What to Consider When Choosing a Horizontal Directional Drilling Rig

A drilling rig is construction machinery that is used to drill holes in the ground. They can range in size from huge structures to lightweight ones that can be handled and moved manually by a single person.

It could be used for multiple applications, including laying foundations, drilling a well to access a natural resource ( oil, water, geothermal energy, etc. ), and taking ground samples, to name a few.

To determine which type is best for an underground construction project, a horizontal directional drilling rig selection process is conducted, taking three factors into considerations such as:

  • capacity
  • availability
  • cost

While availability and cost are essential considerations in the choosing process, capacity remains the most critical factor to consider. As a result, rig sizing, which is part of the selection process, ensures that the chosen rig can handle all anticipated loads throughout the project.

While over-sizing a drilling rig is a waste of money, under-sizing a rig is exceedingly costly to fix. As a result, it is critical that the rig sizing process occurs early in the planning phase.

While some operators and contractors have their own selection templates, it is best to standardize and integrate a procedure with the organization’s equipment management system.

Furthermore, determining whether the drilling rig will be used for your core business or for occasional operations, and in particular, whether a machine has served its purpose for over several decades might be suitable for you, or whether you want to take advantage of the latest innovation, is critical in making the best choice.

Safety, dependability, and convenience of use are also other crucial factors to consider, and they are all interconnected. When operated according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, a drilling rig that is reliable and simple to operate promotes user safety.

What type of drilling rig should you choose?

HDD rigs are available in five common variants. All versions feature a control cabin and their own power supply pack, which is housed in a sound-insulated container or onboard and is powered by a diesel or electrical engine. The associated power packs, which range in output from 328 to over 940 kilowatts depending on the application, are engineered according to usage.

Frame Rig: Frame Rigs are a reliable and cost-effective alternative because of their low weight and ease of transport. The Frame Rig arrives at the job site on a conventional truck trailer because it lacks its own transport or motion system. For loading and unloading, as well as aligning the rig on the project, a normal crane is sufficient.

Trailer Rig: Trailer Rigs provide a lot of flexibility, which is a big advantage. They can be transported using normal semi-trailer vehicles because of their lightweight construction. For setup and demobilization, as well as alignment and commissioning, there is no need for a crane. Trailer Rigs are especially well-suited to projects requiring long distances between multiple crossings.

Crawler Rig: Crawler Rigs offer significant advantages on job sites with rugged “off-road” terrain inaccessible to trucks or cranes. With its caterpillar treads, its sturdy and mobile crawler allows for maneuverability and mobility over challenging terrain.

Modular Rig: These rigs may be dismantled and carried in normal freight containers in two or three modules. They are reassembled on the job site. A remote-controlled crawler is available as an option for increased jobsite mobility.

Compact Rig: Designed for smaller projects and inner-city applications, this rig is short and compact. The rig uses range 1 (6m/20ft) drill pipes and is optionally fitted with an onboard control cabin and a high-pressure mud pump.


Drilling is required for many jobs, especially in the installation of underground utilities. Every driller’s life will eventually require the purchase of a new rig. If you’re in the market for one and want some advice on how to make the best purchase decision for a horizontal directional drilling rig, then take your cue from the information given above.