What Does the Process Look Like? Selling a Custom Terrier

We spend so much time talking with our customers that we sometimes forget this is an intentional method. We started Viking West because we felt the power of teamwork was missing from the drilling, construction, and forestry industries. It takes a great deal of technical expertise to create an attachment for a heavy machine, but it takes nearly an identical dose of field experience to guide that creation.

That’s why it was important for us to get an opinion from the front lines when we were introduced to a brand new company looking for a rig with just the right combination of features. This customer focused on foundations and stabilization requirements, so it was important to get it just right. 

But as it turned out, the right combination turned out to include everything.

Kelvin: The construction season is in full swing. Give us some insight into some of Viking’s conversations over the past couple months.

Kevin Reimer: It’s in full swing alright. I have a giant list here documenting our interactions over the past few months. That’s the best way to stay on top of everything.

Specifically, we just sold a Dando Terrier to a new customer. The deal came about because of our relationship with Dando Drilling as their North American representative. It’s a geotechnical and construction company, and they wanted a very capable limited access machine. They did their research, contacted us and we put together a complete package for them.

They wanted everything. I mean everything, but it needed to work in a confined space. The Terrier we built for them has every single bell and whistle you can get. Absolutely every single option that’s available on the Terrier, they wanted it.

Technically, they ended up with a dual mast percussive terrier rig. They went with a DTH (down the hole) hammer, rotary head, and water pump.

Why is it so important for the rig to be limited access? What are they using it for?

They have a government contract to do geotechnical drilling in government parks. They’re working on lots of trails and pathways so they need limited access. It’s important to not disturb the area they’re in. The Terrier is lightweight and runs on double tracks so it’s mobile and doesn’t cause much disturbance. With all the options included, it’s capable of doing all the types of drilling this company needs to do.

Your business was built on talking with clients and creating helpful new solutions to their challenges. We were talking offline earlier about Viking’s expanding focus, tell us a little bit about that.

It’s not so much an expanding focus, we’ve just been talking with a lot of construction companies and OEM’s this year. Drilling might be the heart of Viking West, but we were built on flexibility, whether that’s in the ground, on the ground, or even under a blanket of snow.

Snow?

Oh right, I’ve got a surprise to share with you in a couple weeks. The crux of it comes back to what you said, the conversations, and those happen in three distinct avenues.

First, we’re talking to equipment dealers on a regular basis about how we can provide them with attachments and guarding packages. We carry inventory to serve our local market and we work with dealers and rental companies to provide them with attachments and guarding as their needs develop. Second, we’re talking with OEM’s on how we can outsource their manufacturing so they can save on their costs. And then our third focus in the past couple months, is the Dando line, which, like we said, one of those was just sold.

Stay tuned to learn more about Viking’s foray into the winter market, coming up in a couple weeks!

Heads Up, Winter: Viking West Has Entered the Snowplow Game

Part of working in the drilling, construction, and forestry industry is digging deep and bringing things to the surface. This includes the literal as well as the figurative sense.

Well, today we’re unearthing an element you probably don’t want to think about at the moment.

Snow.

Sure, it’s late August and the sun is probably still shining on your neck of the woods. As an original equipment manufacturer, however, it’s your job to be prepared for what’s about to come. Enter the snowplow. Viking West has developed a line of sturdy forklift-mounted snowplows for the first time so you can be ready for 2016’s winter. The key behind Viking’s snowplow was to scratch an itch in this particular corner of the market.

That itch? Usability.

I caught up with Kevin Reimer to get the low-down on Viking’s brand new line of snowplows.

snowplow snow blade
The Viking Snowplow: here’s the snow blade

Kelvin: How do new ideas like the snowplow come into existence, and what are some of the keys behind this design?

Kevin: Like all of our work, these ideas are born out of conversations with colleagues and keeping a finger on the pulse of our industry. We’re really excited about the snowplow, it will be great to see one of our products in a completely new environment.

We’re designing and building it, and while there are a few forklift mounted snowplows on the market right now, we’re taking a new approach. Ours is focused on the end user and it’s designed to be more serviceable than the products currently bared by the market.

How so?

One main element is that the main pivot pin doesn’t use linkage to adjust the angle of the blade. It’s a simpler, cleaner design. The tension springs on the blade are tucked in behind the blade so they’re protected from snow and dirt and rocks.

And then cost of course, that’s the big thing and something we’re always cognizant of.

We talk a lot about keeping costs in check, and I have to ask – how do you stay in business when you’re constantly treading that line?

We talk about this a lot, and since providing products within a friendly budget is so important, it’s part of our mission statement and we consider it our duty to stay true to that. So ultimately we do it by providing a high quality, innovative product that’s worth the cost. We create items such as the snowplow to be engineered user friendly. The value is there for the customer. We always take a hard look at what’s on the market during the design process. We look at helpful features and we streamline products to ensure only the most cost effective and user friendly elements are included.

With all that in mind, why did Viking West make the decision to offer the snowplow?

Like we talked about earlier, it’s all about dialogue and filling a niche. One of our longterm customers currently sells this product and they saw an opportunity. They wanted us to improve on their design and therefore improve their margins. We’ve had a great relationship with this customer for years and our mission statements line up – they’re looking to improve what they offer and get better in their corner of the market, and we’re always looking for opportunities to grow as well. They’re happy with what we’ve done in the past for them and they seized an opportunity.

Now we have something new to sell to forklift dealers as well as end users, so it’s going to be a great addition to the Viking West line.

Product Profile: The Flexibility of the Dando Terrier Mk 2

Last week we checked in with Callum Mee at Dando Drilling International to learn more about how the European Referendum was affecting business, although I’ll admit the interview was originally scheduled so we could talk about the Dando Terrier, the company’s new MK 2 drilling rig.

This will sound ironic at first, but stay with me: it’s always been fascinating reading and writing about companies barreling through a challenge. Did you know water buffalo that encounter a storm will turn into the dark clouds and rain instead of retreating in the opposite direction?

It’s because you’ll get through the worst of the storm when you confront it head on. The darkness is moving one way, so move through it to safety and sunshine on the other side.

There’s no way to know just yet how the European Union’s Brexit referendum will affect the longterm stability of business in western Europe, and indeed, throughout the world. Many companies in the drilling industry have been forced to ask tough questions and make difficult decisions long before the referendum passed, and now a complete new set of concerns has been born.

The good news it that Dando’s philosophy – flexibility and adaptation – has allowed for the impact of Brexit. It’s this creed that’s allowed Dando to thrive over the years, and led to rolling out a brand new Mark 2 Terrier rig that’s as flexible as ever.

Read last week’s interview with Callum.

Here’s the rest of our conversation.

Kelvin: Tell us about early versions of the Terrier, what was it built for?

Callum: We sold the first unit to a UK contractor and we agreed to build a second that we were going to test in house, but during the build we ended up selling the second one as well. Through working with the contractor and listening to their feedback we’ve made some cool improvements and adjustments to the second. While this was happening, Luke from our design team was hard at work on the updated design we’re going to use moving forward.

The MK Terrier 2 is available and has been thoroughly tested in the field with excellent results so we are now planning for production of high volumes so we can offer the units from stock.

What’s the process been like getting the MK 2 off the ground?

As the design process wraps up, we’re contemplating the right number to put into production right away so we can maximize production and maximize economy of scale. We sell a lot per annum and we obviously want to sell more, and we think the demand on this one will be huge. The terrier people want them quickly, sometimes in 2 to 4 weeks instead of your standard two to four months, so putting this many through will make the lives of our sales department a lot easier (laughs). It’s a win win situation, our margins get better and the cost is lower for the customer.

What are some of the upgraded features of the Dando Terrier MK 2?

First off, we wanted to improve simply how it looks. So new finishes and designs to improve that while also improving functionality. When I started at Dando ten years ago the rig was just for drive sampling and general investigation work. Over the last five years or so it evolved rapidly. It has a rotary attachment, different strokes, angle drilling capabilities – it’s evolved to include a whole range of different requirements and different setups.

However, just because one customer wants a certain feature doesn’t mean the next one will. So it was important for us to take that into account so we could keep costs low for everyone.

Next week in the final instalment of my interview with Callum we’ll learn exactly how Dando plans to control costs for customers looking for different features.

Want to learn more about the terrier? See all the specs here.

Climbing the Ladder: How to Land Oil Rig Jobs With Big Potential

Our work at Viking West is based on finding ways to augment machines with helpful attachments that are cost competitive, guarantee safety, and get the job done quick.

No small order, right?

Well, the best way to go about the process of building these attachments is to talk to people. This means we have a lot of discussions with original equipment manufacturers, dealers, and hard working men and women committed to the drilling industry.

Fortunately, we’ve watched a lot of colleagues work with new recruits who have been positive additions and able to climb the ladder in their respective companies. It’s not easy – particularly given the state of the economy and the imbalance between oil’s supply and demand – but now more than ever, valuable resources will rise to the top.

Here’s a few ways to find a valuable fit, followed by ensuring you are a valuable fit.

Evaluating Potential

The first perspective we’re going to consider is that of the potential employee, he or she on the job-hunt. In order to prove yourself a valuable asset, it’s important to determine the opportunity awaiting for you.

  • What do the company’s future prospects look like?
  • Does the company have a void you could fill with unique skills?
  • Can you push the business over the top?


If there’s a fit in terms of financial logistics, that’s great news. The next step is determining fit based on the company’s values, mission statement, and how its employees and contractors conduct themselves on a day to day basis.

In short, can you see yourself fitting into the culture of this company? If we’re all yes’s so far, let’s assume you’ve snagged the job. Now it’s time to perform.

Performance in Entry Level Positions

Some companies call them floorhands, others leasehands, but one thing is for sure, all hands must be on deck and ready to go when you’re working in an entry level position. You might be tasked with general labour and maintenance responsibilities, but if you’re eyeing an ascension up the company corporate hierarchy, it’s probably a good idea to do the best job you can possibly do no matter what.

It happens to educated recruits with tangible, technical expertise; it happens to veterans who’ve spent years in the industry – but it’s beneficial to buy into the new guy mentality.

And just because you’re busy with entry level tasks doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about how the work is done and how you can move up through the system.

Acquiring Technical Expertise

The level up from entry level is one of the sweet spots in the drilling industry, both from the deckhand’s perspective and the perspective of the company.

Why? Because these positions are based on value contracts. The worker is ambitious, eager, and focused on improving their skills moreso than they’re worried about their salary. This is the level where people get to work on more sophisticated drilling rigs and machinery. They’re contributing to the work of the company and well on their way to becoming a valued member as they climb the ladder.

We’ll stop here, because it’s important to learn the ropes before moving into management positions. There’s big benefit to learning the ins and outs of a company. if you can do that at an entry level position, you’ll be well on your way toward leveraging that into more responsibility, more input, and eventually a greater salary.

Everybody wins!

Kevin Goes to England: Dando Drilling & the Other Side of the Pond

“It’s true, I feel like I’ve been all over the world lately, but there’s still so much to explore. That’s the beauty of this business, there’s hard working, smart people everywhere.”

That’s Kevin Reimer, one of Viking West’s vice presidents and an explorer at heart.

“Here at home we’re constantly looking for new ways to get better, whether it’s in the office or in the factory, so it makes sense that we’d seek those answers elsewhere, too.” Last month, Kevin had the opportunity to tour the facilities of Dando Drilling, our partners from the UK. I caught up with Kevin to hear about the trip.

Dando Drilling Head Office
Dando Drilling Head Office

Kelvin: Dando’s home base is in a town called Littlehampton in the West Sussex area. Here’s a softball question: what was it like?

Kevin: It was so cool, that’s my first thought. We were close to the ocean on the southern tip of England, about an hour and a half west of Dover. Dando put me up in this cool little town called Arundel which was a ten minute drive from their factory. It was in a really quaint, old village with a castle overlooking the entire village area, which was adjacent to the River Arun. I stayed in the Swan Hotel which was built in the 1600’s. Cobblestone streets. It’s like time had been standing still for centuries.

Dando_Factory_JPG

What were the Dando facilities like?

Their head office is actually in an old customs house on the edge of the river. When shipments came in via the river ages ago this was where they were processed. Their factory is about five minutes away on an old World War II runway called Ford Airfield which has been converted into an industrial park.

We had meetings at the head office and meetings at the factory. I got to see the new Terrier Mark 2. The Terrier has been re-designed and it’s even better now, it worked really well before but the improvements have really touched on a lot of important details. I love watching the progression of these machines.

I also got to see the Multitec 4000 series machine and the Multitec 9000 series machine in production at the factory, so it was neat to see the real meat and potatoes of the operation as the equipment takes shape.

That being said, and not to discredit the experience of the machines, but the really great part was spending time with the team over there. The sales team, engineering team, production; our industry is still about people, and it will always be about people making new things and sharing new solutions.

Arundel_JPG

Viking is a manufacturer of attachments, Dando is an original equipment and machine manufacturer. When it comes to values and goals, what do Viking and Dando have in common?

Both companies definitely want to provide innovative and cost effective products for the North American market., which as we all know throws new challenges at us constantly. We’re both focused on providing solutions. Viking works closely with customers and listens intently to find areas where were can assist them and be more competitive and reduce cost and Dando does the same thing. This is really why this partnership began. We think the same. Dando has always been great at thinking outside the box and coming up with clever drilling solutions. That’s why I contacted Rupert Coler, the sales engineer at Dando, four years ago and challenged him to create a new sonic rig that didn’t exist. Back then we worked together to develop this new machine and it was a great experience. So much so that here we are today with Viking and we’re taking our partnership to the next level. 

Having a pint at the pub beneath the shadow of an old castle?

(Laughs) Yes, exactly. We’re excited about the future with Dando and the new projects we have planned, but it’s great to get along so well and share a few laughs. That always makes the work a little more rewarding, right?

Right!

Part 2: Thoroughbred Engineering’s Custom Drilling Rig & the SPT Auto Hammer

“This isn’t going to work. It’s too high.”

We’ve all encountered moments on the job where something that should work perfectly simply won’t. It’s easy to get frustrated, because you’re probably about to lose time or energy.

However, you won’t get far working in the drilling industry if you’re incapable of approaching a problem with logic and a cool head. That’s the choice Darrin Croucher of Georgetown, Kentucky’s Thoroughbred Engineering took when their brand new custom drilling rig encountered a significant problem. Actually, a couple significant problems.

But for Darrin, a problem only exists until a solution wins the day.

Here’s part 2 of our case study with Thoroughbred Engineering’s Darrin Croucher as we tag along for the process of creating a custom drill with several unique components, including Viking’s SPT Auto Hammer.

Kelvin: What work has the rig done so far? Have you come across any unforeseen challenges?

We’ve used the drill on three projects which have required varying depths, but in total we’ve drilled over 100 feet.

And yes, in this industry you have to prepared for anything. We were slowed down last week. Initially we found the 19 horsepower engine was not enough power to achieve our depths with the efficiency we wanted. We’ve been talking to a hydraulic designer at Link Belt, which has a factory here in Lexington, they told us the design was under-powered by half and suggested a Kohler 37 horsepower engine, so that’s ordered and on the way. This should allow us to drill pretty easily in fat clays to depths of 30 or 40 feet.

Learn more about Thoroughbred Engineering

But in the meantime, the work has all but slowed and we’re patiently waiting for the next step. Well, as patiently as possible I suppose. A lot people in this business got into it because they’re impatient, and there’s some value to that.

But we have to get it right.

It’s always tough when progress gets stalled. What’s happening in the meantime?

You know, we get excited during the process. It’s like getting a new car. Despite the lack of power, we took the rig out Monday to use the Viking Auto Hammer for the first time. However, our excitement was dashed again as we discovered our modification which attached the hammer on the mast was a bit too high to allow us to use the wench to raise it and remove it from the attachment. So we simply couldn’t detach and swing it in position.

Oh boy. Sounds like a lot of hurdles.

There are some challenges to overcome, sure, but part of why we’re in this business is to solve problems. We’re building a brand new custom rig and we want it to work perfectly to our specifications, so the modifications are necessary. I mean, no one likes to sit by while there’s work to be done, but it’s more important to get it done right than to get it done fast.

So we’re taking the rig back to the fab shop tomorrow to lower the attachment three and a half feet. This will make it easier and safer to unlock it from the mast and swing it into its operating position. 

All in all, the rig looks great and it will work once we get it where I want it to be. Taking a water drill and making it a geotechnical rig while working with several different vendors has its challenges. For instance, the rig is all standard sizes and other parts are metric. The new engine drive shaft is larger than the old 19 horsepower which will require a new housing unit to the hydro pump.

Has the process been worth it? It sounds like a lot work  and you’re not quite finished yet with the machine itself, and then the actual work begins.

We’re on the down slope now, that’s what I’ve promised my crew anyways (laughs). Once we get the new engine and lower the hammer attachment, we’ll have something at a cost almost no one can match.  

Additionally, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about drills that will benefit us as time goes on. I doubt many people can tell you how many foot-pounds of torque are needed to drill 30 feet deep in fat clays, or what RPM’s are required to drill in limestone or how much horsepower is needed to drive a 3000 PSI hydraulic system pumping 22 gallons a minute.

Needless to say, I have enjoyed myself throughout the process, as funny as that might sound.

Darrin, for us, that’s not funny at all. That’s how we operate, concentrating on the process and taking our time to get the best possible product.

You bet. And like you said, that’s before the actual project even begins. Before we get further into talking about our rig, I want to ensure it’s performing as needed. Give us another week or two and I have confidence I’ll have more to report.

No problem Darrin. Thanks so much for taking the time and allowing us to come along for the ride. Talk to you soon.

How Thoroughbred Engineering Built a Custom Drilling Rig for a Fraction of Market Cost

Thoroughbred Engineering knows a thing or two about getting the job done right. From civil design to geotechnical engineering to drilling exploration, the Georgetown, Kentucky based company is used to tackling multiple challenges all at once.

Facing an important project that required a strict budget, Thoroughbred recently purchased an SPT Auto Hammer from Viking West with the intention of modifying a custom drilling rig they purchased at a reduced cost. We were keen to “listen in” on the process of out-fitting the rig, and project coordinator Darrin Croucher was generous enough with his time to fill us in on the details.

Even when those details represented delays and frustration.

This is part one of a multi-part series examining one company’s pursuit of a custom machine built at a fraction of standard market cost.

Kelvin: We talk a lot at Viking about the conditions operators are required to work in, typically locations such as jungles to deserts to right here in the BC forest region. What are the conditions Thoroughbred is currently working in?

Darrin: 90% of our geotechnical services involve exploring beneath the surface of the Earth, typically to depths of 15 to 25 feet. We generally drill four to ten holes. Right now we’re drilling through karst, which is landscape with a layer of limestone underneath. This limestone erodes and the result is inconsistent earth that we have to manage. As a result, drilling rock cores is generally required.

Learn more about Thoroughbred.

It’s crucial to get the job done safely and we don’t want to worry about the machinery, we just want to rely on our people. Using an auto hammer lets us focus on the job, the safety and reliability is taken care of. Because we are often asked to drill in factories, we wanted the maximum height of the rig to be less than 15 feet as well.

So for your particular conditions, safety is obviously important, but the equipment simply has to fit, too. What about cost?

Our goal was to have a drill that met these requirements and we also needed to spend less than $50,000 after it was outfitted. Well, we learned this was impossible, but it’s important to stick to your budget, obviously, right? Especially in these times. No drill on the market could meet our goals and as a result, we decided to go the custom route instead.

So at this point, we’ve spent $25,000. We purchased a small rig and modified it with two motors. One that’s high-speed, low-torque for coring and another that’s low-speed, high-torque for augering. The rig comes in at 14 feet so we’re well within parameters.

Are you limited by your budget or is it simply a reality of the current market and the economy?

I don’t think we’re limited, we just need to be comfortable with the projects we commit to. If something doesn’t suit us then we’re not going to waste our time or a customer. People in this industry need to help each other out, and part of that is being honest and upfront about your capabilities. So, saying that, we’ve been around a long time and we’re refined in our approach. These days it’s about paying close attention to all your details.

We won’t be drilling into the ground inside a commercial building or an existing mine or anything any time soon, so we were satisfied with the height of this rig.

So, now that we had the rig in place, we bought the Viking Auto Hammer and outfitted the machine. We used a local fab shop to attach the hammer to the mast. We also made other modifications to the water drill that we noticed were important as we were going through this process.

So at this point we were excited to take the rig out for a test drive, except we discovered one small problem that could, potentially, have an enormous impact.

Next up in Part 2 in our Case Study with Thoroughbred:

“There are some challenges to overcome, sure, but part of why we’re in this business is to solve problems. We’re building a brand new custom rig and we want it to work perfectly to our specifications.”

Case Study: Viking West’s Precision Gears Are On Top of the World

Whether you work with them or not, I think we can all appreciate the awesome power of the gigantic wind turbines dotting the landscape throughout southern Alberta. From a distance you might think hey, they’re not that big. And then an hour later you’re right beside one with your neck craned to the sky and you realize they’re massive.

So can you imagine climbing 40 metres above the Earth to switch out a precision gear?

This is just one example of the variety of conditions in which our customers find themselves. Whether you’re on top of the world or deep beneath it, gears are the final piece of the puzzle. Without them, the job simply stops.

I caught up with Viking West’s Mike Schlender to talk about the company’s custom precision gears and a couple of the unique projects that require them.

Kelvin: What’s Viking’s focus when it comes to precision gears?

Mike: Obviously it’s a piece that technical machinery needs if it wants to operate. OEM’s need gears that fit perfectly to operate their machines. You can have the most complicated, sophisticated design in the world, but without proper-fitting gears it’s not going to work. So that being said, we make new custom gears and we offer replacement gears as well for gear boxes, drive mechanisms and so on. We work with designers on any range of specifications to manufacture them properly. 

What are some of the variables you work with?

We work with different materials, common or exotic, and that could be said for the conditions we make gears for as well. We did a large ring for a wind turbine that was stainless steel which is a bit uncommon. In an application like that you need extreme durability, you don’t want to climb on top of a turbine if you can avoid it. The stainless steel doesn’t corrode and it has great wear.

Another piece we did for a wind turbine was a combination bearing and gear together. There’s a drive motor turning the turbine, but we made an integrated turbine and gear as well. That was cool.

Your clients work in various locations and conditions. What are some of the challenges you try to help them overcome?

It’s really all dependant on the job, or the conditions like you said. Everything goes through a process to determine its viability in a particular environment. If you have a bearing or a gear in an application that isn’t meeting expectations for durability then we work to improve the specs. The properties such as fatigue resistance and the roots of the gears are crucial. We can change out the material or modify the heat treatment or simply the geometry of the design to suit the machine’s specs.

Tell me a little more about your approach to treatments.

There’s surface treatments and coatings that deal with the material being used and we use heat treatments to improve wear or strength. This all has to be done in combination with the material you select. The cycle is actually fairly delicate, if you miss the mark with one step of heating or cooling then you’re starting over again. I love that part, the controlled temperature cycle with the furnace. The cycle has to be done just right. 

What other types of projects are being completed with the help of Viking’s precision gears?

There’s a range of projects, everything from precision gears for a gear box to pieces for a planetary drive. One extreme we dealt with was a replacement gear in a sawmill, which might not sound extreme, but it was unique.

A lot of people call us when their gears start wearing out. Hopefully they call before that happens actually. This is happening a lot locally, particularly in lower-tech industries, gears made in the traditional manner are at the end of their lifespan.

These industries traditionally operate on a budget, they have to stay efficient, so their manufacturing has built-in limitations. We offer solutions for that to keep costs down while making our gears available. For example, a traditional gear could be a steel plate you can buy anywhere and cut and weld on a rung. So instead of that we offer a one-piece, sturdy forged gear. The steel is stamped and the forging is a higher quality that was out of reach in the past, but because we can leverage our engineering we can pass on some savings, so those sophisticated precision gears are becoming a reality for a lot of people who need them to get the job done.

Even if that job happens to take you to the top of the world?

In the literal sense, sure!

See complete details on Viking’s Precision Gears ->

5 Common Questions About Viking West’s Construction Products

We hold a special place in our heart for the construction industry. There’s just something about picking up the earth, moving it around, and finishing with something new, something greater. If you have kids, it’s that special feeling you get watching them operate a miniature (yet still heavy-duty, of course) bucket in the sandbox. After all, those great buildings and roads aren’t going to build themselves. The construction industry is built by dependable people operating dependable equipment, and it’s a sector to which we’re a proud contributor.

We get a few common questions regarding the construction industry, so we thought it would be a good idea to capture them all here.

1. What types of construction products do you make?

Viking West has three main streams of products: guarding, attachments, and after market parts.

Guarding

  • Fops Cab Guard
  • OPS (City) Guards
  • Catwalk Kits
  • Foot Rungs/Steps
  • Track (Rock) Guards
  • Belly (Stump) Pans

We also make underuse guarding, door guards, window guards, perimeter railings and hydraulic cylinder guards. The key to all our guarding is safety first, productivity second.

Take a look at images and more details for our guarding products.

Attachments

  • HD Dig Buckets
  • STD Dig & Cleanup Buckets
  • Mini Attachments
  • Lug Adapters
  • Hydraulic Thumbs
  • Stick Rippers
  • Tilt Buckets
  • Manual Wedge Coupler
  • Hydraulic Coupler

All shapes and sizes, our attachments are built to last and built to get the job done right.

See further details on our construction attachments.

After Market Parts – Accessories

  • Linkage Arms
  • Pins
  • Bushings
  • Bucket Teeth & Adapters
  • Bolt On Cutting Edges
  • Cylinders: Booms, Arms, Thumbs
  • Work Lights
  • Soft Covers

After Market Parts – Undercarriage Parts

  • Carrier Rollers
  • Track Rollers
  • Track Chains
  • Track Shoes
  • Spring Assemblies
  • Ice Lugs

2. What’s the process like when you’re designing new attachments and guarding?

We work specifically for individual customers. This means that we listen, work together to understand challenges and we come up with efficient solutions. This gives us the ability to leverage our engineering and make products that are flexible and durable. At the end of the process the customer receives the completed product, so its a complete turn-key solution for them.

3. What are some of the challenges faced by the construction industry these days?

The bulk of our construction attachments are made companies, who, like many people, are under pressure because of the state of oil and gas prices. Particularly in Alberta where the market has been hit hard, equipment dealers are under intense pressure to reduce costs, so we have to be mindful of that and work smarter instead of harder. There is a lot of selection in heavy equipment, so it’s up to us to stand out by making better products.

4. Why do customers buy construction attachments from Viking West?

The design process is where we can really cut costs, and these days it all comes back to the budget. Customers use Viking to produce specialized attachments to their specifications. We sell them at good value for what they’re accomplishing and then the customer can sell the completed machine at a reduced price. 

5. What unique benefits does Viking West offer for equipment dealers and manufacturers?

Our customers receive their products when they want them and how they want them. We’ve talked about it before, but everyone’s schedule is so important these days. Companies simply don’t have the luxury of storing equipment for 6, 7 or 8 months every year. That space is costing money, so we ship attachments on the customer’s schedule. We’ll even carry inventory for our clients so they don’t have to worry about it.

Looking for attachments for your next job? We can help, contact us!

Viking & the Panama Canal: What It Means To Contribute to Projects All Over the World

When I sat down for an interview with Dando Drilling’s Rupert Coler a couple weeks back for an upcoming feature in National Driller Magazine, I had no way to know just how important the depth of our interview would end up being. It’s not like I was asking boring, stock questions, but at the same time, I had questions prepared that surely wouldn’t shock or turn the drilling industry on its ear. I figured we’d be talking strictly about the unique specifications of our SPT Auto Hammer and how it’s meshing with the Dando Multitec 4000 being put to work to widen the Panama Canal.

Just repeating that back, it does seem standard, right?

But as Rupert went into further detail about the client using the Multitec 4000 rig, the Universidad técnica de Panamá, it started to become obvious that this isn’t simply another drilling project.

This is a gigantic undertaking that’s literally changing the shape of the planet.

Helping The People on the Ground

Taking samples next to one of the country’s most important facilities, the University, demonstrates a reality we wrote about a while back – that drilling is about people first and the economy second. The widening of the canal and improvements made to its adjacent ports is about more than the increased amount of cargo that will be able to pass through, it’s about the people living in Panama that will immediately benefit from the improved infrastructure.

And because of the implications to nations that also depend on the viability of the canal, it’s about people all over the world who will be affected in some small way by this project.

And Viking West is playing a part in the development.

Improving an Icon: The Panama Canal

Looking at pictures of a Viking West attachment being used beneath the shadow of the Bridge of the Americas, I’ll admit – it’s a thrill. This project, which has been taking place for the better part of a decade, includes building a new set of locks on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the passage. The Panama Canal is one of history’s greatest industrial achievements, a project shared by, and argued over, by nations all over the world.

And it’s almost done.

The project includes building gigantic locks which allow even greater ships to pass through the country. Although Viking West has a relatively small part to play in the project, the fact our Auto Hammer is a key component in the process is undeniably a badge of honour.

Here’s a quote from Rupert from the upcoming National Driller article on the specifics of the Dando multipurpose rig being used:

“(3P Sociedad Limitada Ingenieria Civil) decided on the Multitec 4000 and we fitted Viking’s SPT hammer on our carriage system which allows us to do SPT and driven window and window-less sampling. There was some HQ wireline coring as well, so the rig needed to wear a lot of hats, so to speak.”

Contributing to a Global Economy

Life in the drilling industry involves some, should we say, non-exciting aspects. However, some of the least interesting components of a rig or a location are the most important. It’s the simplest pieces that hold the most important projects together.

There’s always more to a story, particularly one surrounding something as important as improving geological infrastructure on one of our planet’s greatest accomplishments to date.

In the end, we’re just happy to be part of improving it just a little further.

Stay tuned to our LinkedIn profile next month for our interview with Dando Drilling’s Rupert Coler.