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Underground Installation Projects: Determining the Best Approach
“It can be very challenging for contractors to combine trenchless technologies on a project,” says Nicholson. “Contractors may lack the scale and the cost to mobilize multiple technologies and crews can be costly. A contractor needs to determine if the primary trenchless technology they use can be incorporated into the rest of the project. Using one method also reduces the engineering and permit requirements as well.”
Contractors who don’t own equipment have options. Rental and leasing programs abound; and many equipment manufacturers and dealers provide operator training and on site support.
“We want all of our customers to be able to compete on a level playing field,” says Ed Savage, trenchless segment manager for Vermeer. “Most of our dealers offer rental, lease and rent to own programs that allow all our customers, regardless of size or assets, access to equipment that allows them to compete for jobs they would not pursue otherwise. This has been good for the industry in general.”
“We leased a HammerHead unit for a project to burst heavy wall castings,” Davey says. “They sent out a guy who had been a contractor for nine years and could talk in layman’s terms to our guys in the field. He really knew what he was doing and knew all the tricks. Our guys were so confident after he left that we ended up buying the machine.”
“As technology and equipment innovations evolved, so have we,” Davey says. “Appropriately, the name of our company, Cutting Edge Group, is basic to the idea that we try to stay ahead of the curve and keep a broad information base that allows us to understand all the technology that’s out there. We’re really not afraid to jump into something, even if it means taking a hit on one job. It just needs to make economic sense when you look at the big picture.”