Productive equipment protects pipelines and profits

Project Info

The consequences of striking an underground utility asset during excavation work can be significant – service interruptions, delays to the project, costly repairs, injury and even death are all possibilities.

Cooper Utilities

Adelaide, South Australia


Trenchless article March 2020: Copers Utilities in SA with their Vermeer VX200 Vacuum Excavator

The consequences of striking an underground utility asset during excavation work can be significant with delays, costly repairs and operator injury all major possibilities. Adelaide-based Cooper Utilities understands that having the right equipment is key to avoiding these consequences and considers Vermeer to be “the best on the market”.

Vermeer’s vacuum excavators help to avoid damage to existing utilities by offering visual verification of utility placement that save contractors’ time, labour and material handling costs, as well as reducing surface disruption.

An NDD solutions partner

To suit any non-destructive digging (NDD) and liquid waste management applications, Vermeer truck-mounted vacuum excavators feature spoil tank capacities ranging from 1,000 to 11,400 L, a variety of configurations and a modular skid design offering flexibility to optimise weight distribution.

The largest Vermeer Vac-Ex unit is the VX200 truck-mounted excavator that comes with 3,028 L of fresh water and a 6 inch (153 mm) hose diameter with a 3,200 CFM blower. The excavator additionally features a 149.1 kW John Deere Diesel power pack, a water pump with 38 LPM at 300 psi and a wireless remote-control hydraulic boom.

Vermeer also offers trailer-mounted vacuum excavators that provide great flexibility in applications where lower volumes of spoil are expected and enable the use of existing vehicle fleet. These units have the durability of larger units yet come with a portability and flexibility that enables them to take on a diverse range of tasks.

The trailer-mounted VX30-250 demonstrates this as it offers a low-cost, highly portable system for potholing, valve box clean-out and a range of NDD tasks including water, gas and fibre installation. Its integrated silencing system provides for quieter operation, benefiting jobsite communication and neighbour relations, and the dual tank shut-off system protects the blower, aiding machine longevity.

Customer satisfaction

Specialising in gas mains and service replacement, Cooper Utilities works regularly with Australian Gas Networks (AGN) and APA Asset Management to ensure the safe operation and longevity of AGN’s gas distribution and transmission assets.

Currently, AGN is undertaking a large and extensive Mains Renewal Program (MRP) across networks in Victoria, South Australia and Queensland that involve replacing old cast iron pipes and unprotected steel mains with polyethylene pipes.

Cooper Utilities Managing Director Kevin Cooper says having the right equipment is key to achieving successful outcomes on projects involving high-pressure gas pipelines. Originally purchasing Vermeer’s VX30-250 trailer-mounted vacuum excavator, Mr Cooper continues to grow his fleet of Vermeer excavators.

“I consider Vermeer to be the best on the market. Their equipment has increased our excavation rate and ensured we have had no asset strikes,” says Mr Cooper, who says he has had a great experience with the manufacturer throughout the sale process and beyond.

“I will continue to purchase Vermeer equipment because it is well built and a trusted brand. We have benefited from our investment in Vermeer machinery through increased growth, profits and contracts for upcoming works.

“I like to keep up with the latest technologies in excavation and pipe laying equipment – I believe hydro excavation is the way forward in non-destructive digging. Vermeer kept me well informed from start to finish.”

According to Mr Cooper, having a relationship with Vermeer has been imperative to helping the Cooper Utilities business move forward.


Click here to view the full article in the March edition of Trenchless Australasia.