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Melfred Borzall: 70 years young

Melfred Borzall: 70 years young

9 January 2017 , , 0

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) rigs, Melfred Borzall recently celebrated 70 years in the industry, producing robust and long-lasting machinery that stands up to real-world conditions.

For more than 70 years Melfred Borzall has been developing horizontal directional drilling (HDD) tools that make directional drilling more productive and more profitable.

Its Southern California design and manufacturing plant is ground zero for the HDD tools have influenced the industry and changed the way people drill.

The company, which is operated by the founder’s grandsons, prides itself on its products versatile design, manufactured with quality materials.

The result is long-lasting, earth-chomping, tough as nails, tools that help drillers cover more ground while limiting expenses.

From humble beginnings

When Los Angeles native Fred Melsheimer began adapting drilling techniques from the oil industry and applying them to a horizontal slurry boring process, he started a family legacy that has continued for 70 years.

Dick, Fred’s son, joined the family business and in 1961, and designed and built the Sure Shot – one of the very first HDD rigs with the ability to use locating equipment.

As the industry started to grow more HDD manufacturers emerged, and the family business, focused on producing HDD tooling.

Dick’s two sons, Eric and Peter, grew up working at Melfred Borzall during their summer holidays, eventually joining the company full time.

The Sure Shot

Peter started working for the company on a full-time basis after graduating college, demonstrating the Sure Shot machine across the country and educating the utility industry about the possibilities of modern HDD.

Eric joined full time after working several years in aerospace. Shortly after starting, Eric trained a drill crew using the Sure Shot and made the first successful HDD underground river crossing in New Zealand.

With the company now in its eighth decade, Dick has moved into a President Emeritus role, while his two sons, Eric and Peter, have stepped up as President and Director of Marketing, respectively.

Though under different titles, the brothers share leadership responsibilities at Melfred.

Dick, utilising his years of HDD experience, continues his support working in the field with HDD drillers and with Melfred distributors.

While keeping the tradition of innovation, customer service and industry leadership started by Fred Melsheimer, the two brothers are taking Melfred into an exciting new direction built on 70 years of HDD knowledge along with 21st century manufacturing and marketing ideas.

For more information visit the Melfred Borzall website.

This article was featured in the December edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile device, click here.

If you have a company news you would like covered in Trenchless Australasia contact Assistant Editor Nick Lovering at


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