Piling Canada

New Home, Same Philosophy

Le Monde International is a new player on the Canadian piling scene
Written by Jim Timlick
July 2016

Le Monde International is a new player on the Canadian piling scene

New company, new country, same philosophy. Those six simple words tell you a great deal about Le Monde International Drilling Equipment, a Gatineau, Que.-based drilling, piling and geothermal engineering equipment distributor.

Le Monde was formed by owner Goran Zivkovic and his father Branislav as a family-owned venture in 2012. In 2014, the company became a serious player on the national piling and drilling scene when it became the official Canadian distributor for IHC IQIP office Netherlands and MORI SRL of Italy.

While the company is still relatively new, the principles behind it have a long history when it comes to heavy equipment sales and distributorship. Branislav Zivkovic was the founder of Le Monde Underground, which has distributed several big-name brands of horizontal drilling and excavation equipment in Eastern Europe for more than 30 years.

Following the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, the Zivkovics moved to Canada in the late 1990s to start life anew. Several years later, Zivkovic decided to form his own company, this time with a focus on distributing vertical drilling and pile driving equipment to the Canadian foundation industry.

A wealth of experience
One of Zivkovic’s first orders of business was enlisting the aid of his father, a move he calls a no-brainer. He says adding his father’s business acumen and experience was critical in getting the new endeavour off the ground.

“He’s the most experienced guy in the company,” said Zivkovic. “We work together and his advice is most valuable. His experience was crucial and really helped us to move forward.”

Last year, Le Monde’s sales exceeded the $1 million mark and are expected to grow as the company continues to extend its reach in the Canadian marketplace. While that’s a good thing, Zivkovic says the company doesn’t want to get too big too fast and abandon the customer-first philosophy that made the family successful in Europe.

“We want to grow slowly. We want to stay a family-run business that offers very high quality products that can support our customers,” he said of Le Monde, which currently has five employees. “We want to maintain those personal relationships with our customers. We feel that’s the best way to support them.”

The Dutch have long been considered masters of piling and drilling technology. Zivkovic says it was a real coup for his company when it secured the exclusive rights to distribute Netherlands-based IHC IQIP equipment here in Canada. IQIP is part of Royal IHC, a group of companies that has evolved from a collection of independent shipyards to one of the world’s largest equipment manufacturers.

Unique design
Zivkovic says what makes IHC and its FUNDEX line of piling and drilling rigs unique is that unlike other similar products, they are not built on an existing excavator. Each FUNDEX rig is built from scratch and offers the stability and high power and torque needed for large projects that require lots of muscle. They are perfect for large CFA piles, displacement or double rotary drilling applications.

“They’re more robust,” he said. “To have that kind of power, you need to have lots of stability and a very robust rig.”

Le Monde offers a number of FUNDEX piling rigs both big and small.

One of its most popular offerings is the CD20D, a compact rig known as the “little giant,” which is ideal for jobs where there is limited space and height. The diesel-powered device provides support on every corner and can be equipped with rotary heads that offer 120, 160 or 200 kNm of torque. Another compact model is the CP25D, which is ideally suited for down-the-hole and top drive piling. It can work in a minimum height of 3,000 millimetres with a maximum leader length of 11 metres and offers a maximum drop weight of 2,500 kilograms. This rig can also be equipped with 65 kNm rotary head or hydraulic impact hammer with the CPE15 model.

On the other end of the scale is the FUNDEX F5600, the largest drilling/piling rig available in the world. Unveiled this past April at the BAUMA Exhibition in Munich, the F5600 is used with continuous flight auger (CFA) piles and is capable of working with a pile 1.5 metres in diameter and up to 50 metres long. It offers up to 200 tons of pull-up force, 50 tons of pull-down force and a maximum drilling torque of 500 kNm.

Le Monde is also the Canadian distributor of the IHC Hydrohammer hydraulic piling hammer. Its innovative design provides more efficient and controllable pile driving with less noise. It offers a high blow rate of between 50 and 150 blows per minute. It is regarded as the most productive hammer for steel piles, thanks in part to a design that requires no cushioning material, which allows it to drive steel-on-steel directly. IHC Hydrohammer also offers IHC Waterhammer, which uses water instead of hydraulic oil. This makes them unique and ideal for large LNG projects that have to be performed in an environmentally friendly manner.

Base of operations
Zivkovic says he considered several locations before deciding to set up an office in Gatineau. He calls it a strategic location for Le Monde. Even though it does business all across the country, a large chunk of its customer base is located between Toronto and Montreal.

Sales continue to make up the bulk of Le Monde’s business but the company has recently moved into rentals in cooperation with IHC IQIP. Zivkovic says he expects it become an even bigger part of the company as it moves forward.

Room for growth
Zivkovic sees a lot of room for growth for Le Monde as more and more customers become familiar with it and the products it has to o er.

“We definitely expect to grow,” he said. “We are just getting started and people are learning more and more about the advantages and quality of IHC FUNDEX rigs. IHC FUNDEX rigs are built for speciality applications and foundation applications in Europe, which are a little more advanced than here in Canada and IHC is one of the leaders in that area. By offering these rigs, we’re trying to promote new technologies [in Canada] and we’re seeing more and more interest from large companies to learn about these new technologies.”

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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.

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