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The Directional Drilling Process: An Interview with Carl Nida of Perfectbore Directional Drilling

By Carl Nida

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

I started my company Perfect Bore Directional Drilling in 2001 as I had been working for Ditch Witch of Oklahoma as a drilling specialist in support training and sales of drilling equipment, but I had been traveling a lot around the world training companies on the method of horizontal drilling. At that time I saw a need for a service to utility companies as well as homeowners, plumbers, electricians, sprinkler irrigation, etc. So I bought a small Ditch Witch JT 520 because the footprint of that machine was the perfect size to get in and out of backyards and even tight spaces.

I have grown my business of service needs for 13 years now, but along with these 13 years, I have 12 years of previous drilling experience as a drilling consultant worldwide so I've been in the drilling industry for about 25 yrs. In 1990 I developed a software program for plotting bore paths for creek and river crossings and had that program copyrighted in 1992--and the name of the program was Perfect Bore so I just kept the name for my drilling company.

Gary Bridwell (owner of Ditch Witch of Oklahoma) and I completed the first bores in the state of Oklahoma back in 1989-1990 near Cushing Oklahoma with a very primitive-type horizontal drilling machine actually one of the first machines ever made so I've been drilling ever since from Oklahoma to 39 states to India, Mexico, Argentina etc. I've drilled over 23 miles of bores with my average bore being 35 ft. Now keep in mind I've had to travel from job to job and set up every time. This is all over a period of 13 years and not counting the prior 12 years of drilling and training.

What needs to be accomplished prior to beginning the drilling?

Before starting a bore I have to call "call okie" prior to any job to locate any utilities such as gas, electric, fiber optics, sewer, water, or any utilities in my bore area. Then depending on the type of installation I'll be doing, whether it be direct bury cable or 99% of the time it's usually installing PVC pipe for a sleeve ranging in size from 1/2" pipe to 6" pipe in which the larger-sized pipe usually requires entry and exit pits to be dug. And if utilities are in my bore path then we need to dig and expose them to visually see them for depth measurements.

Please walk our readers through the general steps required to drill land in preparation for a house.

Basically when a new house is built it depends on which side of the street that the city water main or utilities are on. If the utilities are on the opposite side of the street, then I'm called to drill under the streets and pull in the new sleeve or water lines or sometimes I need to drill under driveways or sidewalks to get the utility under so the plumbers, electricians, etc. Can continue to connect whatever they need to.

How long does a typical drill take?

The time it takes to install a utility depends on the soil conditions as well as logistics of existing utilities and the size of product to be installed, but 90% of the time I'm finished in 30 mins to a few hours depending on the job. Some jobs just have one bore some have as many as 15 bores, then I'm looking at about a day's work. But every driller is different but for me since I've been doing it for so long I am already familiar with the areas and soils around the Edmond/ Okc area.

What is the payment process for drilling land? (i.e., is it a standard fee, percentage based, hourly?)

Usually the drilling industry charges a "per foot" price and that price is agreed on with the customer prior to the start of the job. So if I the contractor bid on a job, I need to figure the length of time the job will take and rate my footage price like that. However, sometimes jobs are different. Some may not take as long as predicted, but then you never know until the job is finished.

What is a common issue you face when drilling land and how can they be avoided?

Common issues involve locates being called in, rock formations, sandy drilling conditions, product (PVC pipe)(usually always provided by the customer) being on the job site, entry and exit pits if needed to be excavated before the job starts, and payment arrangements.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?

You can visit www.perfectboredd.com and read about my company and also my contact information 405-816-6551 and for references. I have a very good reputation for quality work and knowing the industry very well. They may contact Ditch Witch of Oklahoma at 405-348-4633 and ask anyone there about me.

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About The Author

Carl Nida started the company Perfect Bore Directional Drilling in 2001 as he had been...

Phone: 405-816-6551

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