Rolkon is a trenchless construction company specialising in Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) and Moling. Built on the spirit of Ubuntu, and the desire to thrive together, Rolkon’s growth and success are linked to that of its clients which is why efficiency, innovation and customer support have and always will form the bedrock of the company ethos.
What Is Trenchless Construction?
Trenchless construction is the technique by which a pipe, duct or cable can be installed underground without disturbing service structures such as roads, pavements and driveways, thereby avoiding the disruption caused by traditional open trenching methods.
Using Directional Drilling or Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) techniques, this unique offering provides a much-needed non-invasive tunnelling service for underground pipelines for sewer and water; fibre optic installation, and electrical sleeving. This to industries such as developers/consulting engineers/contractors/municipalities and parastatals.
Why Use This Method?
Where modern conveniences such as plumbing, electricity and the internet are services we take for granted, trenchless technology is critical in being able to maintain and grow the provision of such services without disrupting the infrastructure in place.
In under-serviced areas, trenchless construction serves to fast track these conveniences while limiting the disruption caused in areas where there are often tight living conditions.
But what are the tangible benefits of using trenchless construction techniques such as Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) for developers/consulting engineers/contractors/municipalities and parastatals?
- Environmental Sensitivity: Using specialised equipment, underground infrastructure is installed, repaired or replaced with minimum disturbance to the ecology. This approach means that infrastructure can be installed under buildings, forests, wetlands and bodies of water.
- Minimal Disruption: Nobody likes to have their home, business, sidewalks or morning commute affected by construction. With a smaller construction footprint and the option of being able to work in the right of way, disruptions are greatly reduced.
- Decreased Rehabilitation Time: Because trenchless construction methods require little digging, the time to rehabilitate the work area to ‘as found’ or better condition is decreased.
- Saves Time: With decreased disturbance, projects using trenchless methods take less time to complete. Less time means less inconvenience associated with a construction project.
- Added Value: Studies on HDD projects and results have shown that trenchless construction can result in 30% more value for money on a given project.
- Save On Costs: The cost savings resulting from the application of this technology, in both direct and consequential terms, are significant. HDD is fast and efficient!
- Skill Development and Labour: In South Africa trenching is viewed as a job creator when in truth, more trenches are dug mechanically than by hand, and where labour is used, it is predominantly unskilled. Trenchless technology uses skilled labour and thus growing the trenchless industry will positively increase the resource pool of skilled labour which in turn results in higher wages.
Legacy Into The Future
Founded by Dr Leon Ehlers in 2011 (or The Doctor as he is known in the industry), Rolkon’s steady growth in clients and reputation is linked to its philosophy of symbiosis and ensuring clients succeed through efficiency, service innovation and the customer support it provides.
In 2021, when Dr Ehlers opened a new medical practice with his son at The Pearls in uMhlanga, he sold Rolkon to Faith Tlhale and Rocky Herrmann.
Driving Rolkon’s specialist civil engineering and environmental innovation is Rocky Herrmann. With extensive experience in public transport, urban design and private sector development, Rocky’s skills lie in project planning, detailed design, infrastructural management and operations.
Our goal is to provide a non- invasive and accurate drilling solution underpinned by efficiency. Customer service is our focus, as we build on the legacy of the business and take Rolkon into the future,” said Rocky.
Co-owner of Rolkon Faith Tlhale comes from a background of education and training and will be focused on Rolkon’s growing apprenticeship programme.
Our mission is to foster our cross-cultural diversity by empowering from within and creating a sense of individual and team satisfaction that translates into a professional service for our clients,” explains Faith.
Our Value Proposition
The value proposition we offer our clients is borne from the values we live as an organisation with the benefit for our clients captured as follows:
- Our LEADERSHIP and CULTURAL DIVERSITY means our clients benefit from LEVEL 2 BEE
- ACCOUNTABILITY means an EFFICIENT and ACCURATE SERVICE every time.
- Our STRONG LEGACY translates into KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE for our clients.
- Our focus on internal GROWTH STRATEGIES means ECONOMIC VALUE to our clients.
- Our APPRENTICESHIP program supports our value of PRIDE and EMPOWERING FROM WITHIN.
- Our NON-INVASIVE and ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE approach is driven by our goals of FUTUREPROOFING.
Safety and the Environment
Environmental sensitivity is a critical factor in all civil and construction projects and can range from ecological protection to historical preservation.
Whatever the environmental consideration, Rolkon’s trenchless methods offer a number of key environmental benefits as compared to open trenching methods, including:
- The protection of valuable surfaces with minimal to no restoration required around the site.
- A reduced level of disruption, such as noise and CO2 emissions, enhances the safety element of the project and the area under construction.
- Reduced site and area risk as no surface damage and no restoration means there is no risk of people falling into open trenches.
- The mitigation of traffic diversions as a result of minimal excavation work, which means reduced disruption to motorists.
- No trench collapse!
Suppliers / Partners
Rolkon works with a team of reputable service providers and suppliers who enable the team to ensure each site is resolved with a focus on quality and customer satisfaction. Our preferred suppliers include:
Trailersol – For the CCTV requirements on our rigs and machines.
Inkulu Plastics – Supplying our high-quality HDPE pipes.
KZN BCF – Our truck body gurus.
Bloc Contractors – Pipe-jacking specialists