Sheriff HDD is a Brisbane-based company that has been installing underground infrastructure using trenchless methods for more than a decade. During that time, the company has expanded its fleet of directional drills, tailoring it to meet specific business goals and job needs.
Sheriff Underground Boring was established in the early 1990s by Troy Sheriff and his father Keith. In 2005, Mr Sheriff and his wife Sheridan started managing and operating the business, until 2016 when they took over the business and renamed it Sheriff HDD.
DIFFERENT APPROACH TO HANDLING EQUIPMENT
Ms Sheriff, Director of Sheriff HDD, first got involved in the company in 2005, taking on administration and accounts duties as well as operating the company’s drill.
“I took a lot of pride in the way I handled the machine and the methodology of completing a successful bore,” she says.
“I think a lot of the men around me, such as clients and supervisors, understood that a female isn’t as rough or hard on the machine – I nursed the machine through some rough ground conditions – and I think that this helped in achieving the success rate of our bores.”
BUILDING A FLEET
The company first started with a small drill, a Vermeer D6x6, before expanding its fleet in 2007 with the purchase of a medium-sized, used 1990 Vermeer D24x26. Ms Sheriff says the purchase of the D24x26 allowed the company to undertake larger jobs such as multiple 100 mm bores.
“A few of the larger bores we completed were 6 by 100 mm pipe installations, drilling under the Bruce Highway at the Eumundi exit and entry, and many 4 by 100 mm bores throughout Hope Island. We did this for many years and eventually it was time to retire the old machine and we bought a brand new Vermeer D24x40 Series II.
“We still have the D24x40 and are very happy with it. We’ve had it for about five years now. We chose that particular machine as, for us, it was the ‘happy medium’ of drill rigs, not too small or restrictive of work capability and not too large where it was not suitable for footpath work, which is where a lot of our work is.”
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Ms Sheriff says another benefit of the machine was its size, as it fits on the company’s heavy rigid truck and therefore does not need to be floated around by a larger truck, which would increase the costs associated with getting a machine to site.
“Our company motto is quality over quantity. While we will always want quantity of work, we don’t want to have a fleet of machines and staff running around putting in shoddy work,” she says.
“I would prefer to have a solid crew that is putting in quality work and managing where and what the drill is doing, and ensuring that the work is completed properly and productively.
“Our Vermeer machine is operating exactly how we want it to and fitting into the area of work that we specialise in, which is working around lots of underground services along footpaths and roadways.
“The large majority of our work is 50 mm and 100 mm communications pipe installations, which suits the D24x40 perfectly as we know that when we encounter hard ground conditions, the machine has enough grunt to deal with it and we can continue to complete the job. We also know that this machine will successfully open a larger bore hole for multiple pipe installs whenever the need arises for a client.”
SUPPORTIVE RELATIONSHIP TO MEET BUSINESS NEEDS
Ms Sheriff says the company’s experiences with Vermeer have been great and it would look to the manufacturer in the future if Sheriff HDD needs to further expand its fleet.
“Vermeer are always just a phone call away. Whenever we question something that may be required for a situation, Troy can call them and get an informative take on the situation,” she says.
“That can help when a decision needs to be made on the go to keep production going.
“If and when we purchase new machinery, it will be completely determined by what is happening in the industry. At the moment we are working on the NBN project so work is steady and our machine is going great for the work required.”
The D24x40 Series II has now been replaced by the D24x40 S3.