by Diana Barnum, Hard Hat News Correspondent & John Capocci,
General Manager of Barbco
Ever have an underground project that requires critical line and grade
specifications? Need a microtunneler to do the job? Now there is the new
Controlled Boring System (CBS) Line and Grade Steering system for auger
boring machines from Barbco, Inc., a leading manufacturer of horizontal
earth boring machines and directional drills in Canton, Ohio. Barbco
tested the CBS at a job site recently in Iowa and already updated the
system with improvements.
“We were very pleased with the performance of
the CBS in Des Moines,” said Jim Barbera, President of Barbco Inc. “These
improvements will make the CBS a cost-effective solution for auger bores
of under 48” and require control of both line and grade.”
pending CBS steering system uses a sonde locating system that monitors
line and grade throughout the length of a bore. It provides a digital
readout to the boring machine operator with a view of any deflections off
line and grade throughout the bore path. And it features an electric over
hydraulic push button controlled steering system for making proper
Underground utilities construction company KRI
Co. of Ames, Iowa recently completed a project using a Barbco 72” Boring
Machine Tunnel Attachment (BMTA). When KRI owner Warren Rognes visited
Barbco’s plant in Canton, Ohio, he discussed an upcoming project with
Barbera that entailed relocating 24” sewer lines associated with an I-235
project in Des Moines, Iowa. Rognes felt that he needed a microtunneler
for the bores because of critical line and grade specifications. But
Barbera offered an alternative.
Barbco had recently developed the CBS
and needed a project to test its capabilities. The Barbco CBS provides an
auger boring machine operator with the ability to steer a bore of under
48” and make corrections for line and grade. In order to do this
effectively, the position and path of the head needs to be monitored
continuously. For a method to do this monitoring, Barbera elicited the
help of Mark Gallucci, of Digital Control Incorporated (DCI), who
suggested an Eclipse guidance system. So representatives from both
companies took the system to the Des Moines job site to see how it would
The KRI crew made the bore under the supervision of lead
foreman Alan Bell.
Several factors made these bores extremely
1) The soil conditions were not good, changing from clay to
sand and with numerous rocks located in the soil.
2) Some of the areas
were very wet.
3) There were 16 sets of railroad tracks above the bore
The first order of business was to give the KRI crew an
opportunity to gain experience using this steering system. They started
with one of the shorter bores first, 50ft. in length. Along with the
Barbco CBS steering system and the DCI Eclipse guidance system, a water
grade indicator was used to confirm the critical .02% grade requirement
for this bore.
The 50ft. bore went well. With the DCI Eclipse guidance
system monitoring the head position, the crew used the Barbco CBS steering
system to adjust for line and grade every 3.5ft.
The next bore was
180ft. in length. It was a bit more complicated because it passed between
four houses and traveled 19 ft. under a street. The bore went well for the
first 140ft. At this point though, they hit rocky conditions that caused
the bore to move to the right by 6”. The Barbco CBS head was re-adjusted
to correct for this drift and brought the bore back to less than 4” to the
right of line and exactly on grade at 180ft.. This line variance was well
within the 4.5ft. alignment tolerance required for the bore.
and Rognes were pleased with the performance of the CBS and the DCI
Eclipse and their ability to monitor and correct line and grade variances
throughout the path of a bore.
“This bore’s success was due, in large
part, to the control this system gave us as well as the experienced bore
personnel at KRI, most notably, Alan Bell,” said Warren Rognes of KRI.
“The system worked just as we expected it to in the field,” said
Barbera. “However, the system used at Des Moines was manually controlled,
requiring a great deal of calculation to determine and correct line and
grade variances. Thanks to the experience of the crew of KRI and the
technical assistance of Mark Gallucci of DCI, we have made significant
improvements to the system to make it easier to use.”
• Digital readouts of corrections
• Push button steering,
electric over hydraulics, replace the manual turning of torque
• Real-time views of projected bore paths
generated correction coordinates to facilitate steering adjustments.
Demonstrations of the Barbco Controlled Boring System (CBS) will be
done at the NUCA convention in San Antonio, Texas March 20 and 21. Barbco
is also a member of the Ohio Horizontal Directional Drilling Association
(HDD), headquartered in Caledonia. The company’s general manager, John
Capocci, has been nominated as Manufacturing Representative for the group
For more information on the CBS system contact Barbco,
Inc. at P.O. Box 80837, Canton, OH 44708. Call: (800) 448-8934 or (330)
456-8383; or fax inquiries to: (330) 456-8383. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit them online at www.barbco.com . To learn more about the Ohio HDD,
contact them at the Ohio HDD Association Office, Dan Schlosser, P.O.Box
310, Caledonia, OH 43314. Call: (800) 537-6585 or (419) 845-2023 or fax
inquiries to: (419) 845-2026. E-mail: ASSNHQ@gte.net or visit them online