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Moling | Underground Drainage | Trenchless Technology


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The soil displacement method with non-steered displacement hammers for underground piping

The soil displacement method (called moling) is a method for underground piping installation which has been established for the last three decades, and these trenchless solutions are offered by Moling Services South East Ltd for both residential and commercial clients in and around Kent. Whether you need pipes laying or require underground drainage, we are the company for you.

So how does it work? A displacement hammer, driven by pneumatics, creates a cavity underground, ready for pulling in short or long pipes made of plastic (PE, PVC or PE-X) and metal (e.g. St), preferably without socket ends, up to DN 200, but also any type of cable in drill lengths up to 15 m (depending on the soil quality), either simultaneously or in a second working step. This allows trenchless traffic route crossings, private service line installations, as well as the preparation of anchoring, by-passing obstacles and supporting further measures.

moling, undergroup piping

Conditions for application

First of all, the site going to be bored must be sufficiently displaceable. A pit is also required for the start. As a rule, the soil displacement hammer will lie on top of an adjustable bore rig, and with the aid of telescopic sight, aim is taken and the height and sides of the machine are adjusted. The propulsion of the soil displacement hammer is performed by a piston driven with compressed air (normal job site compressor), and external friction is required for the propulsion. If this is missing – in loose, soft soils, for example – external static support can be added.

Moling Services Kent trenchless solutions

This technique - Underground Piping

Our moling services involve the need for two excavations (launch & receive), where the torpedo shaped mole is lined up on the target in the first pit. The mole is then pneumatically powered and hammers its way through the ground along the intended trajectory; this type of directional drilling means that we get the best possible results each time. On entering the receive pit, the mole is removed from the air line which is then attached to the pipe/cable to be pulled back through the hole that has been bored.


The smallest hole possible for this work is from 45mm, with the largest being 145mm.

Ground suitability

Clays, silt, peat and generally soft cohesive material are suitable for moling.

Unsuitable ground

Moling will not work with ballasts, sands, gravel, sub base formation, rock and the like.

Excavation Size

For small moves i.e. 45m up to 50m, the hole has to be approx. 1.2 metres long x 0.5 metres wide x 0.8 metres deep.

Depth Guideline

10 x the diameter of product to be installed. i.e. 100mm Cable Duct to achieve recommended minimum boring depths, 1000mm.

Risk Assessment

This system is non-steered and non-tracked. However, the power of the equipment is such that it is capable of displacing most minor obstructions without deviation.

If you require any directional drilling or for more information on our moling services and trenchless solutions in general, please get in touch today for a quote.