Digging underground to locate buried lines and infrastructure is a crucial task in various industries such as construction, telecommunications, and utilities maintenance. However, this process comes with inherent risks due to the presence of underground utilities whose exact locations aren’t known. To mitigate these risks and ensure the safety of workers and the public, Subsite offers a suite of advanced tools and equipment including horizontal directional drilling (HDD) guidance equipment, utility locators, utility inspection systems, and equipment machine controls. These tools play a pivotal role in enhancing safety during underground excavation by providing accurate information about subsurface utilities.
Horizontal Directional Drilling Guidance Equipment
Subsite Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) guidance equipment is the backbone of trenchless methods, allowing the installation of underground utilities without traditional open-cut excavation. It helps operators accurately control the drilling head's path to avoid potential hazards and reduce the risk of damaging existing underground infrastructure.
One of the key components of HDD guidance equipment is the Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs). IMUs provide real-time data on the drilling head's orientation and position, ensuring precise control during the drilling process. With accuracy within millimeters, operators can maintain the desired drilling path and avoid potential utility conflicts.
Electronic Tracking Systems, another essential component, enable continuous tracking of the drill head's location, even in challenging subsurface conditions. These systems accurately track the drill head up to a depth of 100', minimizing the risk of unintentional utility strikes.
Additionally, modern HDD guidance equipment is equipped with user-friendly digital displays and user interfaces. These displays provide real-time information about the drilling process, offering 3D representations of the underground path, potential utility crossings, and obstructions with intuitive color-coded indicators. This visualization enhances operator understanding and decision-making during the drilling operation.
Utility locators are essential tools used to detect and identify buried utilities and underground infrastructure before excavation begins. They rely on various technologies to identify the presence of subsurface utilities, enabling workers to plan their digging operations more safely.
Electromagnetic locators are highly effective in detecting metallic utilities, such as pipes and cables, without the need for direct access. With the ability to detect metallic utilities up to 20’ below the ground surface, these locators enable efficient utility mapping before excavation.
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) offers a non-destructive method to detect both metallic and non-metallic utilities, providing a comprehensive view of subsurface conditions. Penetrating the ground up to 10’, GPR delivers high-resolution images and accurate depth measurements.
Acoustic Locators are vital for detecting leaks in underground water and gas lines, preventing hazardous situations. With a sensitivity of up to 1/10 gallon per minute, these locators can identify leaks, enabling timely repairs and preventing potential hazards.
Utility Inspection Systems
Utility inspection systems play a vital role in assessing the condition of existing underground infrastructure, thereby enhancing safety during excavation. These systems use advanced technologies to conduct thorough inspections and gather valuable data about the utilities.
Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) Inspection provides visual assessments of the interior conditions of pipelines and sewer lines, eliminating the need for costly and risky physical entry. High-definition CCTV cameras offer clear imagery, allowing operators to identify cracks, deformations, and blockages as small as 1/16 of an inch.
Sonar Inspection offers a non-invasive method to assess water and sewer lines, providing valuable data without interrupting the flow. Identifying sediment build-up and potential blockages with a resolution of 1/2 inch, sonar inspections ensure proactive maintenance.
Laser Scanning technology creates detailed 3D models, offering a comprehensive view of underground spaces and utility arrangements. With a point cloud resolution of up to 1/8 inch, laser scanning facilitates precise planning and design for infrastructure projects.
Equipment Machine Controls
Equipment machine controls refer to the advanced systems integrated into excavation machinery to enhance precision and safety.
GPS-based Systems provide positional accuracy within 2 centimeters, enabling operators to follow predefined paths and avoid utility conflicts. This technology enhances precision and ensures safe and accurate excavation.
Proximity Sensors offer an additional layer of safety by alerting operators when excavation machinery approaches buried utilities. With the ability to detect utilities within a range of 1’ to 5', proximity sensors help prevent accidental strikes and potential hazards.
By leveraging the advanced capabilities of Subsite Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) guidance equipment, utility locators, utility inspection systems, and equipment machine controls, underground digging becomes significantly safer. The precision and accuracy provided by these tools empower workers to navigate complex underground environments with confidence, minimizing the risk of damaging existing utilities. As technology continues to evolve, the excavation industry can ensure the safety of its workforce while efficiently meeting the demands of modern infrastructure development.Contact your nearest Ditch Witch West dealership in Washington, Oregon, Montana, California, and Arizona today to speak with one of our experts about finding the right guidance equipment for your needs.