Horizontal directional drilling  (or HDD) was recognised as a solution in the 1920’s when oil and water reserves were discovered to not be vertical, but horizontal.  Over time, technology changed from standard drilling practices to help drillers achieve their goals in a smarter, more efficient, and effective way.

How does directional drilling differ from standard drilling?


A standard drilling operation basically sent a bore or drill straight down into the ground.  Similar to the way a carpenter may drill straight through timber, the drill is limited in the angles in which it can operate, and not break.

This means standard drilling is not always practical for achieving goals related to oil and gas reserves or setting up utility services in city areas.

The alternative?  A horizontal directional drill, such as the D23X30DRS3 HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILL


What are horizontal directional drills best suited for?


If environmental conditions are tough, congested, and need maneuverability to drill through rock, an operator will need equipment to step up to this task.

The D23X30DRS3 HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILL makes the perfect partner when it comes to working in congested areas such as cities, neighbourhoods, or job sites with tight access areas.  

The drill helps the operator to stay confident and efficient in operations that need a combination o speed, simplicity in its workings, and a sound level that minimizes the level of disturbance to its surroundings.

The features and benefits of this drill mean that it can be used across a broader range of industries and work projects where efficiency and accessibility are game-changers to work projects, as larger horizontal drills are just too cumbersome.  

What industries suit Horizontal Directional Drilling?


On a larger scale, Horizontal directional drilling can be used in accessing water, oil, and gas reserves in the resources sector globally.  The size and scale of these drill rigs match the size and scale of the operations.

When it comes to adapting that technology to smaller underground spaces, you will find HDD used in the following areas:

  • Civil works
  • Transportation
  • Communication


Civil works incorporate the installation of utilities, such as pipes, conduits and cables in underground bores to deliver essential services such as water, gas and electricity for residential and commercial use.

Transportation projects benefit from horizontal directional drilling when tunnels and roads need to pass underground and not disrupt the surface, such as new train lines, road tunnels under rivers or to provide faster access on large commercial sites for the transportation of goods on conveyor belts underground where they are maximising the use of available land space.

Communication upgrades such as the roll-out of fibre optic cables, or the installation of NBN to existing residential areas means  HDD’s can manage the task while minimizing impact to the existing surroundings (think footpaths, houses, roads).

The great news is that Vermeer has a range of HDD’s to suit a range of work projects across industries.



It uses dual rod technology in a compact machine so that it can be maneuvered in tight job sites, including neighborhood works (for example, if water pipes need upgrading).

The compact size also means that it can be transported on a trailer with other equipment.

The drill features controls that allow the operator to switch from the dual rod to a single rod for drilling into rock.

It’s tooling options also allow for an increased level of precision so that it can be steered accurately, maximizing the wear and tear on equipment, and keeping productivity on sight at a higher level.

While small and compact, the D23X30DRS3 has the ability to bore through challenging ground conditions on a demanding job site.

What are some of the key features and benefits of the D23X30DRS3?


  • Small compact footprint with  minimum transport dimensions of 5.3m(l)  x 133.4cm (w) x 190.5cm (h)
  • Standard inclusions  Hydraulic vise  Breakout system, shakedown system, remote lockout, strike alert
  • Options include drilling lights, the choice of two engines, and choice of two drill pipes


The carriage speed is 206ft/min and the rotational speed sits at 219 rpm, enabling contractors to install more linear feet per day to maximise job site output.

You can also include Vermeer Fleet telematics to assist your fleet manager with scheduling maintenance and tracking the location of the machine to assist with achieving optimal productivity and machine health.

How easy is the D23X30DRS3 to use and service?


Vermeer are leaders in the HDD industry with over 20 years of experience and expertise globally.  We support our clients with training and support equipment to get you and your team up to speed, and with fully stocked parts centres in WA and NT to help with the maintenance of your equipment.

To find out more about our range of Horizontal directional drills, and other equipment in our range to help you achieve your project outcomes, be sure to contact the team at Vermeer.

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