Account Navigation

Account Navigation

Currency - All prices are in AUD

Currency - All prices are in AUD
 Loading... Please wait...


Strong Dealer Relationships Foster Smart HDD Tooling Management

Posted by on

Answer key questions in effectively managing tooling

Efficiency is a major factor for the success of a long-term pipeline job. On the other hand, basic cost may be the biggest variable underlying the viability of a smaller, quicker fiberoptic line installation, for example.

Differences like these — as well as the virtually endless combinations of equipment common on the range of horizontal directional drill (HDD) jobsites dealers are responsible for servicing and maintaining — create a lot of diversity in each dealer’s responsibilities, especially when it comes to specific components like downhole tooling. Providing the highest level of service to contractors takes attention to these types of variables, and in a territory like John Fiddler’s, that means a lot of windshield time. The HDD tooling sales representative with Vermeer Texas-Louisiana, based in Irving, Texas, works with HDD contractors in north and central Texas to keep jobs running smoothly regardless of the size or color of their equipment.

“We work with a lot of mixed fleets, both Vermeer and competitive equipment. They’re working on different HDD jobs, both utility and pipeline,” Fiddler said. “The type of HDD work they’re doing and their location dictate what kind of tooling they’ll need.”

Work toward specific goals

Identifying those needs typically has dealers like Fiddler on the road often, traveling to customer jobsites. But he doesn’t consider himself a salesperson. He’s learned over time that the acknowledgement of shared goals is both how to start the conversation he has with each HDD contractor, as well as the most direct path to the solutions they need.

“Every contractor I see on the road, I approach it with the goal in mind to add value to his or her jobsite,” Fiddler said. “I’m not trying to sell them something; I’m looking at what’s going on during that job, what they have to get done and how I can help them. Sometimes, it’s about productivity, but other times it’s more about efficiency. However, if I can add value to their jobsite, that’s my goal.”

Reaching that goal is different on each HDD jobsite, and nowhere is that more exemplified than in the tooling Fiddler provides his customers. Though various Vermeer tooling is compatible with other manufacturers’ HDD drills, there’s more to the purchasing decision than which tooling will work best for each job. It’s important to account for the progress of a job, the operators running the machines and what is the highest priority for the contractor managing his or her crew.

Consider these tooling purchasing design factors

Fiddler recommends considering these factors when making HDD tooling purchasing decisions:

  • Top priorities: Time, efficiency, etc.
  • Machinery on the jobsite: Manufacturers, machine size, etc.
  • Primary market: Utility, pipeline or other industry sector.
  • Operation size: Number of work crews, jobsites and machines.
  • Maintenance over time: Equipment service and expectations from manufacturers. 
  • Future job expectations: How far in advance do you plan future jobs?

“Tooling is obviously an expense, and a lot of times, a contractor wants to know that it is going to help them solve problems. If I can offer value by talking through the issues they’re having and giving them insights on how they can become more productive in the future, we can create a common ground and they can determine which specific tooling is going to help them meet their objectives. We are always planning and talking to customers to try to find out what they have laid out in the future so we can be proactive and prepared,” Fiddler said. “First, find out what’s important to each customer and become more of a support role. It’s all about earning trust.”

Determine the right priorities

Establishing that relationship is about more than identifying needs and required solutions. It’s also important to know who specifically you’re talking to when starting the tooling conversation on the jobsite. What’s valuable to a company owner, for example, may not be shared by a machine operator. Determining which of those priorities top the list is a major step in providing the right tooling for each job.

“If you’re talking to an operator, he or she is going to want something that’s convenient. An owner is going to want the most efficient tooling,” Fiddler said. “I’m not there to just sell them tooling. I’m there to make sure things are efficient for them.”

  • hdd tooling
  • tooling management
  • drill tooling
  • directional drill tooling
  • utility tooling

View Comments

Choosing an Economic HDD Tooling Solution for Utility Bores in Light to Medium Rock and Cobble

Unless your horizontal directional drilling (HDD) crews are working in in tough rock conditions regularly, investing in a dedicated rock drilling solution like a dual rod machine, air hammer or mud motor system may not be the most economical tooling solution for your needs. Instead, you may want to consider equipping your team with a versatile HDD tooling package, like the Vermeer Armor® drilling [...]

Read More »

Torquing and Untorquing HDD tooling – The Vermeer PBD11500 Breakout Tongs

Whether making up or breaking out exit pit side tooling or adapters, a set of breakout tongs should be something you carry with you every day to handle torqued direct connections. Torquing and untorquing tooling can be a labor-intensive job, sometimes requiring multiple people — and with some methods, it’s difficult to determine if the proper torque has been achieved.Understanding [...]

Read More »

Vermeer and Mincon Announce Distribution Agreement

Expanded access and support for HDD rock tooling PELLA, Iowa, February 15, 2018 - Two of the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) industry's leading equipment and tooling manufacturers, Vermeer Corporation and Mincon Group PLC, have formed a distribution alliance to expand contractors’ access to quality rock tooling worldwide. As part of the [...]

Read More »

Extend the life of your drill bits with Vermeer Armor® drilling system rebuild program

The Vermeer Armor® drilling system is popular among horizontal directional drilling (HDD) contractors because of its versatility and rugged design. The rock-focused drilling system uses interchangeable drill bits that can be easily swapped out depending on the ground conditions, helping to eliminate the need to purchase additional housing and tooling.Vermeer also offers the industry-unique Armor system rebuild program that helps [...]

Read More »

Directional drill sub saver maintenance and replacement tips

Replacing the sub saver on a horizontal directional drill (HDD) when the threads have become worn is an economical and easy way to help maximize the life of the drill rod and reduce damage on the drive chuck.The condition of the threads on the sub saver is essential because they can leave their imprint on every drill rod in [...]

Read More »

QuickFire® connection system offers contractors fast and efficient connections

Have you ever found yourself covered in mud attempting to get the threads of a heavy reamer spun onto the drill string? It can be miserable — 12 to 15 turns of the tool and a lot of attention to detail so you don’t accidentally cross-thread the connection. It's certainly not one of the highlights of working in directional [...]

Read More »

Getting smarter about rock

When a customer in Brazil approached Vermeer about using the Terrain Leveler® surface excavation machine to mine caliche for an iodine leaching operation, his biggest question was how the machine would perform. This was his company’s first entry into using surface excavation machine technology to help enhance the productivity of their mining operation.We know that surface mining material is a precise [...]

Read More »

Which drill rod is right for you?

There is nothing more essential to your HDD drilling project than making sure you’re using the correct drill rod for what the project requires.Generally, this means utilizing a drill rod with the strength, stability and flexibility to perform the bore at hand. In addition, you want a drill rod that matches your budget in order to help maximize margins.Introducing the Silver [...]

Read More »

(Almost) everything you need to know about using a vacuum excavator on a HDD site

Article provided by McLaughlinOn a horizontal directional drill (HDD) site, selecting the right vacuum excavator for your needs can make or break your crew’s level of productivity. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every excavation job, but a variety of options exist for the utility excavation market. Consider this checklist to help select the best model [...]

Read More »