The triple bottom line benefits of trenchless technology

Gone are the days where project selection criteria was based solely on the benefits to corporate and business leaders. Nowadays, it’s no longer enough to focus on these benefits alone, and more contractors are on the hunt for equipment options that look at the bigger picture and offer triple bottom line benefits.

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Maxibor breaks through climate transition challenges

As the civil construction sector is going through the post–pandemic recovery stage, it needs to manage other challenges, namely climate transition, labour shortages, supply chain disruptions and inflation. Maxibor CEO Rodney O’Meley shares his insights on the impact of these challenges on the horizontal directional drilling industry and how Maxibor is addressing them so that clients and other project stakeholders’ expectations continue to be met.

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View the latest trenchless technology tenders

View the latest trenchless technology tenders

Domestic wastewater pipeline renewals 2021/22 
Issued by: Gisborne District Council
Closing Date: 10 December 2021
Location: New Zealand
Description: The request for proposal is an invitation to suitably qualified suppliers to submit a proposal for the renewal of existing domestic wastewater pipeline (trenchless).

Horizontal directional drilling to provide services to Horsham Nature Play Park
Issued by: Horsham Rural City Council
Closing Date: 10 December 2021
Location: Victoria
Description: Horsham Rural City Council invites you to provide a quotation for the installation of horizontal directional bore for the water, electrical and waste services for the Horsham Nature Play Park.

Sewer and stormwater mains lining
Issued by: Hunter Water Corporation
Closing Date: 16 December 2021
Location: New South Wales
Description: The work under this contract includes, but is not limited to, the rehabilitation of gravity sewer and stormwater mains by the installation of lining systems to restore structural integrity, prevent infiltration and exfiltration, eliminate root ingress and/or restore the hydraulic capacity of the mains.

The gravity sewer mains to be rehabilitated will be from a nominal diameter of 150 mm up to a maximum of 600 mm. The stormwater mains to be rehabilitated will be from a nominal diameter of 750 mm up to a maximum of 1050 mm.

Big Rivers Region, Central Arnhem Road, provision of water bore drilling services
Issued by: Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
Closing Date: 15 December 2021
Location: Northern Territory
Description: A general outline of the work to be carried out under the contract comprises of drilling and casing of two new road construction water bores on Central Arnhem Road for prioritised upgrade works at Mountain Valley and Mainoru.

Pipeline duplication contract administration, inspection and verification services
Issued by: Townsville City Council
Closing Date: 15 December 2021
Location: Queensland
Description: RRD2DWTP Pipeline Duplication Contract Administration, Inspection and Verification Services

Country South Water Retic Renewal Program
Issued by: Water Corporation
Closing Date: 15 December 2021
Location: Western Australia
Description: Water Corporation is inviting organisations with suitable experience, capability and capacity to submit a Bid for our Country South Water Reticulation Renewals Package for sites in Narrogin and Wagin, Western Australia. The scope of work requires the supply and installation of DN100/DN150 Series 2 PN16 PVC-M water reticulation main and associated works.

Panel of providers for stormwater CCTV
Issued by: Hobart City Council
Closing Date: 08 December 2021
Location: Tasmania
Description: Panel of providers for closed circuit television (CCTV) inspection and cleaning of stormwater infrastructure.

Each fortnight, the Trenchless Australasia e-newsletter includes a list of tenders relevant to no-dig contractors, suppliers and manufacturers.  

The information is provided by Australian Tenders, which is renowned for being an Australia-wide locally owned and operated tender notification service.  

Australian Tenders is also offering readers of Trenchless Australasia three months free on their subscription plans.  

Email support@australiantenders.com.au for more information.  

For more tender information visit the Australian Tenders website

Iplex Restrain

Restrain Sewer Pipe – made in Australia by Iplex

Since 1938, Iplex has worked with asset owners and contractors to find solutions for effectively repairing, rehabilitating or replacing existing pipelines while protecting the environment and local residents. 

Restrain™ Sewer Pipe  was specifically designed by Iplex for both new sewer networks and for the repair and replacement of underground gravity sewer infrastructure.

The need for a watertight, instantly restrained joint motivated Iplex to design and deliver Restrain – a PVC-U thread joint pipe with a rubber ring seal.

It is not your everyday threaded connection: it was designed for both trenched and trenchless installation.

Restrain is designed to keep boring diameters small while maximising flow, for long shot length with high push/pull strength and instant retention with a positive seal in the joint.

Restrain capitalises on the characteristic of PVC-U and is suitable for use in deep installations. The unique qualities of Restrain maximise the use of existing maintenance shafts as launching pits. 

Restrain is suitable for many different installation methods, including open trench and trenchless installations: such as horizontal directional drilling (HDD), auger boring or guided boring, micro-tunnelling and more. 

While previously imported, Restrain is now proudly manufactured in Australia, and meets strict national and product standards, and also has a positive WSAA appraisal.

Iplex has been recognised for its exceptional customer support and end-to-end capabilities and will be holding a technical webinar to allow customers to hear from the Iplex product & technical experts and also ask questions about Restrain.  The webinar will be hosted on Thursday 25 November at 11:00 am AEDT and will run for approximately 40 minutes.

Click here to register. 

For more information visit the Iplex website. 

Maxibor, Lamb Island 330x500

Good practices for HDD project management

Overarching this platform is a strong project management process which is applied across the full lifecycle of the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) projects it undertakes.

“Applying good practices to the management of HDD projects is essential from when the project information becoming available through to close out meetings,” says Maxibor CEO Rodney O’Meley.

“Getting it right from whoa to go is a big part of the success of Maxibor and is reflected in the respectful relationships we have been able to widely build across the trenchless industry and broader infrastructure sector.”

So, what are the key elements of good practice project management in the HDD world? They are really no different to those in other parts of project land.

However, it is important to have the experience to identify and understand the key matters you need to manage. The vision to identify and realise opportunities will also help optimise project outcomes for all stakeholders.

The key areas of good practice project management on HDD projects include:

Geotechnical data

Ground conditions are a high-risk area for HDD projects.

The ability to interpret geotechnical reports, proximity of bore sampling to designed bore hole alignment and rock strength testing methods used are just some of factors which need to be considered before design and delivery commences.


Most value can be added here. A good design engineer who can understand the relevance of geotechnical data and trenchless calculations is an essential part of the project team.

Extensive in-field delivery experience on challenging complex HDD projects is even more valuable.

Stephen Loneragan of HDD Engineering ably fits this description and has been a big part in helping successfully deliver HDD projects across the globe.

“Understanding client’s needs, technical information and resources to be used to deliver the project are essential to developing and communicating a design and construction methodology which minimises risk and optimises value,” says Mr Loneragan.

“By combining extensive field experience to design and engineering at the early project development phase, it has the ability to greatly improve constructability, which ultimately provides lowest cost and importantly, lowest risk outcome for clients.”


The key areas of contractual focus include ensuring the scope reflects what has been priced, time limits and liquidated and other damages are reasonable and causes of delay and latent conditions are either allowed for in the price as risk or will be allowed causes for time and/or cost variations.

Maxibor prepares a contracts departures schedule for each project which facilitates early conversation and a smoother project management process.

Risk and opportunity management

Maxibor has developed a comprehensive risk and opportunity register which covers the safety, environment, quality and HDD design and delivery risks.

The register of risks and opportunities is considered for each project and those more relevant to the project are actively managed.

Safety and environment

The inclusion of HSEQ personnel in the project management process is essential from the start to the finish.

Significant productivity gains can be achieved on the delivery of projects through having people safe, the environment protected, and plant and equipment well maintained and safely operated.

Scheduling of works and project tasks

The construction schedule is the roadmap to the delivery of the project. Knowing what needs to be done and when and by whom is a big part of the project.

Maxibor uses a project task register to capture key activities which need to be undertaken on each project.

Critical tasks are closely managed and regularly considered by the project management team. Understanding critical tasks and progress facilitates informed communication with the client and other stakeholders.


The main delivery resources for an HDD project are people and plant – Maxibor manages availability of staff through having multiple drill crews who can work across the maxi and other rigs.

Having one of the largest HDD fleets in Australia – four maxi-rigs, two midi-rigs and five smaller rigs along with cleaning systems, pumps and vac units overcomes many of the challenges of having the right plant available to deliver a project.

Supply chain

Having well established relationships with the supply chain overcomes many of the scheduling issues which can arise around material supply and provision of services such as pipe welding.

These relationships also help when unexpected or unusual issues arise with ground conditions, and urgent supply of special drill fluid ingredients is needed.

Stakeholder engagement 

Communication with stakeholders is easy if good project management practices are being applied throughout the project.

Applying all the above key good practices will strengthen the relationship with key stakeholders as communication can be both timely and informative.

This creates an environment which address challenges in a cooperative manner and helps to optimise outcomes for all.


The project management process needs to be conducted in a manner which has a view to attracting future business.

“It is important that trenchless industry promotes its capabilities through demonstrated successful delivery of projects,” says Maxibor National Business Development Manager David Turner.

“This is best achieved if there is a close connection between the client, project team and marketing/business development people to ensure that useful marketing content is captured and disseminated.”

Lesson learned

Steve Gibson of Devonian Group Projects has managed some of the largest infrastructure projects in Queensland and has been assisting Maxibor in further strengthening its project management framework.

“Every project has an end but we should never lose sight of that we are all on a continuous improvement path,” he says.

“Stakeholders taking time to reflect on the delivery of a project provides the means to make the next project even better.”

As a knowledge company Maxibor is more than happy to discuss its good practice HDD project management practices with others across the infrastructure sector.  

For more information visit the Maxibor website. 

Bohrtec machine guides sewer works

Bohrtec machine guides sewer works

In 2019, Downer Pipetech was engaged by Sydney Water to install 870 m of 226 mm uPVC sewer main for the future developments in the Spring Farm residential area of New South Wales.

With the project requiring the completion of 10 under bore sections, Downer engaged auger boring specialist Bortec Laser Bore from Narellan NSW, which uses machines from expert German supplier Bohrtec.

During consultations with experts from Germany, it was noted that geotechnical reports indicated displaceable soft sand, non-displaceable stiff clays and soft sandstone would be encountered.

These ground conditions suited either the Bohrtec pilot tube system for the displaceable soil, or the Bohrtec 406 mm FrontSteer system for the non-displaceable ground.

Although Bortec Laser Bore possessed both a Bohrtec BM 400 LSC and a Bohrtec 400 LS, it was decided the LSC machine would be better suited to the launch shafts due to its more compact design.

Bohrtec machine guides sewer works
Pits 10 and 11 – shoring boxes 6 m x 3 m; FrontSteer method. Image courtesy of Bohrtec


While the project proponents had top-quality Bohrtec machinery at their disposal, the works were not without their challenges and a range of equipment was required.

The required bore lengths ranged from 69 to 111 m and encompassed a total of approximately 830 m of boring across the project, while the launch shafts ranged from 6 to 13 m in depth.

Due to changing ground conditions, the pilot tube method was used in the softer displaceable soil, and the FrontSteer method was used in the harder non-displaceable clay and soft sandstone areas.

This method has both vertical and horizontal steering capabilities with an accuracy of up to ± 25 mm for drive of a length up to 100 m.

The connection point for the sewer was into an existing sewer access chamber 13 m deep in the middle of a roadway.

Bortec and Downer discussed the possibility of directly boring into the existing manhole and eliminating the excavation of the roadway to a connection, and Downer agreed to set up a platform in the existing access chamber in the roadway and internally core out a 600 mm core hole where the bore was to come out.

Bortec was able to use the pilot system to move through the soft sand and, with the use of the optical guidance system, could come out directly in the centre of this core hole.

Afterwards, the hole could be upsized and bored in the 406 mm steel pipes.

Manholes up to 13 m deep were constructed with tight access, with flat grades ranging from 0.45 per cent to 0.65 per cent with minimal tolerances between the bores.

A DN 406 mild steel casing was installed, with the DN 225 uPVC carrier pipe then inserted inside.Centralisers were also installed at 3 m minimum intervals, while the annulus between the uPVC and steel casing pipe was grouted.

Vacuum testing and CCTV of the installed sewer were conducted and all spoil and slurry from the launch pit was removed.

The project was completed successfully and within budget, with no recorded safety incidents, while the connection made to the existing access chamber was made without the need to excavate the surrounding roadway.

Thanks to the technical assistance from Bohrtec, the optical guided system was successfully employed when using either the pilot tube or FrontSteer systems in order to maintain grade and alignment as per design.

For more information visit the Bohrtec website.



Boretech D24x40S3 for Vermeer WA & NT

Boretech leading WA’s HDD utility installations

WA-based Boretech Contracting started as an installer of underground services for Telstra and the National Broadband Network but has since expanded and secured long-term horizontal directional drilling (HDD) contracts for a range of utility projects.

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