by iSeekplant

Vermeer’s powerful D40X55DR S3 Rock Drill is changing the face of Horizontal Directional Drilling in Australia through operator focused design, and clever innovations. 

How Vermeer’s D40X55DR S3 Rock Drill is a game changer for local drillers

The past ten years have seen the rapid development and growth of the Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) industry, pushed forward by mega-projects such as the NBN, and high levels of commercial and civil construction in high-density areas of Australia. The horizontal directional drill was once a niche specialist machine rarely found on construction sites. It is now much more common to find them as part of a mixed contractors fleet due to their popularity on infrastructure projects and residential jobs alike. At iSeekplant, searches for HDD equipment and services are one of the fastest-growing areas of the site and we do not doubt that this will continue over the next few years.

Vermeer Australia’s Mark Wilson, Area Manager of Construction Sales, caught up with the Co-Director of L&M Trenchless, Louis Pulo, who has recently purchased the Vermeer D40X55DR S3 horizontal directional drill, to find out more about why he chose this drill. 

The drill, one of the largest in Vermeer’s utility installation HDD fleet, is fitted with the latest dual rod technology which, when paired with the impressive 40,000lbs of thrust and 5,500ft-lb of rotational torque, makes the D40X55DR an impressively powerful and fast machine. 

Power, speed and simplicity were key factors for Mr Pulo when deciding where to buy his next horizontal directional drill. When asked why he chose the D40X55DR for his business he expressed that the simplistic and streamlined design was instrumental in the decision.

“They’ve taken into account the way an operator needs a machine to perform,” Mr Pulo said. 

Mr Pulo also said that he was impressed with the dedicated and high-quality service and spare parts Vermeer Australia supplied during the buying process and after the sale was made.

Vermeer drills are about speed, simplicity and sound reduction

At Vermeer, the entire working ecosystem is considered in the design and construction of its horizontal directional drills. One of Vermeer’s proudest accomplishments is its S3 badge, found on all new generation horizontal directional drill rolling stock. The S3 badge stands for speed, simplicity and sound, three things that have a major impact on the productivity and success of a drilling project. 


Vermeer’s D40X55DR drill demonstrates Vermeer’s commitment to constantly improving the speed of its drill fleet. Being able to work quickly through a range of challenging ground materials means drill projects delivered in a D40X55DR can be completed on or ahead of time of other drillers in the same ground conditions. This drill speed, which is the fastest in its competitive class, is the essence of the machines’ productivity on all sites.


Simplicity is a key focus for Vermeer, especially as its drill fleet range continues to grow. The D40X55DR has simplified processes and reduced steps to operate and takes into consideration how the machine operators need to work – from years of feedback from the coalface. Vermeer’s familiar operator interface can still be found on all the Vermeer HDD units, making moving from one sized machine to another an easy transition for drillers.


One of the biggest developments for Vermeer over the past few years has been the advancements in its quiet engines. Vermeer’s commitment to quiet through their S3 Badge fleet is challenging the norm, with most of their drills, including the D40X55DR, recording a maximum of 80 decibels, which is quieter than a blender. At this level of operational noise, drill operators can easily communicate with other crew members and stakeholders on the site. The noise reduction also means these drills are sought after for residential or night works.

Advanced dual rod technology is shaking up the HDD market

When it comes to drilling in rock, standard single rod horizontal directional drills can take twice as long to work through tough aggregates. The dual rod technology enables an outer rod to provide rotation for steering, while the inner rod provides rotational torque to the drill head. This ensures the horizontal directional drill, like the D40X55DR, is able to focus on both breaking through the rock and following the required path. 

Splitting the drilling process into two separate rods allows dedicated force to be used for both processes, rather than all the power going directly to breaking the tough rock down. The dual rod technology has been tested and proven in tough Australian ground conditions, proving to be a vital asset to HDD fleets across the country. Adding to this, the D40X55DR S3 has an enhanced dual rod system that quickly and easily makes the inner and outer rod connections.

Vermeer’s D40X55DR S3 has impressive power and distance capabilities

To push and pull the drill through a range of ground material, the Vermeer D40X55DR S3 horizontal directional drill needs a powerful motor to supply the energy required. 

Equipped with a 140hp John Deere engine, the drill has an impressive 40,000lbs thrust and pullback as well as 5,500ft-lbs of rotational torque. There is easy access to the engine as well, making servicing and maintenance a breeze for machine operators.

Alongside the larger engine, Vermeer has also been able to fit even more metres of rod on-board. When you need to drill longer distances, the D40X55DR S3 has the metres ready and available. With 150m of drill rod onboard, you’re able to save time and install more metres of drill rod quickly and easily. When you factor in that HDD is being used more and more in built-up, residential and commercial areas, having extra length will help get the job done faster and with fewer disruptions. 

When you need a HDD to get the job done – choose Vermeer Australia

Whether you’re looking to branch into HDD or, like Louis Pulo from L&M Trenchless, are needing to expand your fleet, Vermeer’s fleet is capable of handling everything the tough Australian landscape has to offer. Get in touch with Vermeer Australia’s expert team today and they can take you through all the features and benefits of the D40X55DR S3 and their HDD fleet. 

This sponsored editorial was brought to you by Vermeer. For more information, please visit

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