Dormer Soil Samplers – from floods to global recognition

14 December 2023


HydroTerra loves our Australian based manufacturers. One of our favourites is Dormer. This is their story.

Established in the picturesque town of Murwillumbah (NSW), Dormer Soil Samplers have been at the forefront of crafting cutting-edge tools in Australia since 1953. Over the years, the company has earned a global reputation for its steadfast dedication to superior quality, and user-friendly design. Ian Baker, serving as the manager of Dormer Soil Samplers and Dormer Engineering, assumed ownership of the business in 1995, succeeding the founder, Rupert Dormer.

The town is susceptible to flooding and experienced significant repercussions from a record flood event in 2017. Furthermore, it faced a more substantial flood in February 2022. Ian’s business suffered at the hands of these flooding incidents, resulting in considerable losses, particularly with the damage to numerous electrical motors and a crucial lathe, integral to Dormer’s equipment production. The financial burden of replacing this essential equipment, coupled with extended lead times, profoundly impacted the business.

Ian’s residence, situated on the banks of the Tweed River, narrowly escaped the floods, offering a rare positive outcome for him. While contending with significant financial setbacks, Ian has successfully rebounded by replacing the damaged motors and lathe. Nearly two years later, for Dormer’s clientele, operations continue seamlessly, with the company providing its renowned expertise in the design and manufacture of portable, hand-operated soil sampling and drilling equipment. This equipment is suitable for deployment in both dry and wet soil and sand conditions.

Dormer’s product portfolio encompasses a rich assortment of meticulously designed equipment, including hand augers, soil augers, sand augers, soil drills, soil samplers, earth augers, earth drills, sand samplers, and wet soil samplers.

The Dormer Hand Auger Kit is a popular choice available from HydroTerra containing 62mm soil & spiral augers, star drills, 6 x steel rods, T-Handle, Tommy Bars & 1.0M canvas carry bag.


Dormer offers five distinct auger styles, each designed to address specific soil conditions:

1. SOS: The SOS auger serves as a versatile general-purpose soil sampler, catering to a wide array of soil types.

2. SA: The SA auger is specialised for sand sampling. They offer standard variants for clean sand and Heavy-Duty options, ideal for dealing with sand containing debris.

3. SOD: Tailored for use in hard, dry clays, the SOD auger features more aggressive cutters. While it can be utilized in various soil conditions, it may require more effort to operate.

4. JA: The JA auger is a compact, open-top style sampler designed for shallow soil sampling, ideal for depths less than 1 meter.

5. SP: The SP auger is an open spiral auger, primarily used for drilling holes or penetrating hard soil layers.


The full range of Dormer augers, drills, samplers, and accessories are available from HydroTerra. Contact for a quote today.

You can also check them out on our website.

Dormer Soil Samplers