New Chairman for AUSJET/ADCVA

Peter Jones has stepped down as Chairman of the Board for AUSJET/ADCVA and welcomed Lance McKay to the role.

As the business development manager at Cleanaway, McKay has garnered resect within the industry as a person with a strong knowledge foundation.

A member of the Board since 2018, he now takes the reins as things gear up towards AUSJET 2022 in October.

Jones congratulated McKay, and said that the new chairman has the knowledge and drive to move the association forward.

“Looking forward to the year ahead with Lance at the helm,” Jones said.

For almost 30 years the Australasian High Pressure Water Jetting Association (AUSJET)
and the Australasian Drain Cleaning and Vacuuming Association (ADCVA) have been dedicated to strengthening safety standards and influencing change in the water jetting, drain cleaning, vacuum loading and hydro excavation industries.

After a series of pandemic-related delays, the inaugural AUSJET22 event will bring together industry experts for live exhibitions, demonstrations throughout the event, education opportunities and networking events for attendees.


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Directhitt Trenchless targets business growth

When working on specialised Civil Engineering projects requiring Microtunnelling, having a wealth of experience is key.

With decades worth of knowledge, Directhitt Trenchless’s new Business Development Manager for Microtunnelling Dimce Sijakovski has the know-how to bring any project to fruition.

Sitting down to speak with Trenchless Australasia, Sijakovski reflects on his successful and decades long career within the trenchless industry. 

Directhitt Trenchless’s Business Development Manager for Microtunnelling Dimce Sijakovski.

Introduced to the industry in eastern Europe at the beginning of his career, Sijakovski spent the mid 90’s working on a large-scale cross country pipeline project in Macedonia. The project involved the completion of multiple trenchless crossings along the pipeline and was ultimately a wonderful exposure to the industry for Sijakovski, introducing him to the innovations unfolding in the trenchless industry at the time.

Following this, Sijakovski began his career working in the Australian trenchless industry when he joined HDD innovator Cherrington in 2000. At Cherrington, Sijakovski took on the role of International Business Development Manager, shouldering the responsibilities of quality assurance and project management for the company. 

This role granted him the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects throughout Australia and Asia.

“At the time, Cherrington was one of the biggest horizontal directional drilling contractors in not just Australia but internationally,” says Sijakovski. “They were the founders of HDD back in the 70’s in the United States.”

“Not one job was the same as any other when I was working with Cherrington. I was able to travel extensively, marketing their services around the world. While Cherrington won a lot of work in Australia, I also had the opportunity to work on projects in India and South Korea while marketing the company worldwide to potential clients.”

Part of what drew Sijakovski to the company was Cherrington’s place as the innovators and leaders of the HDD Industry. For example, in 2001 Cherrington designed and built a Pipe Thruster HDD rig in Smithfield in Sydney that was utilized on the Partricia Baleen Pipeline project for OMV near Orbost in Victoria, to install 12-inch coated steel pipelines, which were welded onshore and pushed into the boreholes. An innovative approach which was later used by others seeking to manage the risks associated with Shore Crossing construction. 

Following his time with Cherrington, he has continued to work for a variety of trenchless contractors in similar roles such as contract and project management, business development and implementation of Quality Assurance Systems.

Sijakovski’s new role as Business Development Manager for Microtunnelling at Directhitt will see the company grow and develop its microtunnelling division. An opportunity which, according to Sijakovski, was simply too good to refuse.

The Directhitt business is one of Australia’s oldest and long-standing Trenchless companies formed back in 1995 by Albert Hendrickx. Over the years, Directhitt’s record of project delivery has been well-documented earning it the reputation as the contractor of choice.

“Keeping in mind the wonderful reputation of the owner, Albert Henrickx, has – to be honest his references are simply out of this world. He demands a lot of respect in the industry for a very good reason,” says Sijakovski.

“It is a great opportunity to grow the microtunnelling division of the business given Directhitt is predominantly a major HDD contractor. Our aim is to offer a full package when it comes to trenchless services, including installation of segmental concrete and steel shafts. 

“The trenchless industry is a small industry but at the same time it’s a complex one – there are different methods of microtunnelling such as vacuum extraction, open face pipe jacking, earth pressure balance microtunnelling and slurry microtunnelling but not all methodologies are appropriate for all ground conditions.

“The capacity for trenchless technologies to be developed and built in Australia has always attracted me. Directhitt definitely has that capability and capacity for growth. Ensuring the industry is aware of the full scope of capabilities of the company and that their strong reputation continues to develop,” he says.

Directhitt covers an extensive range of equipment including laser-guided microtunnelling units for varying ground conditions and has constructed some of the most complex trenchless projects in Australia. With expertise in civil engineering covering pipeline installation, Directhitt is able to provide a total project solution for its clients in a variety of markets. 

Thanks to Sijakovski this legacy is only set to continue as he works to continue Directhitt’s reputation as hardworking and capable of not only taking on complex projects but delivering on them on every occasion as well.

For more information visit Directhitt’s website.


This article appeared in the August edition of Trenchless Australasia

Vermeer D40x55DR HDD ‘ticks every box’ for Healesville Directional Drilling

Cameron Pearson, owner of Healesville Directional Drilling, has great plans for the business after he took the reins from his father in 2021, and his new Vermeer D40x55DR Horizontal Directional Drill plays a big part in this.

Healesville Directional Drilling has been in operation for roughly 20 years, started by Pearson’s father and grandfather. He recently took the lead to continue the family legacy of working in drilling and underground excavation.

“We’ve always worked doing pole to pit work in the local Boronia area, but now we’ve got a big focus on larger projects across southeast and northeast Victoria, which gives us a steady flow of work. We have a contract with Downer installing underground power, and our larger projects vary between private companies and large Tier 1 contractors,” Pearson says.

To help support these larger HDD projects, Cameron recently purchased a Vermeer D40x55DR HDD, which he says he chose because of Vermeer Australia’s great reputation in the industry.

“I’ve always run a competitor product, and never had any issues, but it was all I knew because it’s what I used every day. One of my mentors I was doing some work with at the time was using Vermeer and never had a bad thing to say about the machinery,” he says.

“So, when the time came to upgrade, I decided to check out what Vermeer had to offer. Their package suited all our current needs, and we haven’t looked back.”

Pearson says the main thing that stands out with the D40x55DR is the versatility. 

“The needs for our projects can change every week, from doing 63 mm diameter pipes one day to 350 mm the next, all in different locations and differing conditions, but this machine ticks every box, and I can use on the majority of our projects.”

“The size of the drill and the power of it is also a standout. It has great steering capabilities in rock or hard ground conditions, and being able to simply swap from rock to clay heads in a matter of minutes drastically reduces our downtime and increases our productivity on the job.”

The D40x55DR features dual rod technology that uses an inner rod to provide torque to the drill bit, while the outer rod offers steering capability and rotational torque for reaming. It has an operating weight of over 15 tonnes, power of 140 hp (104.4 kW), rotational torque of 7458 Nm and thrust to pullback force of 20 tonnes.

Pearson says the support of the Vermeer Australia team has been as exceptional as the machine, too.

“The team has been fantastic. They’re always on the other line if I have a query, I’ve never had an issue with parts supply, and their customer support on site has been great,” he says. 

“I’d love to add a bigger Vermeer to my fleet one day when the work is there, a D60x90 HDD would be great, as I love working on big projects and operating larger machines. It’s definitely a goal I’ll be working towards and looking to Vermeer to support us on.”

For more information visit Vermeer’s website.


This article appeared in the August edition of Trenchless Australasia.

Maxibor uses HDD to overcome ESG challenges

Maxibor is taking steps to practically applying the use of HDD to help overcome the environmental challenges that communities now face, demonstrating how HDD can be an important part of the environmental solutions to achieve the goals and values of ESG.

ESG is an acronym for Environmental, Social, and (Corporate) Governance, related to the standards of social responsibility in investing. Each category of ESG has numerous subcategories, allowing each business or investor to contextualize ESG in relation to their goals or values.

The “E” principles in ESG cover:

  • Climate change and carbon emissions
  • Air and water pollution
  • Biodiversity
  • Energy efficiency
  • Deforestation
  • Waste management
  • Water scarcity.

Maxibor is embracing these principles in its sustainability and environmental policies and procedures at a design, construction methodology development and HDD delivery level for each project it undertakes.

Furthermore, Maxibor’s HDD sustainability initiatives are enabling asset owners and tier 1 principal contractors to respond to the accelerating community demand for demonstrated action around the key ESG environmental principles. The company’s collaborative approach is providing asset owners across the water and sewer, rail, power, gas, telecommunications, mining, defence, fuel, sea cable, data centre, hydrogen and renewables sectors a readily available means to demonstrate evidence of sustainable infrastructure installation practices. 

Climate change

HDD is an important part of climate change adaptation action to mitigate the impact of fire, wind, flood, inundation, drought and rain bombs. 

Simultaneous disasters in multiple locations, as happened with the 2019-20 bushfires, and now the 2022 floods, stretches the ability of infrastructure asset owners and emergency services personnel and resources to respond to these events in a timely and effective manner. Having key infrastructure such as electricity and telecommunications underground in times of extreme and higher frequency climate change induced events provides greater certainty of supply as they are safely away from the above ground impact of extreme weather events. 

Having infrastructure underground also increases community safety and reduces the recovery effort to re-establish essential services. The old above ground location of utilities as well as drainage is not sustainable – placement of infrastructure underground is a key part of the climate change mitigation and resilience solution. 

Design and construct of long (over 1,000 m) and larger diameter (800 mm to 1.6 m) HDD bores is where Maxibor can add most value to climate change mitigation projects. The company’s design expertise in long, challenging pipeline installations and the capacity of its maxi-rigs like the Gallagher 660e, Gallagher 600, American Auger 660 and Vermeer D330x500 plus its powerful Gardner Denver PZ9 pumps with 1000HP engines Gardner Denver PZ8 pumps with 750 HP engines, provide a turnkey solution for infrastructure asset owners on these projects. The involvement of Maxibor’s HDD expertise in projects at the concept and early design stages is where its innovative solutions and experience will optimise Value to a project.

Carbon emissions 

It is incumbent on all industries to reduce carbon emissions. The use of emissions friendly electric rig spreads such as can be provided by Maxibor with the Gallagher HDD660e maxi-rig (The Hulk), powerful pumps and drill mud recycling system assists in a cleaner and lower noise delivery of HDD services. Such an HDD delivery solution is ideal for well-established metropolitan areas. 

Even with using diesel powered plant, HDD will have a lower level of carbon emissions than open cut methods of pipeline installation. The key drivers of the lower emissions include:

  • Smaller site footprint and with mostly static site equipment
  • Less high emission machinery as no need for high emission open cut civil activities such as excavation, backfilling, compaction and reinstatement
  • Fewer traffic movements to dispose of surplus excavated materials and bring in replacement materials for drainage, compaction and rehabilitation
  • Less local traffic disruptions, diversion and extended waiting times equals less vehicle pollution around civil works that include HDD.

Maxibor is able to measure its carbon emissions through a carbon calculator model. The emissions produced by undertaking the works using an open cut method can also be modelled to provide a measure of the carbon emissions benefit of using HDD.  

For carbon emissions to be reduced by the civil construction industry the way Maxibor delivers projects needs to select more carbon emissions friendly methods. Changes in behaviour around design, construction methodologies and equipment used is required. Maxibor’s electric HDD maxi-rig spread and carbon emissions measuring model are examples of how the industry is changing its behaviour.

Air and water pollution and waste management

Ageing infrastructure is an increasing issue across Australia. This is particularly so in the water sector where the deleterious nature of fluid leaks from ageing infrastructure is unacceptable environmentally. HDD is a key part of the replacement solution to prevent environmental damage and preserve limited resources.  

As HDD is able to undertake its work at a greater depth than open cut methods, it is less likely to interfere with existing services. Nevertheless, it is important to utilise modern services location equipment to confirm drawings. As well, use of fit for purpose steering equipment is essential when completing the pilot hole for each bore. All this helps to avoid the pollution of the local water supply and surrounding environment.

Good design in the planning stage with quality geotech information and experienced HDD drillers also reduce the underground environmental risks.

Preparing and implementing a comprehensive drill mud management plan will help ensure that the drill fluid materials used are appropriate for the local environment. The risk of frac outs or other unplanned escapes of drilling fluid will also be minimised through good practice drilling fluid management. 

Improved drill fluid technology is providing products being better able to address bore hole challenges. Ingredients to address bacterial odour from the drill mud and unstable bore holes such as those encountered in water charged sands are reducing the frequency and extent of  unwanted outcomes from HDD projects.

Improved drill fluid disposal practices are  also reducing the amount of waste which needs to be transported from site. Products are now available which solidify the water based drill fluids on site. This reduces the quantity of waste required to be disposed and the number of vehicle movements for disposal to a licensed facility.


HDD is beneficial to the environment especially when compared to traditional open-cut trenching and excavation methods. 

Open-cut trenching methods are more harmful to the environment due to the large increase in mechanical disturbance in the soil  profiles where flora and fauna exist. Damage to sensitive cultural areas e.g. first nations peoples’ significant sites such as shell middens,  is also much greater as the open cut footprint requires the destruction of all in its longer and broader path.

HDD essentially overcomes these problems. A smaller footprint and the installation of pipelines entirely underground with minimal disturbance of the above and surrounding landscape avoids impact on sensitive areas which need to be preserved for environmental or cultural reasons.

HDD can help minimise impacts on flora and fauna and habitats in areas including:

  • Natural rivers and creeks
  • Bays
  • Protected wetlands
  • Endangered wildlife habitats
  • Culturally sensitive sites
  • Vital agricultural soil
  • Railway lines
  • Forests
  • Tree lined streets

For more information visit Maxibor’s website.


This article appeared in the August edition of Trenchless Australasia