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

Thompson’s Irrifab (TI) was started in 1985 by Ray and Greg Thompson, based out of Cowra, in the Central West of New South Wales. 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 ten years ago, it 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 said 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, water main replacements and building out pump stations, so we have invested and grown that part of the business over the last few years,” Mr Walker said.

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 so we could do the work ourselves,” Mr Walker said.

Perfect for small service installation

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.

Mr Walker said that before the D8x12 is put to work, he and the team will finish their training on the drill, provided by 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,” Mr Walker said.

Find out more about Vermeer Australia and its HDD capabilities at

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Vermeer Australia. For more information, visit


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