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Directional drills with a difference

For HDD experts DirectBor, reliability, efficiency and accuracy are vital features it looks for when choosing equipment for projects – which is why it chooses Vermeer.

Servicing Victoria and extending Australia-wide, DirectBor are leaders in horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and specialise in small-large-scale projects. At full capacity, DirectBor has more than 50 employees as well as more than 100 pieces of plant and equipment in its fleets. 

When it comes to the installation of underground conduit and pipes, DirectBor understands equipment performance is a major factor in achieving a successful outcome – especially in the urban and built-up environments it commonly works within. 

DirectBor Director Aaron Finch says the company is always looking for the latest technology to help it succeed, and recently purchased a new horizontal directional drill to do so. After initially trialling a competitor’s drill, Mr Finch realised it was not the right fit for DirectBor’s needs and searched for an alternative. 

Finding the right drill 

Mr Finch says initially DirectBor used a competitor’s drills until the company purchased its D40X55DR S3 Horizontal Directional Drill from Vermeer Australia in 2019. Once he saw the Vermeer drill in action, Mr Finch says he was impressed with both the technology incorporated into the drill as well as the ease of operation, and knew it was ideal for the company’s fleet. 

With the successful performance of the D40X55DR on several projects, Mr Finch says it was so well liked that DirectBor decided to trade its other drill for another one of Vermeer’s products – the new D23X30DR S3 Horizontal Directional Drill. 

The D40x55DR drill.

“We heard great reports about the D23X30DR S3 from the testing they did in America, so we thought we’d give it a go,” says Mr Finch.

“It’s an incredible drill.” 

With a narrow and low-profile footprint, the D23X30DR S3 is ideal for compact commercial or urban job sites. While compact, it has high speed and power capabilities, featuring a carriage speed of 62.8 m/minute, 219 rpm rotational speed and 24,000 lbs (108,862 kg) of thrust and pullback, which are all fuelled by a 100 hp Deutz engine. 

Mr Finch says some of the benefits DirectBor has already seen with the D23X30DR S3 drill include time efficiency and steerability with the rod pulls. 

“We just finished a 70 m shot of 4x140s in Taree. The project involved a lot of assets to duck and weave around, but the guys completed it in five days thanks to the D23X30DR S3,” he says. 

In addition to speed and power, the D23X30DR S3 is also extremely quiet with a 99 dB(A) guaranteed sound power level, meaning it has minimal impact on local businesses and neighbours around worksites. 

“It’s very quiet, so we don’t get any complaints from residents when it’s revving,” says Mr Finch. 

Exceptional customer service 

DirectBor has been a long-term customer of Vermeer Australia, having already acquired a HDD locator, a D36X50 drill, a VSK100XT2200 Vac Truck and a D40X55DR DR. Mr Finch says DirectBor has now replaced the majority of its drill rigs with those from Vermeer Australia and the team is fully on board with the new equipment – so much so operators are even competing on who gets to take the new drills out. 

Mr Finch adds it is the exceptional customer service and after-sales care that comes with every piece of equipment that makes working with Vermeer Australia easy and hassle-free. 

“The timely customer service and support is a major factor in continuing to choose Vermeer products over others,” he says. 

“If I’ve got a question or concern, they’re on to it straightaway, there’s no real lead time for anything.

“Their spare parts are absolutely amazing. They’ve invested in their own company building [the Vermeer Australia dealership] in Derrimut, so the majority of their parts are there.” 

Mr Finch says he also loves the availability of advice, and says he speaks with someone from Vermeer Australia every few weeks to touch base. 

“Vermeer Australia actually keeps in touch after sales, they don’t just give you the drill and say, ‘There you go, we’ll talk to you when you want another one’,” he says. 

“It doesn’t matter who you ring up, if they don’t have the answer, they’ll go to someone that can get you the answer at that time.” 

This article was featured in the December 2020 edition of Trenchless Australasia. To view the magazine on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile device, click here.

For more information visit the Vermeer Australia website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless Australasia contact Journalist Sophie Venz at

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