Horizontal Directional Drilling

Horiziontal directional drilling was first developed in the United States. At its initial stages it revolutionised in particular the crossing of larger rivers with all kinds of service pipes.


1972: First HDD-Drilling executed in the US

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD), as we know it today, came in to being in 1972 with the 180-metre undercrossing of the river Pajaro near the city of Watsonville, California with a high-pressure gas pipeline DN 100 made of steel. This project was planned and successfully carried out by Martin Cherrington and his company, Titan Contractors, established in 1965.

The essential characteristics of this entirely novel approach in the construction of pipelines were adopted from deep drilling in the oil and gas sector and further developed in line with the special requirements of  controlled near-surface drilling. 

Between 1972 and 1979 the use of this technology was limited to relatively short crossing lengths. Altogether only 40 drillings were performed in this particular time frame – all of them in the United States. Since 1979 HDD has been rapidly advanced. This resulted in its almost global application in special pipeline construction projects. In Europe HDD projects were first carried out successfully in the beginning of the 1980s.


1994: Foundation of the DCA-Europe

 On December 1, 1994 the Verband Güteschutz Horizontalbohrungen e.V. (DCA) was established. One of the major objectives of the European association is quality assurance in HDD projects. Nowadays, large-scale drilling rigs have made crossing lengths of over 2,000m possible. HDD is constantly evolving, but already it enables trenchless installations of pipes of a diameter of up to 56“(DN 1400) in almost every kind of soil formation.


Drilling Contractors Association (DCA)
Charlottenburger Allee 39
D-52068 Aachen

Phone: +49 - 241 / 9019290
Fax: +49 - 241 / 9019299

Technical Guidlines

In order to ensure a high quality standard in the implementation of HDD projects, the DCA has issued a technical guideline, which is now available in its 4th edition in three languages, German, English and French.


DCA Sponsorship Award

The Drilling Contractors Association (DCA-Europe) aims to promote the new generation of academics in the field of Horizontal Directional Drilling.




in cooperation with 


 logo bohrmeisterschule 2017


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