Big Interview: Auger Torque’s Rohan Saldanha on earthmoving tools

Big Interview: Auger Torque’s Rohan Saldanha on earthmoving tools
An excavator with a torque head attachment is used to screw piles into the ground in a single smooth motion.
Published: 13 September 2017 - 11:04 a.m.
By: John Bambridge

Auger Torque established a presence in the Gulf in January when the hydraulic earthmoving attachment specialist burst on to the scene with a partnership with United Motors & Heavy Equipment (UMHE), and announced the opening of an operational headquarters for the region in the UAE.

The attachments business was established in Cheltenham, UK, in 1998, and today has global operations, as well as manufacturing facilities as far afield as the US, Australia and China, where it makes a range of earth drills, augers, trenchers and other attachments for loader cranes, excavators and skidsteer loaders.

Auger Torque has succeeded as a company thanks to both its product and its broad geographical presence, and Rohan Saldanha, head of international business development, came on board as part of a strategy by the company to expand its markets.

Since joining, Saldanha has returned frequently to the region to conduct market research related activities in the Gulf, including trips to the last two Big 5 events in Dubai.

What quickly became apparent to Saldanha from speaking to contractors in the region is that the market for earthmoving attachments is in its infancy.

Not only are earthmoving attachments not widely available or widely supported in the Gulf, but many contractors have not even considered the potential applications of attachments.

Among Auger Torque’s leading product lines are its earth drills, which can be equipped with a range of auger bits for rapidly drilling holes from 100mm to 2.4m in width and — using fixed and telescopic extensions — to 12m to 15m depth.

While the potential applications of these versatile tools are many, in the Gulf, a key application that Auger Torque is currently exploring is that of drilling dewatering holes — a frequent requirement in the region, where bedrock and substrate is often porous and the prevalence of coastal development often leads to a high degree of water ingress on site.

Here, a suitably specified earth drill (gear box) and flighted auger drill bit can be attached to an excavator and quickly and efficiently used to drill dewatering holes that might otherwise require the services of a large piece of dedicated equipment on site to carry out the work.

Augers are used to some extent in the Gulf, but as Saldanha explains: “If you look at project sites, you see these massive mast-based piling rig systems or dedicated drilling systems.”

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