Ground Plane

Published: December 11, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Ground Plane Mean?

Ground plane can be defined as the surface on which a machine, drill rig or any drilling equipment is placed. Trenchless technology utilizes directional drilling rigs, augers and pipe jacking machines along with lubricant tanks and slurry processing units to enable installation of pipes below the surface of the earth.

A stable ground plane is essential in all methods to ensure that the machine does not overturn or tilt from the angle at which it is placed to enter into the ground.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Ground Plane

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and horizontal auger boring (HAB) are carried out from the surface of the earth while pipe jacking and microtunneling require excavation of jacking pits and reception pits at the level of pipeline installation, to bore into the earth. HDD and HAB require the drill rig to be set up on ground level and then angled for entry into the earth.

It's necessary that the ground plane on which the rig is set up does not sink unevenly due to the weight of the machine as it can deviate from the planned path during the drilling process. To ensure this the rig should be set up on stable ground plane that is compacted and firm. Pits excavated for pipe jacking and microtunneling should also be provided with a firm ground plane so that the jacking frame and pipes stay aligned to the correct angle of boring. Some of the equipment related to the process is at ground level such as slurry tanks, pipes and cranes.

The ground level at the surface and the distance from the pit should be maintained properly to prevent equipment from falling into the pit.


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