is with Underground Magnetics

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