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Vermeer and LaValley Industries form strategic alliance

Vermeer will distribute the DECKHAND® line of drill pipe handling systems

Vermeer has entered into a strategic alliance with LaValley Industries to distribute the DECKHAND® pipe handling systems specifically configured for loading and unloading drill pipe in HDD applications. This addition complements the Vermeer product line of pipeline equipment, which includes maxi-sized horizontal directional drills, drilling fluid reclaimers and pumps.

The DECKHAND is an excavator attachment that transports drill pipe from a rack or trailer and positions onto a directional drilling rig. This unique attachment helps maximize utilization of onsite excavators by adapting them as handlers and can fit any brand excavator in the 22 to 36 metric ton range.

With 360 degree rotation, tilt and shift motions, the attachment eliminates ground personnel contact with the drill pipe lending to a safer, more efficient jobsite.

The DECKHAND directional drilling arm was specifically designed to handle drill pipe from 3 to 7 inches (7.6 to 17.8 cm) in diameter, as well as mud motors, collars and crossover subs up to 9.5 inches (24 cm) in diameter. Its V-shaped rubber lining on the inner housing allows for excellent grip, even if pipe is covered in snow, ice or dirt. The positive mechanical lock design also allows the DECKHAND to safely handle drill stem that has been exposed to lubricating drilling fluid additives.

“We believe the DECKHAND, matched with the local parts, service and rental opportunities offered by the sizeable Vermeer dealer network, is a win-win for the industry,” said Jon Heinen, pipeline segment business unit manager. “There’s simply no substitute for responsive, local service on today’s demanding pipeline projects.”

The DECKHAND is manufactured by LaValley Industries. The company was founded in 2006 by Jason LaValley and is headquartered in Bemidji, Minn. For more information about LaValley Industries and the DECKHAND line of attachments, please visit the company’s website at

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