Trenchless Technology Leader Celebrates 25 Years

Trenchless Technology Leader Celebrates 25 Years

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Challenged to name a market-leading tool that got its start as a prototype built in the family garage, most people might list the personal computer. Ask a utility installer or pipe rehabilitation contractor the same question, and the answer might be in the back of the company truck. 

The HammerHead Mole, a pneumatic piercing tool that can install a new pipe with “smaller holes, fewer trenches,” was designed in 1989 by an earth-piercing tool owner and two design engineers with an entrepreneurial passion for making tools easier to use, simpler to service and more reliably productive. 

Now a market-leading manufacturer of underground pipe installation and rehabilitation solutions, HammerHead celebrates its 25th anniversary. 

“Expansion and diversification have been features of HammerHead since its founders Jon Haas, Rob Crane and Steve Wentworth built that first Mole in Haas’ garage,” said HammerHead CEO Brian Metcalf. “Because of that, HammerHead has experienced double-digit growth year after year, introducing entire new lines of trenchless-related technologies that give customers a complete array of solutions.” 

Now, 25 years later, with Ditch Witch as its official North American distributor, HammerHead offers a full suite of solutions. “Customers can come to us with any project and we’ll help them either burst it, line it or shoot a new run with our mole,” Metcalf said. “Or we can line them up with a local Ditch Witch dealer for vacuum excavation, directional drilling or open trenching.” 

A team that bleeds red and black

Metcalf said the tooling was not what he was most proud of — it’s the HammerHead team. “When we transitioned successfully from private equity ownership to being part of a privately held, longstanding industry leading company like Charles Machine Works, our employees embraced the change and have thrived in that environment,” he said. “Our employees create a culture of customer satisfaction, a dedication that fueled the company’s growth, doubling it in a short period of time.” 

Employee passion has always been a HammerHead hallmark, making it a unique company in the industry. “A passionate team that not only truly believes in our customers, but in each other and in HammerHead as an organization — our employees build upon the legacy of our company’s founders,” Metcalf said. “The past 25 years of leadership, especially from our long-term employees, bleeds red and black.” 

He predicts the next 25 years will be bright for HammerHead: “We’ll see significant growth from our core market segments, combined with new innovative solutions to meet customer needs at their job sites worldwide.” 

HammerHead, an Earth Tool Company of Oconomowoc, Wis., manufactures a full line of pipe bursting, pipe ramming/HDD Assist, pneumatic boring equipment, HDD tooling and accessories, and CIPP lateral lining systems and consumables. All of these products are recognized around the world for their advanced design, rugged construction, long-term durability, ease of use, and reliability. For more information, visit


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