Product Spotlight - February 2022

Product Spotlight - February 2022

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Pipe pulling for service pipe replacement is a trenchless technology quickly growing in popularity. The technique removes old water or gas pipe from the ground by pulling it with a hydraulic winch and a special steel pulling cable, while at the same time, a new pipe is towed into place along the same bore path created by the extracted old pipe. 

The Kobus Pipe Puller 400 is a trenchless pipe replacement technique that extracts lead, steel, copper and plastic service pipes quickly and safely while towing in a new service pipe, in one single operation.

According to Kobus president Tom Atienza, the concept is simple. First, a strong steel pulling cable is fed through the old pipe being removed. The pulling cable has a special pulling attachment on one end, which engages with the old pipe. The other end of the cable is fixed onto the pipe puller spool, which is driven by two powerful hydraulic motors. The spool safely and continuously winds up the pipe as it is removed from the ground, and a new copper or polyethylene pipe is towed into place following the same pathway as the old pipe. 

“It’s a good fit for the industry because it reduces the carbon footprint, and is kinder to the environment, as it is removing any lead or metal contamination in the soil,” says Atienza. “Not to mention the financial benefits of not digging up expensive driveways and gardens and time saved in reinstatement. No road closures are needed, as the machine fits onto a mini excavator with a 360-degree rotating foot, meaning that the mini excavator can sit anywhere around the small pit it is lowered into.”

On average the process of pulling the old pipe out and putting the new one in takes about three minutes. “As the old pipe already has the bore that the new one instantly follows, the risk of utility strikes of other underground services is reduced to next to zero,” says Atienza. “In the end, it also helps remove pipe congestion from under the ground, as there are no dead pipes left over.”

Up to 85 feet of pipe can be extracted in a single pull, meaning the process is ideal for road crossings, replacements under expensive driveways/pathways, or where other utilities may prevent other techniques from being used. 269-216-3916;


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