The Pilot Tube Method also referred to as the Guided Boring  or Pilot Tube Microtunneling  is defined as a “multi-stage method of accurately installing a pipe to line and grade by use of a guided pilot tube followed by upsizing to install the pipe.”  The pilot tube method is a hybrid technique that combines features of different trenchless methods such as auger boring, microtunneling, and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) to accurately install a pipe to line and grade.  

The pilot tube is first installed by utilizing a rotating slanted-faced cutting head for steering and the camera mounted Theodolite Guidance System that is located in the shaft to achieve high accuracy in line and grade. Video monitor surveillance of an illuminated target helps achieve accuracy. The pilot tubes are installed sequentially behind the steering head..

After the steering head has reached the reception shaft, various methods are used to upsize the pilot to install the final product pipe.

The Axis method is a technology that utilizes highly engineered equipment from Vermeer to install a 13” diameter pilot on exact line and grade utilizing vacuum technology.  Once the 13” pilot is installed the hole is upsized as the final product pipe is installed.

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