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An Australian HDD success story

Over the past seven years, Maxibor has applied a strategy that has seen it become one of Australia’s leading HDD design and construction providers.

Its proven experience and cooperative knowledge sharing approach is winning many friends across the infrastructure and mining sectors.

The success of Maxibor has been underpinned by building relationships, gaining respect and providing responses. The company sees its cooperative approach as the right model for others to follow, especially in these challenging economic, environmental and social times, saying knowledge sharing is vital to such an approach.

“It is something that has held societies together for untold generations – and it is even more important in these difficult and changing times,” says Maxibor Owner and CEO Rodney O’Meley.

The knowledge sharing concept is embodied in the logo of Indigenous business Native Earthworks, which is one of several Indigenous businesses Maxibor is assisting to better participate in the civil construction sector.

“The symbol of two people sitting together to share knowledge has its origins from societies 12,000 years ago,” says Native Earthworks Owner and proud Torres Strait Islander Chris Young.

“I really like the Maxibor culture of sharing knowledge and cooperating with all stakeholders across the project delivery process. It is certainly helping to make a difference for Native Earthworks.”

In the specialised area of horizontal directional drilling (HDD), it is unlikely the entirety of HDD knowledge will be within asset owners, design engineers or Tier 1 contractors.

“Maxibor is living and breathing HDD at a design, estimation and delivery level each day,” says Mr O’Meley.

“We are more than happy to readily share that knowledge at the right stage of a project so that the best decisions can be made at a concept, design and delivery level for the benefit of all.

“The benefit of Maxibor’s HDD knowledge and, just as importantly, the willingness to share that knowledge, is able to add value at the design, bid and delivery stages of clients’ projects.”

HDD Engineering Special Projects Director Stephen Longeragan is also a strong advocate of HDD being able to solve complex infrastructure project challenges.

“The Maxibor approach is something which the HDD industry needs more of,” he says.

“There are so many benefits to be realised if we all get together early on complex projects to share our HDD knowledge. This will get the right design and therefore provide the optimised delivered outcome.”

Maxibor Senior Project Manager Guy Angus says, “Maxibor’s access to the full suite of HDD knowledge and our cooperative approach in the bid process is helping more and more principal contractor clients to be best positioned in the bid process.”

“They are not only getting a fair and reasonable quoted price but a well thought out design and drilling methodology which fully addresses time, quality, safety, environmental and heritage issues.”

Building relationships

Guy Angus and James Hand developing design and drilling methodology for another HDD project at Maxibor’s new offices at Beresfield, NSW.

Another key driver in Maxibor’s approach is the creation of strategic relationships across the various infrastructure sectors. This requires developing relationships, respect and response at all levels including asset owners, Tier 1s, major contractors, engineering design, suppliers and industry bodies.

Matt Watkins, who has worked on many Tier 1 bids from inside and now consults to the infrastructure sector through Pioneering Consultancy on business strategy, business development and strategic procurement, says “those contractors like Maxibor that are well connected across the whole delivery chain and with wider industry professionals will benefit substantially from that level and style of engagement”.

With bases now established in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, Maxibor can mobilise to anywhere in Australia. Its fleet of 12 rigs, including maxi-rigs, mid-rigs, rock drills and other medium drills, means there is no HDD project that Maxibor can’t complete.

Maxibor’s cooperative approach has also seen it develop a close business relationship with HDD provider CT Civil. Based in Victoria and with project experience in NSW and Tasmania, CT Civil’s fleet of three drills includes a Ditch Witch AT40, which is ideal for high strength rock.

“Cooperation with Maxibor is enabling a smaller HDD company like ours to quickly move to another level – the amount of knowledge inside of Maxibor and its well-established network of connections is just amazing,” says CT Civil Managing Director Cam Stevens.

“Our three Ditch Witches and Maxibor’s Vermeer 330×500 and American Auger 660 maxi-rigs plus its two Vermeer 100×120 mid-rigs and five other medium rigs provide a formidable combination with which to provide HDD services in the southern regions of Australia and elsewhere.

“I like what Maxibor is doing on social procurement, especially through the collaborative Indigenous business model. CT Civil was proud to be part of helping Native Earthworks get its website off the ground and is looking forward to utilising their drainage and other civil expertise on the delivery of future infrastructure projects.”

Maxibor National Business Development Manager David Turner says it is important for Maxibor to get the message out there about its knowledge sharing and cooperative approach.

“Being a regular contributor Trenchless Australasia and its sister publication The Australian Pipeliner is all part of that process,” he says.

“The Australasian Trenchless Directory 2020 recently released by the ASTT is an ideal source of information for those involved in the infrastructure sector – it is the who’s who of infrastructure asset owners and suppliers (with Maxibor proudly highlighted on pages 96-97).”

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

For more information visit the Maxibor website.

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

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