Robbins TBM

Trenchless Technology Game Changers: Robbins

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Over 25 Years of Robbins SBUs

Robbins Small Boring Units (SBUs) first came on the scene in 1996 when they were used to successfully bore through hard rock on the New Jersey turnpike. On that landmark project the contractor, Fithian, was attempting to excavate a 36-inch tunnel in rock with an auger boring machine using a carbide bit “Christmas tree” head. The head wasn’t cutting the rock and the contractor turned to Robbins for a solution. The Small Boring Unit (SBU) was invented for the job, and Fithian completed the tunnel in just one week with this new method.

More than 25 years later, Robbins SBUs are the most time and cost-effective way to bore through hard rock or mixed ground on utility installation projects from 24 to 78 inches in diameter. Rugged Robbins SBUs last decades, over multiple projects. In fact, over 90 percent of all SBUs ever manufactured are still in operation.

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Robbins’ latest innovation, the Remote Controlled Small Boring Unit (SBU-RC), is continuing our tradition of game-changing technology. The SBU-RC is available in a 36-inch diameter model, but can be customized for a smaller 30-inch diameter. Equipped with a smart guidance system and pinpoint steering controlled from a station at the surface, the SBU-RC is ideal for difficult crossings like gravity sewers. Muck removal is accomplished through a cost-effective vacuum system. Learn more at

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