Equipment Guides


Vermeer HDD a fab addition for Irrifab

Thompson’s Irrifab sensed an opportunity to expand their business when they couldn’t source local contractors to fulfil their smaller civil pipeline jobs, which led them to add a new Vermeer D8x12 HDD to their fleet and train their team up to handle the projects themselves.

Irrifab's new Vermeer D8x12 Horizontal Directional Drill - Vermeer AustraliaThompson’s Irrifab (TI) was started in 1985 by Ray and Greg Thompson, based out of Cowra, in the Central West of NSW. The business started out as a farm irrigation service, providing local farms with support on pivot irrigation, stock water systems and turf watering. Then about 10 years ago, they decided to branch out and grow the business in the civil irrigation and pipeline space.

Doug Walker is one of the Civil Project Supervisors at TI and has been working with the business for about two years. He says the decision to expand into civil work was made because it offers a big opportunity for growth.

“There was a lot of work going in council pipeline projects, watermain replacements, and building out pump stations, so we have invested and grown that part of the business over the last few years,” Doug says.

Part of that growth has seen TI recently add a brand-new Vermeer D8x12 HDD to its fleet of excavators and skid steers, which will be put to work on the smaller jobs that would usually be contracted out.

“It’s been hard to contract out our small, local jobs lately, as the labour and appetite just isn’t there. So, we decided to invest in the business, bring in a machine, and train ourselves up so we could do the work ourselves.”

The Vermeer D8x12 HDD offers the strength of a large drill with the compact body and enhanced performance of a small drill. The D8x12 comes with straightforward controls, a narrow footprint and enhanced power with less sound disruption, and is ideal for small service installation, such as gas distribution, power, water and telecommunication networks.

Doug says that before the D8x12 is put to work, he and the team will finish their training on the drill, provided by Vermeer Australia.

Irrifab's new Vermeer D8x12 Horizontal Directional Drill - Vermeer Australia“We’ve organised five days of training on the new rig, to get us across how to best use it, and the safety features. Then we’ll be putting it to work first on under road boring work in the local area.

“The Vermeer Australia team has been great, and a special thanks to our rep Kevin and the Albury team here. They’ve really supported us in our first purchase, making sure the team is comfortable with the drill, and answering any questions we have. Once we put it to work and see how it performs, we may look at adding another one to our fleet in the future,” Doug says.