Courtesy of TraxxonBurnaby-based Traxxon Rock Drills has earned an excellent reputation for building tough and innovative equipment, and for selling and supporting quality products from other manufacturers

By Kelly Gray

When you build and support equipment for use in the wilds of British Columbia, you make it strong and you build in innovation and performance. This is what the founder of Traxxon, Mike Horvat, did in the early 1960s. Today, Traxxon has carried on this tradition with a full line of drilling equipment, components and accessories that are among the best in the industry.

The early days saw the company solely focused on the coastal forest industry. This is when they converted WW2 Sherman army tanks into mobile drilling equipment called tank drills, allowing mobility in the rugged coastal mountain terrain. It’s also where they came up with their innovative 360-degree positioner allowing drilling at virtually any angle.

The tradition of building rugged and innovative equipment for Traxxon’s expanding customer base carried on with Steve Cross taking over the business from Horvat in the 90s. Cross, who had started working with Horvat early in his career, was able to take the company to the next level of innovation with his team, designing an excavator mounted drill attachment – the TR-EX. Highly successful in Western Canada, the TR-EX has proven itself in both forestry and construction, and it has also been sold to customers around the world.

Traxxon’s culture of innovation soon attracted the attention of the industry, and Cross sold the business to a larger long-term company. His idea was to obtain the assistance of a larger company to help Traxxon grow. Indeed, the acquisition was one that fostered growth, and today he continues to play a key role in product design, support and leadership under this new corporate umbrella.

Second to none service
With innovation as a foundation, Traxxon management took it further with an understanding that great products need to team with the kind of solid support that keeps equipment and job sites running. To make this happen, the company built a cohort of experienced and knowledgeable personnel that are available to help its customers when they need it most.

“Our customers can call our mechanics directly when they’re broken down, or call our parts team after hours to get something shipped out when time is critical. We cut out the red tape and bureaucracy, so that it’s easy for our customers to get the support they need,” said Traxxon’s Shaun Norman, who reports they offer the services of a well-trained team of Red Seal ticketed journeymen heavy-duty mechanics, several with multiple tickets. In fact, Traxxon’s lead mechanic has been with the company for 20 years and helps to pass along the culture of customer service and support to the newer members of the team.

To keep them top of the class, Traxxon regularly sends their mechanics for factory training, mostly in Europe. While this is an expensive practice, it pays dividends for their customers. Not only are their mechanics experienced but, with the extra advantage of factory training, it makes them even more proficient to get equipment fixed properly and up and running quickly.


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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.