Founded in 1980, Nicol of Skene is one of the leading civil engineering firms in the North East of Scotland. From bases in Aberdeen and Inverness, the company manages a variety of projects from large industrial projects through to domestic utility installations and is a firm advocate of sustainable drilling practices. This includes the use of directional drilling techniques in many of their projects in order to minimise ground disturbance, preserve natural landscapes and reduce landfill to waste by repurposing and reusing materials.
In 2019 the company visited TRACTO HQ in Germany which included a tour of sister company, Prime Drilling and the TRACTO drilling factory where midi drill rigs are manufactured. The company subsequently bought a PD80 Prime Drilling rig, which has been deployed on many large projects, including the longest drill to date – a 510m drill under the Caradale River and flood plains in the West Highlands.
Now, after hiring a used TRACTO 400G pipe burster for over two years, the company has bought both that unit and a new GRUNDOPIT PS60 for the efficient installation of utilities. The company already enjoys the use of a GRUNDOMAT mole.
Peter Jon Cowe, COO for Nicol of Skene, is pleased that the units have finally been added to the drilling fleet and is highly impressed with the service provided by the TRACTO team;
“We have been interested in the PS60 GRUNDOPIT since 2020. However, due to other key investments, it had to be postponed. We eventually placed an order for a unit this year and thought it would be a great idea to have it on display on our stand at the Black Isle Show in August. The only problem was that our unit was due for delivery in October and TRACTO had just sold their other stock unit. The TRACTO team bent over backwards to source one for us anyway and even went to the trouble of shipping it in from Germany.”
The ordered unit arrived on schedule in the first week of October and a day’s training was held at the company’s site to train the operators the same week. This was followed up by on-site training on a live job in Aberdeenshire, which was a 12m road crossing for a 90mm water supply pipe under two ditches either side of the roadway. The job was set up, drill completed and the pipe pulled in all before midday.
“The GRUNDOPIT PS60 made light work of the job and the on-site training proved very useful. Our operators are now confident of using the rig on future jobs. One of the bonuses of working with TRACTO is their Scottish depot. We get excellent support, training and after care and the team there are truly first class. We’re delighted with our portfolio of TRACTO products.”