Building a reliable fleet for remote pipeline projects

Project Info

Contracted to deliver the $80 million South West Loddon Pipeline Project, Mitchell Water sought to […]

Mitchell Water


Vacuum Excavator & Track Trencher

Vermeer PP100 XT Vacuum Excavator on the South West Loddon Pipeline Project, by Mitchell Water

Contracted to deliver the $80 million South West Loddon Pipeline Project, Mitchell Water sought to expand its fleet to deliver the project to a high standard, on time and on budget. Here, Project Director for Mitchell Water, Ross Bennett, talks about the value of choosing the right equipment that is reliable and fast when working in remote locations.

Mitchell Water began as a small, family-owned business that has grown to become one of the largest privately-owned pipeline engineering and construction companies in Australia. With the expansion of its services and capabilities came a new set of challenges. In order to stay ahead of the competition while still delivering high-quality, cost-effective services, Mitchell Water had to be innovative and strategic when expanding its fleet.

Mr Bennett is currently managing the $80 million South West Loddon Pipeline Project — a joint initiative between Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater), Loddon Shire, Coliban Water, Goulburn-Murray Water, and the Victorian and Federal Governments. As part of the project, Mitchell Water is currently constructing the 1300km of water pipeline trunk & distribution network, along with 13 pumping stations, tanks and channel offtake through remote locations to supply much needed water to communities, households and farmers in the project area.

The new pipeline system extends the existing Wimmera-Mallee stock and domestic pipeline east of St Arnaud, across to Wedderburn, Inglewood and Bridgewater on Loddon north west of Bendigo, providing a more secure rural water supply to sustain a viable regional economy. The project will service 260 rural farming enterprises and 370 lifestyle properties over an area of 2900km² with a reticulated water supply.

“We were contracted to complete all the design, approvals and construction of the entire 1300km. To be able to deliver on this job we needed to expand our fleet,” Mr Bennett said.

“Researching new equipment could only get us so far; we relied quite heavily on supplier advice and knowledge when it came to the right equipment to choose which was going to suit our needs.”

Meeting the requirements

Having prior experience with Vermeer machines and first-hand knowledge of the level of reliability they provide, Mitchell Water decided to invest in a Vermeer PP100 XT truck-mounted vacuum excavator to help deliver the $80 million project.

“On this particular project, we’ve got around 3000 foreign services to cross — and that all has to be proven with non-destructive excavation, better known as “potholing”. The truck-mounted vacuum excavator has been a valuable addition to the fleet and it’s meant we can carry out the job with minimal chance of damaging existing services.

“Our fleet extends to more than just the vacuum excavator truck; we have multiple Vermeer rockwheels from the 850’s up to 1160’s, Vermeer track trenchers and Vermeer horizontal directional drilling equipment that we rely on every day to get the job done. It’s a big project, we need the best equipment to get the job done”

Click here to read the full article in the February edition of Pipeliner Magazine.