From the magazine

Vermeer vacs it up

The last ten years have been rewarding to Vermeer Australia, who since 2004 have grown to approximately 90 employees and added an additional dealership to service the Far North Queensland resources industry.

Today, Vermeer is a quality certified business that has developed considerably to meet the needs of today’s resources and utility projects across Australia and New Zealand.

Steve Reeves from Vermeer recalls the early days of Trenchless Australasia magazine after it was conceived by the ASTT, and when it first began reaching readers within the sector.

“To remain strong, an industry requires unity and advocacy, and the ASTT is an industry body that has helped represent and develop the trenchless segment.

“We believe that real industry support is more than just words and that it’s important to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to supporting an industry that is so central to our business,” Mr Reeves said.

In June 2007, Trenchless Australasia reported on the release of the 800/1,200 gallon vac excavator.

Steve Reeves said the adoption of vacuum excavation in Australasia has grown considerably and as a result, businesses have been seen to adapt to the changing landscape.

“As vacuum excavation in Australia has grown we’ve responded with features including greater spoil tank capacity, increased vacuum to enable excavation and spoil removal at greater depths and rates, further adoption of remote controlled booms for reduced manual handling and increased operator efficiency, and overall a general trend toward automation of the vacuum excavation process,” he said.

In 2011, a Vermeer D300x500 directional borer was used to install Australia’s first 1,200 mm diameter SDR11 PN16 HDPE watermain.

This project illustrated the challenging conditions a Vermeer rig can work in including alluvial clay, sand, gravel and sandstone, several flood events during the project and difficult site access with a narrow 10 m wide construction corridor.

Mr Reeves said there were various reasons as to why it was the machines were able to adapt to difficult environments.

“There are a few inherent properties of Vermeer rigs that keep customers coming back, a compact footprint for their class, a quality of engineering and reliability and comfort for the operator just to name a few.

“The benefits of being supported by a truly national dealer network with strong ties to the manufacturer are another feature that we find our customers value greatly,” Mr Reeves said.

A lot can change in ten years, a fact that isn’t lost on Vermeer as they join Trenchless Australasia reflecting on the last decade of the trenchless industry.

Vermeer’s HDD rigs have changed and developed significantly in this time, and looking forward, Mr Reeves said the future looked exciting for the company and the wider industry.

“Vermeer’s engineers have made great advances with electrical systems on our rigs in recent years, with all models now featuring proven rack and pinion carriage drive mechanisms.”

“We see the future as being very bright, the technology is no longer in its infancy or thought of as “÷unconventional’ and with widespread utilisation across utility installation projects – such as fibre network installations and restorations of aging sewer infrastructure – the current demand for the technology, which is high, is certain to grow even further,” Mr Reeves said.

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