Meet Kobus the Company
About Kobus Services
Kobus Services was formed initially in 2009. The KOBUS Pipe Puller was originally invented by Kobus Cilliers, the owner of a plumbing contracting company in the West Midlands, UK. The need for the Pipe Puller arose because it was obvious that traditional methods were unsatisfactory. They were slow, created significant disruption and caused expensive damage to homeowners property. Water service pipe replacements were necessary due to lead pipe being present in many systems. Many of the replacements required excavation of home owners' property such as driveways, paths and lawns. When faced with an expensive imprinted concrete driveway, Kobus wanted to minimise the damage to the drive. As a result, he looked at trying to extract the old pipe by pulling it from the ground using a winch.
The system has been developed over a number of years as a result of hundreds of trials with water companies and their contractors. It is robust, efficient and simple to operate. The design is modular to make it easy to transport and handle on site. The concept is patented for the method and apparatus in many countries and the KOBITE bonding compound is a trade secret, which KOBUS Services Ltd has an exclusive worldwide agreement on its use.
The business is now based in Tamworth, UK, in the heart of the UK motorway network. We focus on developing innovative techniques for replacing supply pipes in the gas and water industries. Demand for infrastructure maintenance, elimination of leakage, and replacement of ageing pipelines is increasing. As a result, the Pipe Puller is becoming more and more popular with users as a quick, simple and economical option. The regulatory bodies of OFWAT and OFGEM are increasing the need to measure and improve customer satisfaction ratings of homeowners. Therefore, techniques which reduce disruption, improve traffic flow, speed up reconnection and avoid costly damage to property will be beneficial.
The current design of Pipe Puller is driven by a separate hydraulic power pack which offers portability and flexibility. More recently, the original Pipe Puller concept has been developed to work from the auxiliary hydraulics of a mini excavator. Consequently, it can deliver greater load to remove supply pipes. The gas distribution network companies have to replace hundreds of kilometres of old galvanised steel supply pipes across the UK. The development has been funded by the NIA (Network Innovation Allowance) and proactively supported by National Grid and tRIIO. The result is a soon to be released Integrated 400 series Pipe Puller.