Drilling with Restricted Access

by | Jun 15, 2022

When people think of geotechnical drilling services, they do not think of this being taken place in an urban environment. However, we are often required to work in towns and cities with restricted access implications. Anywhere that presents difficulties with access, also including rural settings, demand for specialist rigs that are designed for drilling with restricted access.

It is important to differentiate between limited and restricted access drilling. When limitations impede the operator that is using the regular machinery that they already have  – this is known as limited access drilling. A prime example of limited access drilling is the use of an external generator for your rig. This is stored externally from the site itself, and is connected by hosing, reducing the amount of equipment needed on the site. On the other hand, restricted access drilling refers to the difficulty in accessing the work site in the first place.

Applications Drilling with Restricted Access

Some of the applications for drilling with restricted access include, but are not limited to:

  • Micro-piling
  • Cable percussion drilling
  • Window sampling
  • Open borehole sampling
  • Sonic drilling
  • Water wells
  • Hollow stem augering
  • The installation of retrofit geo-exchange units
  • Ground anchors and soil nails

The versatility of these manoeuvrable rigs makes them attractive to any drilling contractor.

Urban Environments 

How do you drill in a town or city when you only have a few square metres to work with? This could be necessary when entering underground tunnels or when you are required to drill in the midst of heavy traffic. The portability of restricted access drilling rigs allows for these types of jobs. These specialist rigs can be dismantled and reassembled on-site in order to complete the task with ease. When space comes at a premium in urban settings, these forms of modular drills are perfect. However, if width presents an issue, for instance in a narrow alleyway, then mounted rigs with width-adjustable capabilities may be more suitable.

Little Headroom

A form of restriction that people tend to forget is limited height availability. If your site has minimal headroom, whether from an urban setting with a low ceiling or a rural overhead canopy; our drilling with restricted access service is able to offer a solution. We have restricted access drilling rigs that are capable of drilling with only a couple of metres headspace thanks to telescopic masts.

We should always consider the carbon footprint that a job may produce. Naturally, any drilling will inevitably cause some disturbance, however a modular and portable rig will ensure disruption remains at a minimum level.

Safety is Paramount

Drilling with restricted access in more difficult areas means that safety is even more important for those working on the site. To combat the risk of personal injury, the vast majority of restricted access rigs include hydraulic breakout clamps. These mitigate the need for the worker to be as hands-on with the operation of the rig, which reduces the chance of injury.

It is the responsibility of the drilling company to ensure that sufficient parameters are set-up so that there is absolutely no risk to any member of the public coming into contact with dangerous machinery. The safety standards have improved dramatically over the years, but there will always be an element of risk alongside the use of heavy construction machinery.

Get in Touch with Borehole Solutions

This article has proven the fact that there are very few situations nowadays where drilling is impossible. With the sheer breadth of equipment available to our expert team at Borehole Solutions, as well as having over two decades of experience, why would you consider using anybody else? We offer industry-leading drilling with restricted access services as well as numerous other geotechnical drilling solutions for site investigations. If you would like to find out more about our restricted access drilling services, contact us today on 01733 200 501.