Ohio Directional Drillers Networking Pays Off

by Diana Barnum

Starting your own drilling business can be tough. But networking through organizations like the Ohio Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Association paid off for member Mark Rogers, owner of newly established Integrity Boring of Bremen, Ohio.
“I was working as secretary/treasurer for the Ohio HDD with the group’s past president, Marty Hallett of Tru-Bore Technologies, Inc.,” said Mark Rogers. “I’d worked for Amerilink for about 10 years and wanted to start my own business.”
Rogers invested in a Ditch Witch JT1720 and set up shop. The 12,000 lb. JT1720 Mach 1 horizontal drilling system carries an 85-hp diesel engine, develops 17,000 pounds of thrust and pullback and up to 1,800 ft. per lb. of spindle torque. This 200-inch-long machine measures 86 inches in height and 54 inches in width.
To keep up with the industry, Rogers became involved in the Oho HDD Association, helping it become established last year in Columbus, Ohio. He served on the first interim board where discussion of government agencies stepping in and taking charge of states likes California when associations were not in existence urged Ohio drillers to be proactive.

“Mark’s handling the overflow of our in-house crews at Tru-Bore,” said Marty Hallett. “We’re installing cable and building uninterruptible power supplies and telephony builds for Insight Communications (AT&T is part owner of Insight Communications).”
In other words Tru-Bore is responsible for those big, green cabinets that are popping up all over town. In the event of a power breakdown, a gas-powered generator kicks on, then battery back up. In this manner, Insight offers telephone service over existing cable service.
Subcontractor Integrity Boring places some of the duct or plastic pipe called innerduct for cable. All project materials are supplied by Insight.
Installation Steps and Equipment
There are only a few steps involved in setting up the power supply areas:
• Set up cabinet - including generator and battery back-up
• Place within location sites chosen by Insight engineers
• Directional boring - avoid tearing up sidewalks, yards.
Tru-Bore uses D7x11 Navigators for the bulk of the work, Vermeer D16X20 Navigators, small drilling rigs and Ditch Witch HT 25 small trenchers. The D7x11 features an onboard water source and the smallest footprint in its class in the industry. It is self-contained and compact to maneuver through tight areas. Maximum torque is 1,100 ft-lb, with 7,800 lbs. pullback, 9gpm mud flow, and 6 ft drill stem.
The D16x20 Navigator features the most power available in this size of system: 16,000 lbs. of pullback and 2,000 ft-lb of torque. It is also self-contained and compact with a narrow 36-inch profile and 10 ft drill stem.
The light-utility trencher HT25 boasts an 80-inch height, top of cab, 120-inch basic length, 35.5-inch width and max depth of 68 inches. It carries a Kubota D1105-E diesel powered engine.
“In underground work, virtually 100% is directional drilling now,” explained Hallett. “It’s a competitive environment. Not tearing up yards keeps homeowners happy.”
And networking keeps business owners happy.
“The association helped us get to know each other,” explained Hallett. “Mark impressed me with his professionalism.”
The Ohio HDD recently formed committees to address issues like damage and prevention and certification. So there will be many more opportunities for networking in the future, he added.
To learn more about the Ohio HDD Association, contact 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 inquiries to: ASSNHQ@gte.net or visit the association’s website at: www.ohiohdd.org
Contact Integrity boring at 1354 County Line Road, Bremen, OH 43107. Call: 740-569-4971. Contact Tru-Bore Technologies, Inc. at 600-F N. Cassady Ave., Columbus, OH 43219. Call them at: (614) 257-1330 or fax inquiries to: (614) 257-1344.