A walk down trenchless lane

The construction industry is fast-moving and constantly developing, and companies that actively evolve and grow to keep pace with the latest technology clearly showcase their industry expertise and are an attractive choice for customers.

No industry is immune from change and technological innovations have seen the construction industry in particular progress in leaps and bounds.

A significant breakthrough in the construction industry was the introduction of trenchless technology – a game changer in major pipeline and underground utility installation.

Having always prided itself on being ahead of the game, Vermeer saw the potential of game changing trenchless technology and rose to the occasion.

The Navigator was a more basic model than the HDD machinery on offer today and required a large amount of labour to set up. Image: Vermeer Australia

Ahead of the curve

In the 1970s, Gary Vermeer had a vision: If Vermeer could develop a machine that could dig in a similar manner to a mole tunnelling underneath the surface – without opening a trench – it would blow open the market and make Vermeer an industry pioneer.

Over the following decades this vision became a reality, and the industry realised the impact this would have in underground construction.

Vermeer HDD machines – the first of many

Trenchless machines started appearing on the Australian market in the 1990s, with demand for this technology swiftly rising. From Vermeer’s perspective, it was the perfect time to start designing its own trenchless machinery, putting its own unique spin on the cutting-edge technology.

The first horizontal directional drilling (HDD) machine that Vermeer brought to the market was the Navigator® 9 (later known as the D7 model) in 1991.

The Navigator was a more basic model than the HDD machinery on offer today and required a large amount of labour to set up and commence drilling. Also, at this point in time, everything on the machines involved a manual process.

A characteristic of Vermeer that sets it apart from its competitors is its commitment to listening to and working with its customers. The team spent a lot of time staging demonstrations of its HDD machinery for customers, gathering their feedback and introducing them to the technology.

The year 1995 saw the second generation of self-contained HDD drills introduced to the Australian market – the defining moment for Vermeer, allowing it to put its mark on this up-and-coming industry.

Additionally, the rollout of Foxtel and cable television meant an uptick in trenchless technology and Vermeer’s HDDs were often the machine of choice.

Vermeer’s first HDD was the Navigator® 9 (later known as the D7 model) in 1991. Image: Vermeer Australia

Changing and evolving

The late 1990s and early 2000s saw the introduction of Vermeer’s more compact HDDs, like the D7x11 and D16x20, which offered more variety and versatility for those working with a fleet of HDDs, particularly on larger projects.

As HDD needs have shifted, Vermeer has evolved and updated its range to ensure it always offers the best technology to customers.

Vermeer’s S3 range was introduced in 2015 and made rock drilling a lot simpler for operators, from the smaller D10x15 S3 HDD, weighing just over 3000kg, to the 17,000kg D60x90 S3 HDD, and more recently, the new D100x140 S3 weighing in at over 22,000kg.

As HDD requirements change, Vermeer is there every step of the way, constantly updating its range and continuing to prove itself as a high-quality solution for trenchless needs – from telecommunications and electricity to gas, water and energy pipelines

For more information, call 1300 VERMEER, or visit vermeeraustralia.com.au

This article featured in the May edition of The Australian Pipeliner. 

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