Business North August 2022

| 27 Northland: Hydrex Hydrex’s core customers include infrastructure contractors and head contractors, including Fulton Hogan, and partnering with a number of small drainage companies. REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Richard Loader Highly specialised hydro-excavation When opportunity knocks on the door, wise counsel says to embrace it with open arms, and that is precisely what Will Pitman did when he formed his Auckland hydro-excavation business, Hydrex Ltd. Originally a Whangārei boy, Will had spent over ten years diamond drilling in Western Australia. When Covid hit, Will and his family saw wisdom in returning to New Zealand with Will finding work with a major player in the hydro-excavation industry and learning the ropes. Hydro excavation is considered the best and safest industry practice for digging without damaging existing underground utilities, or for the safe location of underground utilities, including water mains, gas services, fibre optics, sewage infrastructure, and electrical services. A motivated self-starter, Will was attracted to the challenge of setting up his own business, and offering a professional, cost-effective hydro-excavation service. Encouraged by his supportive partner Amaria, Will established Hydrex Ltd early in 2021, with his first hydro-excavation truck unit arriving in November 2021. “Based upon my past experience our client base has continued to expand and that enabled the truck unit to go straight into active contract work as soon as it arrived. It has never stopped. We now have a couple of hydro-excavation truck units and another one arriving in the first week of September. That unit will most likely head north to Whangarei. “As work picks up in Whangārei I can deploy one of the Auckland units. With all of Northland’s construction work, for me it is a no brainer — Northland, and Whangārei in particular, is going to be the next big hub. It is important for Hydrex to get up there and establish ourselves early.” Hydrex’s core customers include infrastructure contractors and head contractors, including Fulton Hogan, and partnering with a number of small drainage companies. With Auckland’s property market booming and many residential properties being subdivided, existing infrastructure has to be upgraded and that is where the team at Hydrex comes into the picture. “Our specialist trucks carry large capacity hydro excavation units,” explains Will. “They have a high-pressure water jet and you can vary the pressure anywhere from 3000 to 5000psi. “That pressure is used to penetrate the ground to safely uncover underground services and tree roots. “At the same time it has a high pressure vacuum system, so as the ground is being cut up, it is being sucked into the tank at the back of the truck, leaving exposed services nice and clean and tidy, so contractors can see what they are operating around. Effectively it is designed to prevent live services strikes resulting in serious injury, death, or disruption of services. Operators lose a lot of confidence when the have a service strike, and it can put their livelihoods at risk. The stress can lead to mental health issues. It’s a major disruption that nobody wants to have.” In the short time that Hydrex has been operating it has taken on an additional operator with eight years’ experience and is in the process of training another operator. Reflecting on the success of his young business, Will says he is quite pedantic about the trucks and equipment, keeping them, nice and tidy, and he and his team always go the extra mile for their customers. “I like to offer a good service and we are cost effective. The bigger picture is down the track. It’s not the next pay packet. It is ten years down the track when we have the big projects. I don’t want to grow the business to where it is beyond our control, though. For the foreseeable future I want the business to remain a small family business where our operators are fully trained and competent.” When your project demands only the best | 0800 60 60 61 The Allvac® AV7000H hydro excavator is a beast: Featuring 90% deep vacuum, 7000 litre tank and the robust NVE Challenger Series 1600 ProPak vacuum blower, it’ll be the top performer in your fleet, contact us today. Waimea Group’s roots stretch back many years into the hydro excavation and vacuum industry. Late in 2020, Waimea Group acquired the vaccum tanker and componentry division of All ow, with its owner Maska Lewis joining the Waimea Group team as Specialist Vehicle Consultant of vacuum and hydro excavation equipment. Waimea Group had been designing and building specialist vehicle equipment since before the 1990s, amassing a vast bank of knowledge and experience in that eld, so it made perfect sense for the purchase of the vacuum tanker and componentry division of All ow, and the results speak for themselves. With over 30 years industry experience, Maska brought a wealth of knowledge in industrial/commercial wastewater treatment systems, vacuum tanker equipment and hydro excavation. The move to Waimea Group provided Maska with the opportunity go full throttle with design and build of the most premium hydro excavation and vacuum equipment. “I could see there were huge opportunities to grow this industry with Waimea’s well established heavy machinery, vehicle and specialist equipment business,” says Maska. Maska’s years of rst-hand experience have proven invaluable as he understands what the truck operators require from their trucks, bringing his knowledge and expertise to the design of the products in the range. “We recently built an Allvac® AV7000H for Hydrex, for whom we have previously built other units. Hydrex chose the PTO driven Allvac® AV7000H, due to their requirement for the largest tank possible, and its ability to deep vacuum suck any type of liquid waste, slurry and drill muds, as well as hydro excavate. The Allvac® AV7000H is hydraulically driven off the truck engine motor rather than auxiliary motor and Hydrex could not nd this equipment anywhere else in the market.” With the importance of safe liquidwaste removal and simplifying processes through vacuum and hydro excavation, Maska is highly motivated being at the helm of in uencing technological advances and driving New Zealand to the next level, with our country’s environmental and economic goals. The wider Waimea Group team understand their customer’s requirements to get into new equipment with ease, and the need for exible purchase options, and works closely with their customers to build turnkey solutions for purchase, hire-to-buy, rent or lease. “We design trucks and equipment speci cally for the ‘essential-to-life’ utilities sector, so we have an expansive complementary range, such as traf c management trucks and crane trucks as well as approved used models for purchase or hire. We use top quality, trusted international brands in our build ups and we have a team of experts to help with any questions during and after your equipment has been delivered to you.” Waimea Group – Trusted for Over 30 Years