Vermeer sets a rock-solid standard for HDD

Project Info

HTD Australia is an HDD business, based in southeast Queensland, that provides underground drilling services […]

HTD Australia


Horizontal Directional Drills

HTD Australia is an HDD business, based in southeast Queensland, that provides underground drilling services to sole traders, councils, government organisations, utility providers and construction companies of all sizes. To complete its work successfully, HTD Australia relies on Vermeer’s machinery.

HTD understands that having access to the right horizontal directional drilling (HDD) equipment is crucial to achieving successful outcomes on its projects. With a specialty in trenchless techniques for the installation of conduits and pipelines beneath paths, driveways, roads, rails, airport runways and congested or environmentally sensitive areas, HTD says it ensures this success by using Vermeer’s HDD machinery.

Extensive services providing calls for an extensive fleet

HTD’s services include the installation of utilities – such as gas mains, water mains, recycled mains, rising sewer mains and stormwater – as well as electrical and communications conduits, and HTD Australia Project Engineer Andrew Smith saying its expertise is in the delivery of technically challenging projects that require precise drilling.

“Our in-house team ensures all works are scoped, coordinated and planned professionally through site meetings and walkovers, with the capability to provide engineered bore designs, construction methodologies and associated project documentation,” says Mr Smith.

“HTD’s directional drilling capabilities include the installation of single, multiple and on-grade utility services for projects ranging from smaller pathways to significant under-boring crossings up to 800 mm in diameter, in all ground conditions.”

HTD Australia prides itself on maintaining its plant and equipment to ensure the safe and efficient delivery of its projects, with numerous Vermeer machines included in its fleet.

Mr Smith says HTD has purchased four horizontal directional drills from Vermeer – a D6x6, D20x22 Series II, D36x50 Series II and a D36x50DR Series II – and considers several Vermeer vacuum excavator trucks, locators and mud pumps as an essential part of their fleet.

“Vermeer equipment offers several benefits over any alternatives considered, including the reliability and engineering of the products, and the assurance that if the plant is properly maintained it will operate as intended,” says Mr Smith.

A partner in pipeline projects

Mr Smith say HTD used its Vermeer D36x50 Series II HDD rig, built to perform a wide range of medium diameter, moderate-to-long distance utility installations, on a recent project.

The Queensland project involved the collective installation of six electrical and communications conduits, ranging from 110-140 mm, for 70 m to upgrade the utility services for the development and operation of the Gold Coast Sporting Precinct.

“The delivery of this project required HTD to drill through siltstone rock, design bore profiles detailing the depth and chainage of the drill, and meet stringent technical and safety specifications,” says Mr Smith.

Vermeer says its Series II line has now been superseded by the latest, next-generation S3 range, which features more power, increased speed, versatility and precise control.

Additionally, the D40x55 S3 horizontal directional drill, which features 40,000 lb (177.9 kN) of thrust/pullback and 5500 ft-lb (7457 Nm) of rotational torque, is a 10 per cent increase in thrust and rotation on its predecessor and will help maximise productivity.

The D40x55 S3 also features a carriage speed of 188 fpm (57.3 m/min) – seven per cent faster than the D36x50 Series II – which will help contractors install more linear feet per day.

With a 104 dB(A) guaranteed sound power level and an operator ear rating of 82.9 dB(A) [in-cab rating of 75.7 dB(A)], the D40x55 S3 is also significantly quieter – contributing to a quieter working environment with less community disturbance and easier communication among crews.

Mr Smith says by using the smaller footprint of the Vermeer D20x22 Series II HDD on a project for Brisbane City Council, HTD could minimise its construction footprint, protect existing gardens and historical sensitivities and limit disruption to pedestrian traffic.

“This project involved the construction of 17 bores, installing 700 m of 180 mm irrigation and 90 mm water main collectively to upgrade the Brisbane City Botanical Garden’s water infrastructure,” says Mr Smith.

A true multi-use machine with the ability to work in varying soil conditions including solid rock, the D20x22 Series II has 20,000 lb (89kN) of thrust/pullback, which provides the performance needed to complete a wide range of bores.

The strength of relationships

Mr Smith says having a strong relationship with suppliers such as Vermeer is equally as important to the success of the business as its clients are.

“HTD Australia has had a strong relationship with Vermeer for the past 15 years, visiting the US factory in Pella, Iowa, multiple times,” says Mr Smith.

“This has allowed HTD to gain a better understanding of how to run and maintain our HDD equipment and plant, and appreciation for the work that goes into Vermeer machines.

“Having reliable suppliers that consistently produce high-quality products and offer a supportive after-sales service allows HTD to maintain the high quality and effective service our clients expect.”