Recently established telecommunications and civil company, Accelerate Civil, has expanded into drilling after it saw a gap in the Mackay market. In order to provide a fully integrated end-to-end service for clients, they purchased a suite of brand new equipment, including a directional drill, mixing system and locator.


Accelerate Civil is a new face in the drilling game but the company is a combination of two well-established Queensland businesses; Accelerate Communications and John Morgan Plumbing, and brings together the best of both services.

Accelerate Civil Director James Buttenshaw said directional drilling was the last piece of the puzzle to be able to offer an end-to-end service.

“There are a lot of instances where a drill is needed, such as drilling under roads and creeks. Previously we would do the civil works and other contractors would have to come in and do the drilling.

“Now that we have the drilling expertise, our clients don’t have to juggle multiple companies and try to manage varying timeframes – we can do everything,” Mr Buttenshaw said.

Moving into drilling

Accelerate Civil currently has a team of 25 across Brisbane, Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay. Drilling services are offered in Central Queensland with a view to expand across other regions.

Mr Buttenshaw said the move into drilling had come after they saw an opening in the market and believed they could provide a more efficient service than what was already available.

“We looked at how the market was currently being serviced and thought we could do better. A lot of the things we offer – drilling, telecommunications and utility installation – all revolve around providing information back to the client. The feedback we get is that this is the number one thing our customers wish contractors would do more,” Mr Buttenshaw said.

Nigel Dobier, Vermeer’s HDD Specialist based in Townsville, North Queensland, has been working alongside Accelerate Civil since November 2016, tailoring a HDD package to suit the company and their client’s specific needs.

To assist with the collection of information, Vermeer packaged the Falcon F5 DCI Locator and Aurora Display with a Vermeer D20x22 Series 2 Directional Drill, VSK700 – 800 Vac Unit and MX125 mixing system, which has enabled Accelerate Civil to offer high-end drilling services.

“The digital bore logs and in-depth information we get from our Vermeer HDD setup allows us to drill more efficiently and collect detailed information for the client,” Mr Buttenshaw said.

“Our approach is fully integrated, as we incorporate this information into our existing cloud-based artefact systems. This puts us a cut above the rest in providing Professional As-built Artefacts Packs for our clients.”

Mr Buttenshaw said the decision to purchase from Vermeer was based on utilising the latest drilling technology and ensuring their services would be reliable.

“Investing in this much new equipment is not a standard thing given the current state of North Queensland’s economy but our decision was based around reducing risks. Having new gear gives us confidence that it won’t break down and Vermeer’s products have the latest technology which makes it easier to drill.

“Some older drills don’t allow much information to be fed back but the Vermeer Directional Drill with the Falcon F5 DCI Package has things like high-end pressure gauges so we can tell if there’s a frac out.

“We’ve already successfully completed one project using the equipment and are halfway through another. The second project is a large ring road relocation project where a highway is being built and all telecommunication services have to be relocated. We also provide services direct to Telstra and nbn now.”

Building a successful service

Mr Buttenshaw said his team did extensive research before making the move into drilling to be able to differentiate themselves in the region. This preparation included ensuring they had adequate support.

“As we’re new in this area, Vermeer had experts fly in from Melbourne, Sydney and the Gold Coast to train us on the equipment.

This on-site and continuing support has been great and really got us started on the right foot,” Mr Buttenshaw said.

“I think the main thing for any contractor, but especially in our industry with strict timeframes and requirements, is just to do what you say you’re going to do.

“To be able to do this you need quality reliable equipment that doesn’t break down, and to have access to support quickly if there are any issues in the future.”

This partner content is brought to you by Vermeer. For more information, visit

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