Ditch Witch Acquires HammerHead

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | May 2010 Vol. 65 No. 5

Earth Tool CEO Metcalf also declined to discuss plans, but did say offices and manufacturing of Earth Tool products would remain in Wisconsin and that current Earth Tool employees would be retained.

News of HammerHead’s purchase by a major competitor came as surprise to Vermeer and its dealers.

Vermeer reaction
“Despite the dynamic of knowing Earth Tool was owned by a venture capital firm for the last several years, the timing of the Ditch Witch acquisition was not expected,” said Doug Hundt, Vermeer vice president of industrial solutions.

“Although there have been no immediate changes to date, we do anticipate changes in the future,” he continued. “When that time comes our primary goal will be to continue providing our customers with the same level of support they’ve grown to expect from Vermeer.

“I believe it’s too soon to speculate on the market impact; however, Vermeer continues to be firmly committed to providing our customers with a full line of underground installation options,” Hundt stressed.

HammerHead products include the design and manufacture of piercing tools, pipebursting systems, pneumatic hammers and horizontal directional drill tooling.

Addition of the HammerHead line of pipebursting equipment and an established customer base in the market should help Ditch Witch efforts to capture a share of the pipe bursting market. HammerHead is also the second largest manufacturer of piercing tools which should also bolster Ditch Witch’s presence in that market niche.

Ditch Witch and Vermeer are major suppliers of equipment for underground construction, including horizontal directional drilling equipment, trenchers, vibratory plows, compact excavators and skid-steer loaders, vacuum excavators, and support equipment and accessories for these products.