Challenges and opportunities of a trenchless business

Trenchless industry has always been a provocative business environment, mostly due to latest technical innovations that are characteristic for this industry. Locally we encounter many challenges in applyng and using trenchless technology for jobsites, but a successful business model from Australia in the company R&R McClure Excavations Pty Ltd may give as another perspective of how we should manage this type of business. Tim McClure – General Manager of the company offered valuable inside informations about his company, specialist in underground infrastructure and asset relocation. We met Tim at Hands On Days event organized by Tracto-Technik this year in Lennenstadt and we discovered that he is a true passionat of trenchless tehnologies, transforming his company into a successful family business. He was traveling along with all his family, and even his youngest son was very familiar în using trenchless equipments.

Trenchless Romania: What type of services does your company – R & R McClure Excavations Pty Ltd provide?

Tim McClure: We provide installation of underground services and asset relocation for Utilities, Road Authorities, Government, Trade and Business. We cover Directional Drilling, Non-destructive digging, Dry suction excavation and Conventional trenching.

Trenchless Romania: For what type of jobs and application do you provide services?

Tim McClure: We provide Trenchless installation for electrical, water and telecommunications in all ground conditions including hard or alternating rock.

Trenchless Romania: Why you choose a business in the drilling sector? When did it all started and why?

Tim McClure: It all started in 1988 when my mother and father (Ruth and Robert) brought local earthmoving business. This included a Backhoe and Bed Borer (Horizontal Borer) and a contract to install gas pipe. From here we continued to develop the business finding that drilling was an efficient way to install pipe under roads and trees rather than trenching, especially in hard ground and reducing reinstatement. Today, as a family we enjoy being able to provide this service and be involved with new challenges and ideas în this industry.

Trenchless Romania: What are the most common projects for the Australian market?

Tim McClure: Within our business installation of new electric, water, telecommunications and gas are common. Replacement and management of aging pipelines are also common with utility companies.

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Trenchless Romania: Which are the difficulties and challenges that you encounter in the execution of your projects?

Tim McClure: We find that every job has some type of challenge or level of difficulty. Drilling efficiently in hard or alternating ground conditions was always a challenge until we found HDD equipment that solved this problem.

Trenchless Romania: Could you please tell us about the equipments that you use (brand and types)? What are the main advantages of this equipments in terms of efficiency and total cost of ownership?

Tim McClure: Our equipment includes Tracto – Technik 28N, 18ACS, 15XPT and 4X directional drills. We have found that the most important efficiency of these machines is the production and reliability especially in our hard ground conditions that in summer can reach temp above 48 oC (we have used bags of ice in the drill water to cool for the sonde!).

Trenchless Romania: How do you find you collaboration with Tracto-Technik?

Tim McClure: We have been using TT drills since 2011 and in this time we have always had very good collaboration with TT Australia and Germany. The TT personnel are always very approachable and know the products in use and service.

Trenchless Romania: What are your future plans regarding the development of your company? Do you consider new aquisitions?

Tim McClure: Our future plans include development of our trenchless service and to consider new aquistions that provide less impact on the job site for the client.