Story and photos by Diana Barnum
Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in Ohio just finished hosting
their second Trenchless Technology Symposium in April with attendance near
120. Co-sponsoring the event was the Midwest Society for Trenchless
The two-day event featured an overview of trenchless
methods, a variety of presentations, panel discussions, networking
opportunities, exhibits and refreshments. And new this year were outside
demonstrations of directional drilling, pipe bursting, pipeline and
“Everything turned out okay,” said Dr. Alan
Atalah, BGSU trenchless technology instructor and host of the program. “We
were hoping to make more attendance this year, but were very happy with
all of the students, speakers, staff and attendees that came.”
There were two tracks of presentations running simultaneously offering
attendees a selection of topics. Some of the choices included:
Density Polyethylene Pipe for Trenchless Technology” by Mark Spelder of
• “Renewal of Pipelines Using Folded Pipe Technology”
by Dave Kozman of Rinker Materials Corporation
• “Water Main Pipe
Bursting and Other Case Studies” by Troy Freed of Forrer Supply Co.,
• “Ductile Iron Pipe in Trenchless Technology” by Chris Jarrett
and Ralph Carpenter of American Ductile Pipe
During session, attendees
enjoyed hands-on opportunities like inspecting fused high-density
polyethylene pipe for possible leakage areas. There also were
opportunities to ask about certifications necessary in the industry and
join in discussions about current industry trends.
Some of the sessions
were broken up with outdoor demonstrations from Ditch Witch of Ohio and
Vermeer Sales and Service, Inc. of Findlay, Ohio. Ditch Witch brought out
their JT1720 Mach 1 HDD system, able to handle multiple conduits up to 500
feet. It boasts an 85-hp diesel engine, develops 17,000 lbs. of pullback,
up to 1800 ft. lb. of spindle torque.
“The symposium had a good turn
out,” said Ed Schwartzkopf, Ditch Witch sales manager. “They had a good
mix of people - contractors and students.”
Schwartzkopf is also the
supplier representative for the Ohio HDD.
Vermeer set up their D10 X 15
Navigator on BGSU grounds. Great for medium-distance, smaller diameter
bores, this machine is self-contained and compact. It has a narrow width
of 42” with rod loader, 36” without. There is an optional automated 440’
rod loader. Pullback is 10,000 lbs., mud flow is 13.5 gpm.
ended with a panel discussion, opening an arena to discuss current events.
Some participants brought up an emphasis on bad press coverage of
horizontal directional drilling (HDD) in the newspapers. Others suggested
that since this is a new industry area of specialization it makes a good
Contractors suggested that maybe more city engineers and
utility workers - cable, phone, water -could be invited to the symposium
next year to share in discussions.
“Let’s all work together so that
it’s not the engineers versus the contractors or the engineers versus the
owners, etc.,” said Ron White, trenchless technology division manager for
Cook Paving and Construction Co., Inc. of Brooklyn, Ohio. White is also
president of the Ohio HDD Association.
Panels members included Ben
Cocogliato from TT Technologies, Inc.; Mark Bruce from Can Clay
Corporation; Tod Schlachter from S & S Directional Boring Ltd.; and
John Christ from Baroid Drilling Fluids.
Lunch was donated by a large
program supporter, The Robbins Company of Solon, Ohio, a designer,
manufacturer and seller / renter of custom equipment for the underground
excavation industry. Robbins donated $2,000 last year and this year for
BGSU students to attend the No Dig conference. Last year’s event was in
Nashville, Tennessee, and this year’s is in Montreal, Canada.
already has plans for next year’s Trenchless Technology Symposium.
need to get the word out more next year,” said Dr. Atalah. “to the
engineering community, utilities- water, gas, D.O.T ... anyone who deals
with pipe underground, and highway and transportation, so they’ll learn
about more options to go trenchless.”
Dr. Atalah is also very
supportive of women in construction and encourages their attendance. One
attendee, Gloria Roth, owner of Precision Directional Boring, Inc., of
Brunswick, Ohio, brought her crew with her to learn the latest industry
news and check out new equipment.
“Pipe bursting rehab will be our new
focus,” said Gloria Roth. “We’re in transition from a Cat 235 and John
Deere 410, 510 and 310.”
Roth’s company did major underground work
before. But she wants to cut back to two crews and is looking at a Ditch
Witch 920 and 2720 for them.
For more information about trenchless
technology, contact Dr. Alan Atalah, Bowling Green State University,
College of Technology, Construction Management Program, Bowling Green,
Ohio 43403. Email: email@example.com or call: (419) 372-8354, or fax
inquiries to: (419) 372-6066.
For equipment information, contact Ditch
Witch of Ohio, 2020 Integrity Dr. S., Columbus, Ohio 43209. Call: (800)
686-2517. Vermeer Sales and Service, Inc. is located at110 Stanford
Parkway, Findlay, Ohio 45840. Call: (419) 424-9686. And The Robbins
Company is at 29100 Hall Street, Solon, Ohio 44139. Call: (440)