In our short 15-year old history our company has always strived for improvements and this is the reason we are regularly upgrading and adding new features to our services as well as our equipment and technologies. It is impossible to write in a few words all of the changes that have shaped the company. It is even harder to describe all the work the employees have done in this time. They are full of enthusiasm and will to work, they have helped to build the company as we know it today. We are proud of our rich history, despite the fact it is still a short one.
A SHORT HISTORY OF VILKOGRAD D.O.O.
In 1995 our company was born. In that year we entered the market and began competing with other companies. We started with small steps and a clear vision for the future in the field of construction. We focused on civil engineering constructions. We started to create ideas and planed how to materialize them to be as competitive as possible on the market, to provide solutions for all of our clients’ demands and listen to their wishes. The primary activities of the company included:
- Production of subsurface drilling of asphalt roads diameter f 50 mm to f 2 m
- Production of horizontal directional bores
- Trenchless rehabilitation of utility lines
- Gas pipelines
- Gas pipelines
- Road construction
- Regulation and arrangement of streams
- Rehabilitation of landslides
- Demolition of structures
- Demolition work in conversion of internal spaces of structures
In the first year we employed only four people. They started the successful path of development in the technological as well as human resources field.
Our goal was clear all the time – to satisfy and follow the needs of customers and be creative all the time. We wanted to be informed about everything that was happening at home and abroad. Europe was determined to make the care for the environment its number one priority and we followed. We knew that we can be successful only if we adapt. At this time Slovenian telecommunication company Telekom played an important role as it started to build its network. We followed it closely and soon we realized there were problems with crossing the roads and railways. The problem was solved when we acquired the equipment for subsurface drilling of diameter 75 mm to 125 mm. We were able to cross lengths of up to 25 m. It was a win as we made the work easier and at the same time the new technology was more environmentally friendly, there was less interference with the environment and it was closer to European standards for environment protection.
In addition to daily technological improvements in the area of civil engineering, we recognize that demand for horizontal drilling is becoming greater and more challenging. The construction of sewers across Slovenia increases the desired diameter of subsurface drilling. We acquire technology, new at the time and now essential. The technology of driving protective metal pipes. We can achieve diameter up to f 600 mm and length up to 40 m. Number of employees increases to 15.
5 years of our existence and time for two big changes in the Vilkograd company. We achieved the company record in the area of production of horizontal bores. We carried out a record project of diameter f 200 cm. We introduced a new deep-foundation technology which includes implementation of piles using ductile piles. We started using a new technology for trenchless rehabilitation of sewers and other pipelines. This was the first serious step that can be considered modern trenchless construction methods and rehabilitation.
Based on analyses and achieved results the circle of satisfied customers is growing. We did not want to rest on our success so we started to further invest in our growth, new machines and technologies which became indispensable. We also needed more hardworking people so the number of employees rose to 38. But still we were looking for new solutions to problems that occured at individual projects. We sensed the challenge that gave us a new push. We started to work on the solution to how to make long horizontal bores that were until then completely impossible. The cause lead to the consequence. We have implemented a completely new technology of radio controlled drilling. What was just an idea became a reality. As the only company in Slovenia we offered a machine that was able to drill with real-time data and precise control of drilling head which enabled drilling up to 200 m in length and 400 mm in diameter. We offered a new dimension to the civil engineering constructions market and added our own mark to it.
Sewer construction continues to grow. The quantity of subsurface drilling carried out increases by 20% a year. The company faces continual steep growth in demand. Difficulties arise due to the accuracy of and limitations on the length of subsurface drilling for sewers. Difficulties also emerge in work in very difficult terrain.
The company does not hesitate. We actively seek solutions, and after a difficult spell, we find them. We open a new chapter in the history of horizontal drilling in Slovenia. We call the technology horizontal directional drilling with optical monitoring. This technology increases the length of drilling for sewers from 40 m to 150 m. The greatest gains are in accuracy. We can achieve accuracy of +/- 2 cm per 150 m. We can also work with all types of material.
In addition to growth in all sectors, problems start to emerge in the area of reconstruction of water pipes. We encounter the problem that the worn pipes investors wish to replace are made of all sorts of materials (asbestos, polyethylene, iron, grey cast iron).
Problems also emerge with existing joint materials. The outdated materials mean that pipes are joined in many different ways. We simply cannot solve the problem with existing equipment. Faced with a major challenge, our experience and in-house development allow us to find answers to all the problems. We introduce the new technology of static demolition of existing pipes, allowing us to achieve reconstruction lengths up to 400 m for all types of worn pipes. The growing workload means an increase in employee numbers to more than 50.
2006 was a very special year for our company. There were a few turning points that made impact on human resources and technologies of the company to this day. The company had 65 employees. People who managed to fulfill the demands of the investors with dedicated teamwork.
Our experts made project plans for horizontal drilling machine with radio control. Its capabilities seem like something impossible: drilling length is up to 1200 m, the diameter is up to 1200 mm. Based on the plan the machine was made in the USA by the company DITCH WITCH.
The second machine enables drilling in the demanding terrains, such as stone, marl, rock. These terrains are category IV. to VIII. This machine was also made according to our plans. In 2006 we also acquired a machine that makes it possible to implement house pipes and cables without drilling (gas, water, electricity, phone, sewers etc.). This made an end to digging in the backyards, through grass in front of the house and everywhere else. We can create tunnels in the length up to 70 m and in diameter of up to 125 mm.
Our company is at the forefront in the field with these and other projects. All our experience made it possible for us to make more special drilling mechanisms that are unique and patented.
Needs and demands are growing bigger. Our expert personnel, our work ethics and the ability to solve problems have built us respect on the market. We are known by quality, affordability and on-time solutions. Our equipment is mostly new and technologically advanced. The technology enables us a 100% quality realization of work entrusted to us. We can confidently say that we can find an answer for every question in the field of modern no-dig technologies. We provide regular trainings for our employees. Every job we take is a challenge. Most of all when building underground pipelines we are aware that often we have to interfere with nature and work on private property. This makes care for the environment our number one priority. We follow this principle through all years of our existence, we respect the owners and their property. The most important thing is to reestablish the environment to the same shape and form as it was at the beginning of work. In year 2008 we have established a special department for technologic development. There are over 100 people employed at Vilkograd d.o.o. Despite the world economic crisis and recession we have made our best effort to stay in the market and be successful. No mistake is left to coincidence. At every step we do our best not to disappoint our customers and strengthen their trust in us.
The past has taught us that it is worth fighting when it is the hardest. In the last year we have started using many new solutions despite the recession and crisis in the construction sector. The most important new technology is without a doubt microtunneling. By this we have made our services complete and opened the door to many new projects. We are also proud on expending our business in other countries, especially Macedonia and Austria while our daughter company in Croatia is well known in the Croatian market.