Ease of use and versatility of equipment helps trenchless specialists stay ahead of the competition.

Being the largest pipe bursting contractor in North Texas brings with it a multitude of jobs for Dallas-based No-DigTec.

To complete that work, the workhorses of No-DigTec’s fleet of equipment are the Hydroburst HB100 and HB5058 static pipe bursting rigs made by HammerHead (a brand owned by Charles Machine Works). The units are powerful yet feature a small footprint, so less excavation is required. That makes them well suited for use in residential areas, where there’s not much room to dig the receiving pits required to use the units.

“These machines work very well for water main replacements, where we’re often limited to just the space between curbs and sidewalks,” explains John Newell, owner of the Dallas-based company. “Sometimes we have to take out some of a sidewalk, but most times we have enough room to dig a pit in that little parkway area."

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The HB5058 requires a 4- by 12-foot entry pit, and the larger HB100 requires a 6- by 16-foot pit. The HB5058 generates 50 tons of pulling power, suitable for bursting pipes from 4 to 8 inches in diameter. With 100 tons of pulling power, the HB100 can burst up to 16-inch-diameter pipe, but No-DigTec uses it mostly to burst 8- to 12-inch-diameter pipe. “So between the two, it gives us a good range of options,” Newell notes.

In terms of productivity, these units deliver the goods: The smaller unit can “pull,” or burst, about 300 to 400 feet per day, depending on various factors, while the larger machine can pull approximately 500 to 750 feet of pipe per day. Each one is useful for different applications, Newell says.

“If you want to undo a bolt, you don’t go get a hammer,” he says. “And if you need a hammer to drive a nail, you don’t go get a crescent wrench. But both are good tools to have in your toolbox ... You just need to have the right tool for the right application.”

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The units owned by No-DigTec feature options such as hydraulic leveling jacks that can keep the machine aligned with the existing utility line that’s being busted — without having to stop the bursting process for releveling.

“During pulls, sometimes the (payout) rod will move away from the center of the pipe, so it’s good to be able to level the machine,” he says. “You want the rod in the center of the pipe you’re bursting. But sometimes it works its way up or down, so all of a sudden it might be dragging on the bottom of the pipe. It helps the machine work more efficiently if you get the angle of the dangle just right.”

Newell also lauds the units for their durability and ease of operation. On the HB100, for example, just two levers control all pipe bursting functions.

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To learn more about No-DigTec and how it has retooled to focus on the growing pipe bursting market, check out the profile, "Pipe Bursting Provides New Path in Texas."

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