Speed, power and silence: directional drills with a difference

Project Info

Aaron Finch, Director at DirectBor, said the company is always looking for the latest technology to help them succeed, and recently decided to purchase a new Vermeer HDD rig.



D23x30DR S3 and the D40x55DR S3 HDD

When it comes to the installation of underground conduit and pipes, equipment performance is a major factor in achieving a successful outcome, especially in urban or built-up environments. Bulky obstacles and narrow job sites are just some of the common challenges facing contractors, so for directional drilling experts, DirectBor, reliability, efficiency and pinpoint accuracy are vital features it looks for when choosing equipment for projects.

Servicing Victoria and Australia-wide, DirectBor are leaders in directional drilling and specialise in small to large-scale projects. At full capacity DirectBor has just over 50 employees and over 100 pieces of plant and equipment in its fleets.

Aaron Finch, Director at DirectBor, said the company is always looking for the latest technology to help them succeed, and recently decided to purchase a new horizontal directional drill for the business. Initially trialing a competitor’s drill, Mr Finch realised that it was not the right fit for the company’s needs and looked into an alternative.

Finding the right drill

Mr Finch said that initially DirectBor used a competitor’s drills until purchasing a D40x55DR S3 Horizontal Directional Drill from Vermeer in 2019. He said that once he saw the Vermeer drill in action, he was impressed with the technology incorporated into the drill, as well as the ease of operation, and knew it was ideal for the company’s fleet.

With the successful performance of the D40x55DR on several projects, Mr Finch said he liked it so much that DirectBor decided to trade their other drill for another one of Vermeer’s products, the new D23x30DR S3 Horizontal Directional Drill.

“We heard great reports about the D23x30DR S3 from the testing they did in America, so we thought we’d give it a go,” Mr Finch said. “It’s an incredible drill.”

With a narrow and low profile footprint, the D23x30DR S3 is ideal for compact commercial or uban job sites. While compact, it has high speed and power capabilities, featuring a carriage speed of 62.8m per minute, 219 rpm rotational speed, and 24,000 lbs of thrust and pull back, all fueled by a 100 horsepower Deutz engine.

Mr Finch said that some of the benefits DirectBor has already seen with the D23x30DR drill include time efficiency and steerability with the rod pulls.

“We just finished a 70m shot of 4x140s in Taree. The project involves a lot of assets to duck and weave around, but the guys completed it in five days thanks to the D23x30DR.”

In addition to speed and power, the D23x30DR is also incredibly quiet, featuring a 99 dB(A) guaranteed sound power level, meaning that it has minimal impact on local businesses and neighbours around worksites.

“It’s very quiet, so we don’t get any complaints from residents when it’s revving,” Mr Finch said.

Exceptional customer service

DirectBor has been a long-term customer of Vermeer, having already acquired a HDD locator, a D36X50 drill, a VSK100XT2200 Vac Truck, and a D40X55 DR. Mr Finch said that the exceptional customer service and after-sales care that comes with every piece of equipment makes working with Vermeer easy and hassle-free.

Mr Finch said that the timely customer service and support is a major factor in continuing to choose Vermeer products over others.

“If I’ve got a question or concern, they’re on to it straightaway, there’s no real lead time for anything,” Mr Finch said.

“Their spare parts are absolutely amazing. They’ve invested in their own company building [the Vermeer Equipment Holdings dealership] in Derrimut, so the majority of their parts are there.”

Mr Finch said he also loves the advice that is available anytime, and he speaks with someone from Vermeer every few weeks to touch base.

“Vermeer actually keeps in touch after sales, they don’t just give you the drill and say, ‘There you go, we’ll talk to you when you want another one’,” Mr Finch said.

“It doesn’t matter who you ring up, if they don’t have the answer they’ll go to someone that can get you the answer at that time.”

Mr Finch said the team at DirectBor are fully on board with the new equipment and that the operators even fought over who got to take the new drills out.

“Now we’ve replaced the majority of our drill rigs with the Vermeer drills,” he said.