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3 Features to Look For in a DigiTrak HDD Locating System

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) has come a long way since the first drill bit locator appeared on the scene. Today, construction companies use HDD to lay pipes and lines without the need to excavate large areas for boring machines.

The HDD locator is the most important part of these operations. It allows the operator to guide the drill bit even though it’s underground and out of sight.

Digitrak is a leading provider of these systems. They offer plenty of components that make HDD a simple process.

However, not all jobs are suitable for certain kinds of HDD locating systems. Read on to learn what features you’ll need for your job.

Features to Look For in a DigiTrak HDD Locating System

Ease of Use

If you’re looking for the easiest Digitrak locator to use, a walk-over system will serve you well. These locators are suitable for jobs that use a boring rig weighing less than 100,000 pounds and won’t have much magnetic interference.

They’re also the most common, so you’ll have plenty of options if you opt to buy a used one. Look here for more choices of used Digitrak systems.

These locators make use of a sonde transmitter positioned behind the bore head. The transmitter collects information like depth, direction, and temperature and relays that information to a receiver that’s manually positioned on the surface.

A walk-over locator is great for boring jobs that are at a shallow depth. They’re very easy to set up and use.

However, if you’re drilling more than 100 feet below the surface or operating in an area where interference is expected, a walk-over locator won’t be the best choice.


For extremely precise drilling at deeper depths, a wire-line locator will be the best option. These kinds of locators use magnetic guidance and wire grids drawn on the ground to confirm the location of the drill. It sends the necessary information to the receiver on the surface through a wire.

These locators are much more accurate than walk-over locators, so they’re perfect for precise drilling at deep depths. Additionally, steering them is simple.

Wire-line locators can be quite costly and time-intensive to set up, but they may be just what the job requires.

Avoiding Interference

If you’re drilling in an area where magnetic interference is expected or where generating a magnetic field is exceedingly difficult, a gyro locator will satisfy your needs the best.

A tool located behind the jetting assembly collects information. This information is then plugged into an algorithm that determines where to steer and how deep to dig. That means these HDD locating systems are virtually immune to interference.

If you’re boring under a highway or a large body of water, magnetic guidance isn’t reliable. For those jobs, you’ll need a gyro locator.

Dig With Confidence Using a Digitrak Locator

Digitrak locators help simplify the HDD process. There are three main types of HDD locators, and they each have features that make them suitable for different jobs.

Walk-over locators are the easiest to use but work best for shallow digs. Wire-line locators are the most precise and easiest to maneuver. Gyro locators are perfect for jobs where magnetic interference is expected.

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