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Civtec has NZ covered with support from Ditch Witch CEA

Ditch Witch CEA

Ditch Witch CEA is helping infrastructure specialists, like Civtech, deliver on telecommunications networks, civil and utilities infrastructure.

Since the company’s inception in 2014, Civtec’s mantra has always been to ensure its clients and customers receive the most effective and swift service possible. This, coupled with a strong foundation of modern equipment and hardworking staff has helped Civtec become a renowned and award-winning company that time, and time again proves its dedication to delivering on behalf of its clients. 

With a modern fleet of specialised equipment, Civtec has the experience, expertise and the gear to get the job done. 

Sitting down to speak with Trenchless Australasia, founder Shane Smart reflects on Civtec’s early 2010’s beginning and its remarkably swift success within the trenchless industry.

“I began my telco career off the back of the fibre rollout for New Zealand in 2013, my role was managing a bunch of contractors and I was a project manager for a handful of projects,” says Smart. 

As time went on, and after making some connections with previous clients who had come to know Smart for his hard work and dedication, he decided to strike out on his own. Within a year, the business grew from being just a hardworking man and his van to a company with over 20 staff.

When the time came, Civtec purchased its first drill. 

The drill was a JT5 model from Ditch Witch CEA, known as the ideal compact rig with just the right amount of thrust and pullback for shallow installations of cable, fibre and water systems. The JT5 rig can reach up to 46 m in length beneath roads, driveways, sidewalks, sensitive landscaping and other surface obstacles ensuring little to no surface disruption. 

The Civtec team at the Westpac Waikato Business Awards.

Ditch Witch CEA is dedicated to delivering the highest level of product support to its customers. Employing factory-trained sales and service specialists who are dedicated to supporting clients and all machinery requirements, CEA is equipped with the expertise and knowledge to help businesses like Civtec develop a strong reputation in the industry.

“Looking back, when comparing buying that drill to all that has come since it pales in comparison to everything else, we’ve been able to achieve,” says Smart. “But really that was such a big step for me and for the company, it really helped set us up and continue growing into what we are today.”

Since then, Civtec has grown to employ over 380 staff with locations across New Zealand and is fully equipped to take on larger-scale projects from beginning to end. 

“We like to say that we can offer the whole package, especially when it comes to fibre, water and power,” says Smart. 

“We take on a wide range of projects and commit to each and every stage fully – we’re not just a directional drilling service, we’re actually able to take on a lot more than just that and constantly deliver a full-service solution.”

What makes Civtec stand apart from its competitors is just that – its flexibility. Thanks to its independence from a larger internationally based infrastructure cooperation, Civtec is able to maintain its flexibility and agility which its clients benefit from greatly.

“It’s important for us to be able to prioritise the needs of our clients and be able to adapt to their requirements at the drop of the hat, so to speak, because at the end of the day we really do care about delivering the outcomes they need.” 

“New Zealand is a small place, the industry is fairly tight-knit and you get to know quite a few people,” says Smart. 

“While I might not remember the name of each and every person we have worked with, there’s always someone who cares and supports your needs both in the business and in the wider industry.” 

“Building relationships with businesses like Ditch Witch CEA, you get to know them over the years and are able to help grow alongside them.”

Recently, Civtec and Ditch Witch CEA have continued to build on this relationship with Civtec having added the AT30 directional drill to their fleet of 10 Ditch Witch machines. Designed to tackle the toughest conditions from solid rock to cobble, the AT30 was the perfect choice for the job which involved working on 7 km of waterpipe. 

With a greater horsepower, a higher capacity pump and easy to operate the AT30 is not only the most powerful Ditch Witch machine in its class; but also, the quietest. This ensures significantly lessened impacts to the environment as well as less disruption in urban areas and greater operator comfort.

“I was confident I had the backing from Ditch Witch that they’d be able to have AT30 to me once we had the go-ahead for the project we’d been tapped for,” explains Smart. “We wanted to start work straight away once we had that green light and having the assurance from Ditch Witch that this would be possible was amazing.”

Shane Smart
Civtec founder Shane Smart.

Looking to the future, it seems the only way to go is up, Civtec is preparing to tackle a range of ambitious projects thanks to New Zealand’s Three Waters Reform Programme, which will see the overhauling and rehabilitation of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure across the country.

“There is a lot happening with Infrastructure at the moment, Three Waters is a hot topic and when this kicks into gear, there’s going to be a lot of renewals and rehabilitation projects which we’re definitely excited to get stuck into,” says Smart. “It’ll be a great opportunity for Civtec to become more involved in the water infrastructure side of the trenchless industry and to really flex our muscles in that respect.” 

Supporting them during this exciting time, Ditch Witch CEA is committed to continuing to provide the company with expert advice on what equipment best suits the company’s needs and ensuring each piece of machinery is of the highest quality.

For more information visit Ditch Witch CEA.

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This article appeared in the October edition of Trenchless Australasia. Access the digital copy of the magazine here.


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