Published: May 28, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Pilot Mean?

Pilot, in terms of trenchless technology, refers to the ability to pilot, steer, or guide trenchless construction or repair operations. The term is used in reference to certain operations such as a pilot bore or the drilling and auger techniques that use a pilot bore. The bore is often steered by the auger operator or driller. The term is used in guided boring, and horizontal directional drilling. Pilot may also refer to a pilot tube, the steerable boring system.

Trenchlesspedia Explains Pilot

Horizontal directional drilling begins at the surface and drills horizontally underground so pipes, cables and conduits may be installed without disturbing the surface or its occupants. The first bore is a pilot bore that follows the design pathway accurately. The driller then reams the pilot bore more than once to open the bore to the size specified in the design. Guided boring uses the pilot tube method. It requires the use of an auger boring power unit and a pilot tube guidance and steering mechanism.

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