Vermeer Mfg. Co., manufacturer of horizontal directional drilling equipment and tooling, has purchased substantially all of the operating assets of Horizontal Rig & Equipment Inc. (HRE), Conroe, Texas. HRE had been producing three drills with pullback forces of 500,000 pounds, 750,000 pounds and 1,000,000 pounds. Production of these units soon will move to Vermeer’s manufacturing plant in Pella, Iowa, and they will carry the Vermeer name and be sold through the company’s distribution channels. “The market for drill rigs of this size is robust, as gas, oil and major water and sewer projects have a strong global outlook,” says Vermeer’s Dave Wisniewski.