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Mole Ploughing


Trenchless Technology

Trenchless technology is a new type of subsurface construction work for the installation of pipelines and cables below the ground with minimal to no trench excavation.

Mole Plough

Mole-ploughing is a popular method of laying continuous pipe or cable in a range of diameters.  It is simple, fast, and minimises disturbance to existing ground, requiring minimal reinstatement.  Depths of up to 1.5m can be achieved relatively easily and greater depths can be achieved if required.  Suitable for all services such as telecoms, power, water, gas, sewer, and all pressure pipelines.

Tru-Line utilise a “static” type moleplough.  Another method is “vibratory “ mole-ploughing where the unit is fitted with an revolving eccentric weight unit (similar to a vibrating roller) which generates an up and down movement in the blade enabling minimal effort from the machine unit being used to mount and pull the plough.  However the static type is very efficient, and used in conjunction with a “pre-rip” machine, can achieve excellent daily production figures in reasonable conditions.  Mole-ploughing is best suited to rural environments where minimal existing services are present.  In reasonable going, sometimes greater than 1000 metres can be installed in a day.

Tru-Line moleploughs incorporate a swivel feature in the mounting head which allows variable “offset” ploughing e.g. it is possible to lay in parallel outside the line of the machine.  The unit is mounted to a 26 tonne excavator giving a good level of tractive power for pulling the plough and cutting the necessary slot trench.  Excavator is equipped with a “quick-coupler” for swift removal of plough unit and allowing another tool attachment to be deployed.  Where required, the plough line can be “pre-ripped” which reduces the stress on the moleplough excavator and ensures full specified lay depth is maintained at all times.

The moleplough consists of a ripper blade attached to a guiding tail unit down which the laid product is directed.  The ripper blade cuts the slot, moving the ground laterally and slightly upward on both sides.  Simultaneously the products – cable, duct, or pipe – are fed into the guiding tail.  Several products can be installed together using separate spaced guides in the tail assembly e.g. a cable duct can be installed at full depth, a locate wire 200mm above, and warning tape 400mm above, all in one pass.

Product to be laid can either be mounted in a drum on the excavator, or pre-laid parallel ahead and adjacent to the plough.  Utilising the “quick coupler” the excavator can be disconnected in-situ leaving the plough unit complete with products in the ground, thus eliminating the need for time consuming removal and re-installation of the lay products.

Once installation is complete, a separate (usually smaller) excavator follows the operation, compacting the rip line and generally trimming and making tidy.

Tru-Line Civil Ltd have laid approx. 1000 km of pipe and cable in this way over the past 20 years, with great success in terms of efficiency and durability of finished installation.


Contact us

TruLine Civil is determined to incrementally improve the service we deliver our clients, and the quality and range of civil engineering services that we offer to owners and stakeholders who expect excellence.

Excellence in Infrastructure.

TruLine Civil.

Interested in our services? You can contact us +64 (21) 228-5090 and ask for Geoff Powell or e-mail me at 

Christchurch Address 

Greywacke Road extension,
New Zealand 


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Mole Ploughing

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