The expansion into horizontal directional drilling (HDD) follows the purchase in 2012 of Astec Underground, a highly regarded manufacturer of directional drills, riding trenchers and other utility products, by The Toro Company of the US, Toro Australia’s parent company.
The first Toro-branded mid-range HDD machines arrived in Australia in early 2014.
They included two directional drill and two riding trencher models, typically used in the installation, repair and replacement of underground utility infrastructure.
Toro Sales Manager of Directional Drilling/Trenching Equipment Greg Ivanovic said HDD machines were most frequently used by power distribution, telecommunications and utility companies as well as landscape and irrigation contractors.
“Since the acquisition, Toro has made technical improvements, updated the electronics and changed the branding and colour of the machines to the Toro red, but essentially maintained what was already an exceptional product,” he said.
Mr Ivanovic said the HDD market in Australia was expected to grow next year with major projects underway including the NBN, the on-going reconstruction of services after floods in Queensland and infrastructure upgrades in high-growth locations.
“While Toro will be entering a very competitive field against established machinery providers, we are confident Toro’s reputation for service and reliability will help grow our position in this important market,” he said.
“Toro has been supplying turf care, irrigation, agricultural and construction equipment for many years and has earned an excellent reputation for customer service, servicing machinery and parts supply.
“Ahead of the arrival of the new equipment, we are investing considerable time with our service and customer support staff to ensure they are fully prepared for the arrival of the new equipment.
“We believe this preparation and Toro’s philosophy of great service, together with having service centres in each state, will give us an edge over our competitors and help make Toro a supplier of choice.
“We have already heard from a number of potential customers who have deferred replacing or purchasing new equipment until they have had a chance to examine the new Toro products.”
Mr Ivanovic said Toro had also developed partnerships with a number of industry leaders to support the new machines.
These include suppliers of ancillary equipment like locating and tracking systems, drill rods, tooling and drilling fluids.
To help customers obtain new equipment, Toro also offers Toro Finance.
This will help spread equipment costs, maintain cash reserves and bring forward the benefits new technology delivers