Improve Efficiency With HDD Productivity Tools

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Improve Efficiency With HDD Productivity Tools

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Being the boss of a horizontal directional drilling operation comes with a lot of responsibility. From making sure everyone is doing their job to securing work for the future, it’s a huge undertaking — and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. While it’s impossible to create more hours in a day, there are productivity tools designed specifically for HDD contractors that can help you and your team to manage more jobs, more efficiently. 

Creating efficiencies

Managing and growing your HDD operations comes down to creating efficiencies through each step of a project — from bidding, to preplanning, to drilling and remediation, to filing reports so you can finish the job. And since each phase of a job typically involves different people, keeping the team on the same page and minimizing redundancy is the key for being as efficient as possible.

Kipp Ulferts, applications specialist for Vermeer Intelligent Worksite Solutions, says that from start to finish on HDD projects there can be redundancy from one phase to the next. “Within each stage of a job there is some level of planning involved,” he explains. “When bidding on a project, contractors need to create a bore plan that may account for significant elevation changes or contain potential obstacles like waterways, utilities and roadways. Details like distances, depths and the locations of potential obstacles are then often revisited during the preplanning, potholing and drilling stages of the job. Developing a bore plan early to be used as a road map throughout the process can help improve communications and help reduce the amount of time spent planning from one stage of a project to the next — this is where productivity tools are helpful.”

A tool for every phase

Vermeer Projects software is a productivity tool developed specifically for HDD contractors. From bidding to delivering as-built bore profiles to the customer after a project is complete, Vermeer Projects can help improve communications through shared data and reduce many planning-related redundancies.

You can collect, organize and share relevant job documentation via the cloud with Vermeer Projects during the bidding and initial planning phases. On the job, Vermeer Projects gives your crew leaders the ability to visually capture the job site, including intended bore path whiteline, marked utilities and pothole locations.

Next, specify which drill model will be used on the job, and sync all the information with the drill rig’s onboard display for rod-by-rod drilling information on drills equipped with Vermeer BoreAssist. As the operator drills, the locator can track deviations from the bore plan within a supported drill head tracker. After completing the job, you can quickly print out or send as-built profiles to the customer. 

User tips

Here are a few ways a productivity tool like Vermeer Projects can help your company be more efficient:

  • Bidding: Pull up a job’s GPS coordinates to get a better lay of the land and see roadways or natural landmarks. You should also plug bore details into the program to verify the allowable product bend radius is accurate.
  • Preplanning: Plot a bore’s path using either a locator equipped with GPS and a smartphone or a tablet with the app to map the bore as you walk it. Utility locations and depths can also be input with minimal measuring.
  • Drilling: Give crews rod-by-rod directions that are specific to the rig they are operating.
  • Invoicing: Email customers as-built bore profile information as a PDF so they have what they need to get your invoice processed in a timely manner. 

Achieving your goals

Have you ever driven to a place you’ve never been to before without using a road map, smartphone or onboard GPS system? Without those tools, you likely made a few wrong turns and it took longer to get to your destination than it should have. Vermeer Projects can help you get to where you want to go as efficiently as possible. 

For more information about Vermeer Projects, talk to your local Vermeer dealer or visit Vermeer Store to learn more.

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