This motto by Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen is emblematic of TRACTO's commitment to working with assocations and for standardisation. Only those who help shape things can change them. TRACTO's aim is nothing less than to help sustainable and environmentally friendly underground construction methods to break through without digging. Far too often, the excavator is still used in pipeline construction. This is also due to the fact that even many experts are not sufficiently aware of the possibilities of trenchless technology. To change this, it is important to join forces with like-minded people in associations and to provide as much information as possible. It is not just about the experts, but also about the politicians and, above all, about the people in our country. Very often they don't even know that there are other ways of installing pipelines than with a digger. In addition to this work, it is important to participate in standardisation projects. Because standards describe the state of the art, they show that trenchless methods are not exotic, but have been tried, tested and safe for years. With this in mind, the editors asked Stefan Schmitz and Thorsten Schulte, who are mainly responsible for working with the associations for their views. I hope you enjoy reading this issue.

Sincerely, Meinolf Rameil


Stefan Schmitz, left - Thorsten Schulte, right
Mr Schulte, Mr Schmitz, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Association work is a broad field, what associations are you involved with?

Thorsten Schulte: TRACTO is active in many different associations. On the one hand, there are the technically oriented associations such as DWA (German Association for Water Management) and DVGW (German Association of the Gas and Water Industry), which Meinolf Rameil looks after, as well as the standardisation work at DIN, CEN and ISO. On the other hand, there are the interest and lobby groups such as the GSTT (German Society for Trenchless Technology), the RSV (Association for Pipeline Rehabilitation), the RBV (Association for Pipeline Construction), the DCA (Drilling Contractors Association) or the ISTT (International Society for Trenchless Technology), in which my colleague Stefan Schmitz and I are active. Of course, we must not forget the technical associations, because each application (e.g. sewage, water, gas, cable laying, fibre optics) has its own association.

What is the difference between the technically oriented associations and the interest groups?

Stefan Schmitz: The technical associations work on regulations and standards. The DVGW for example, lays the foundations for safety and reliability in German gas and water supply in accordance with the requirements of DIN 1988. These standards describe the rules of the technology and ensure high quality and safety.

For trenchless methods, it is important to be included in such standards in order to be recognised as state of the art in pipeline construction.

Thorsten Schulte: As mentioned at the beginning, the interest groups are trying to raise awareness of trenchless technology. The trenchless installation methods are not known everywhere. The associations are working to ensure that network operators and planning offices, for example, hear about the so-called NODIG technologies.

It is always a matter of exchanging experience and networking, both nationally and internationally. The associations work closely together and are in constant exchange with a common goal - to make trenchless technology nationally and internationally attractive.

Why does TRACTO rely so heavily on association work?

Thorsten Schulte: The answer is obvious. The better known the trenchless installation methods become, the bigger the market will be. The economic and environmental advantages of NODIG technologies over the open trench method with an excavator are so great that the more they are known, the more they are used. This helps to secure the order backlog for contractors in the long term. More contracts for trenchless contractors also mean more machine sales for TRACTO.

But at the same time you increase the market for your competitors.

Stefan Schmitz: We are aware of that and and it is intentional. We all want the same thing: more and more tenders for trenchless technology in the long term. That automatically means a bigger market for all products in the technology sector and more sustainable and environmentally friendly construction sites in the future.

Thorsten Schulte: Exactly, the closed construction method has many advantages which simply need to be better known, and the work of the associations is helping us enormously. We use the associations as multipliers. It's a question of addressing the needs of clients in a targeted way. Especially when it comes to sustainability, the closed construction method scores points, but potential clients also need to know this. We use our extensive network of associations to raise our profile among national clients, such as network operators, and to place messages about the sustainability of our applications with major international organisations such as NABU, WWF and Greenpeace. In the long run, this will enable us to increase the use of trenchless technologies worldwide.

That's a good conclusion. Thank you for your frank answers. We are sure that your commitment to working with associations will help to expand the market for trenchless installation methods in the long term, making the construction sites of the future more sustainable.

Do you have any questions about
association work at TRACTO?

Contact our experts

T +49 160 8455638

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