Vermeer released two products for its pipeline portfolio, the DECKHAND pipe handling systems. DECKHAND is a modular pipe-handling attachment consisting of a head unit with interchangeable arm types that transports drill pipe from a rack or trailer and positions it onto a directional drilling rig. This attachment helps maximize utilization of onsite excavators by adapting them as handlers and can fit any brand of excavator.

The DECKHAND DHS is a lighter, more compact system designed to meet the needs of utility contractors with a 20-ton or smaller excavator. This allows contractors the flexibility to utilize a smaller excavator and still handle the same size drill pipe, whether on a pipeline project or a small urban jobsite.

The DECKHAND DH4 attachment was specifically designed for excavators in the 24 to 40 ton range. Both sizes can handle drill pipe from 3 to 7 inches in diameter, as well as mud motors, collars and crossover subs up to 9.5 inches in diameter.

The DHS measures 60 inches high — 22 inches shorter than the DH4, which measures 82 inches. The DHS weighs 1,800 pounds, which is 1,200 pounds less than the DH4. Utilizing a smaller excavator contributes to savings for the contractor in operation cost and footprint.

The recently developed Mat Arm attachment is designed for contractors who utilize road mats on jobsites with rugged terrain. Mats are used to maintain access and egress for equipment in environmentally sensitive areas, such as wetlands. This special attachment can be used on both the DHS and DH4 models, and provides the DECKHAND the ability to pick up and place mats efficiently with little or no damage to the mat.

Both new products will be available third quarter 2014.

The DECKHAND is manufactured by LaValley Industries. The company was founded in 2006 by Jason LaValley and is headquartered in Bemidji, Minn. For more information about LaValley Industries and the DECKHAND line of attachments, visit

Vermeer Corporation, based in Pella, Iowa, serves utility drilling, surface mining and pipeline drilling markets. The company also works in agriculture, biomass and other equipment areas. For more information, visit