Deckhand winter


Bemidji Intern Helps Develop Prototype

Admin LaValley
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

LaValley Industries was pleased to give Brendon Speck a summer internship opportunity in partnership with the SciTechSperience internship program.


DECKHAND Calculator

Admin LaValley
Monday, August 17, 2015

LaValley Industries has released the DECKHAND Calculator App!  Simply enter in the pipe’s diameter, wall thickness, and length in either Imperial or Metric to get the weight in both lbs. and kg.

If you’re looking for a way to move that pipe; the app can suggest which DECKHAND® configuration will work best for that pipe. Simply click the “Recommended Attachment Results” button after entering the pipe information. 

Best of all, you can access it from wherever you are!  It's available on your computer or for your Android or Apple device!  Check it out by clicking the picture below.

LaValley Industries announces the production of the 100th DECKHAND.

Admin LaValley
Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Press Release: LaValley Industries Strengthens Resources

Admin LaValley
Thursday, January 08, 2015


Admin LaValley
Tuesday, January 28, 2014


LaValley Industries Welcomes a New Account Specialist!

January 13, 2014, Bemidji, MN – LaValley Industries is proud to announce and welcome Craig Larson as the company’s dedicated Vermeer Account Specialist. LaValley Industries is the premium provider of pipe handling attachments to the Pipeline and Horizontal Directional Drilling industries. Larson will be responsible for distributor coordination, sales team training, and technical support to the Vermeer global dealer network. During his successful 16 year career in the directional drilling industry, he has worked for Ozzies Directional Drilling, HMS and most recently, Michel’s Directional Crossings (a division of Michels Corporation). Some of the more notable projects he has worked on include:
Maritimes North East / Hubline Project (Boston, 2003)
Israel Electric Corporation / Horizon Offshore Project (Israel, 2004)
Gaz Metro, ST. Lawrence Seaway (Quebec, 2005 World Record)
BpTT NOEL Project, West Indies, (Trinidad, 2006 World Record)
Guam Waterworks Authority, (Guam, 2007)
Spectra Energy, NY-NJ Expansion Project. (2012-13).

 "I am thrilled to be part of the LaValley Industries team. My entire career has been spent in the Horizontal Directional Drilling industry and I look forward to continuing that tradition as I begin a new chapter in introducing new industry changing technology to our current and future customers through the global Vermeer network."

Jason LaValley, LaValley Industries President and CEO, states “We are very excited to welcome Craig to the LaValley family. He brings to us and our customers tremendous experience, knowledge and is respected throughout the industry for his honesty, integrity and accomplishments. He truly shares our vision, passion and above all, our commitment to satisfying our customers’ needs 24/7.”

You may Contact Craig at 218-444-3030 or

Enclosed Shipping Crates

Admin LaValley
Thursday, September 05, 2013
LaValley Industries is now offering general purpose enclosed shipping/ storage crates!

These crates are waterproof and they are build to carry high capacities of cargo.

Visit the Shipping Crates page for more information.

Supplier Appreciation Day 2013

Admin LaValley
Monday, August 05, 2013

LaValley hosts another successful supplier appreciation day!

LaValley suppliers from all over came together to enjoy a pig roast in honor of their hard work and dedication.

Visit our Facebook page for more pictures:

Introducing The Mat Arm

Admin LaValley
Friday, July 26, 2013

The Road Mat Arm

Our newest addition to the DECKHAND® product line!

Road Building Just Got A Whole Lot Easier! 

LaValley Industries is proud to introduce the newest member of the DECKHAND family of interchangeable arms - The Road Mat Arms.
Simply slide the Road Mat Arms onto the DECKHAND main beam and you'll be moving road mats in minutes.
The DECKHAND with Road Mat Arms allows you to load/unload trucks, perform site prep, dig out mats, and precisely position road mats with ease. No more free swinging mats. No more near misses!

Find out more on our Featured Product Page

A Grip On Success

Admin LaValley
Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Download PDF version of this article NL-July LVI Article NL-July LVI Article (499 KB)

Entrepreneurial spirit\drives LaValley IndustriesA few years ago, Jason LaValley took the biggest risk of his life. He quit his job, sold his house and poured his entire life savings of $50,000 into an idea he had scribbled on a piece of paper.There was no need to jot down a backup plan. LaValley’s idea has since evolved into a multimillion-dollar company, LaValley Industries, that employs 20 people and helpsboost several businesses in Bemidji, Minn. LaValley, a 35-year-old Bemidji High School graduate, freely admits he had no formal business or engineer training when he began developing the DECKHAND® pipehandling system, the company’s trademark product. He came up with the concept while working as a horizontal drilling superintendent in the pipeline industry. One night in 2005, LaValley was at a muddy job site in Texas when a pipe rack support failed and crushed a crew member’s ankle. LaValley returned to his hotel room that night thinking of ways to help his crew be safer and more efficient. He stayed up feverishly sketching the design for a hydraulic arm attachment for excavators that could precisely maneuver large pieces of pipe around a work site – even in the harshest conditions. He immediately faxed a copy of the design back to his father in Bemidji. “My dad called me up and said, ‘What is this? Chicken scratch?’” LaValley recalled. With a brief explanation, the LaValley family took the drawing into the garage and began constructing a prototype. From that point forward, LaValley put every dollar he had into the DECKHAND®. “There was a time when I was two or three house payments behind and creditors were calling me every single day,” LaValley said. “If I wouldn’t have had the support of my wife and family, I would never have made it.” With a functioning prototype, LaValley borrowed $1,000 from his uncle for fuel to drive down to a work site in Florida for field testing. The contraption was like nothing the  Crew had ever seen before, LaValley said. “Even when it broke down, they welded it back together just to keep it on site,” LaValley said. “When you've got a customer fixing your tool to keep it on the job, that means you've probably got something.” Building the business With positive feedback, a revived LaValley took his idea to the Northwest Regional Small Business Development Center on the campus of Bemidji State University. There he met with the center director Jorge Prince in his first month on the job. “I thought somebody had to have already done this somewhere in the world,” Prince said. “I spent a good amount of time doing patent searches before I realized that this was an entirely new concept.” Impressed with the product, Prince helped LaValley put together a business plan and financial projections to obtain a loan. But faced with the economic recession, there were few banks that would listen. After countless rejections, Security Bank USA in Bemidji put faith in the two homegrown entrepreneurs with a $260,000 small business loan. Shortly thereafter, Prince was all in with LaValley, joining the company as partner and chief financial officer. “I knew from the day I met Jason that he had a passion and he was willing to put everything on the line,” Prince said. “To be a really good entrepreneur isn’t the same as being a good inventor. It requires an all-in commitment. That’s a really hard thing to ask of people, but it was never a problem for Jason.” In the meantime, LaValley continued to make improvements to the product. The latest generation of the DECKHAND® has a single modular head with a series of interchangeable arms for directional drilling, pipe handling and utility pole handling. The DECKHAND’s® claw-like grippers can rotate an 80-foot pipe in a 360-degree pattern, safely controlling it even when covered in snow, ice or dirt. Specialized protective padding on the arms helps secure the pipe without compromising its coating. Besides the DECKHAND®, other industry options for loading and stacking pipe are chains or a suction-based lift system. Both present challenges, Prince said, noting that they need clean, dry surfaces and no wind to work properly. “So much of this work happens in the muck, in the mud, in the rain, in the dark,” Prince said. “If the excavator is running, our tool is running.” Staying in Bemidji Just as the DECKHAND® was hitting the market, LaValley and Prince had big business knocking on their front door. Enbridge was constructing a pipeline outside of Bemidji and was willing to test the product on site. Soon enough, an international distribution deal with PipeLine Machinery was signed and the company began churning out products for crews as far away as Australia. To keep up with growing demand, the company purchased a 25,000-square-foot building with 10 acres of testing grounds in Beltrami Electric Cooprative’s servie area in 2011. LaValley Industries also owns the building next door, which it rents to Melrose Metalworks, a company that completes the machining work for the DECKHAND®. LaValley said almost all of the company’s machining, welding and powder coating is contracted out to businesses in Bemidji. With customers across the world, LaValley and Prince said they could have located the company anywhere. But it was important to keep their roots in Bemidji. “We really believe we’re going to do something great here,” LaValley said.

Vermeer, LaValley Industries Form Strategic Alliance

Admin LaValley
Friday, May 24, 2013

Vermeer has entered into a strategic alliance with LaValley Industries to distribute the DECKHAND pipe handling system specifically configured for loading and unloading drilling applications. 

his addition compliments the Vermeer product line of pipeline equipment, which includes maxi-sized horizontal directional drills, drilling fluid declaimers and pumps. 

The DECKHAND is an excavator attachment that transports drill pipe from a rack or trailer and positions onto a directional drilling rig. This unique attachment helps maximize utilization of onsite excavators by adapting them as handlers and can fit any brand excavator in the 22 to 36 metric ton range. 

With 360 degree rotation, tilt and shift motions, the attachment eliminates ground personnel contact with the drill pipe lending to a safer, more efficient job site. 

The DECKHAND directional drilling arm was specifically designed to handle drill pipe from 3 to 7 inches in diameter, as well as mud motors, collars and crossover subs up to 9.5 inches in diameter. Its' V-shaped rubber lining on the inner housing allows for excellent grip, even if pipe is covered in snow, ice or dirt. The positive mechanical lock design also allows the DECKHAND to safely handle drill stem that has been exposed to lubricating drilling fluid additives.

"We believe the DECKHAND, matched with local parts, service, and rental opportunities offered by the sizable Vermeer dealer network, is a win-win for the industry," said Jon Heinen, pipeline segment business unit manager. "There's simply no substitute for responsive, local service on today's demanding pipeline projects."

The DECKHAND is manufactured by LaValley Industries. The company was founded in 2006 by Jason LaValley and is headquarters in Bemidji, MN.

Article out of underground construction magazine, May 2013 issue., 218.444.3030   |, 641.628.3141