Utility Contractor

MAY-JUN 2018

As the official magazine of NUCA, Utility Contractor presents the latest information affecting every aspect of the utility construction industry, including technological advancements, safety issues, legislative developments and instructional advice.

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32 Utility Contractor | May/June 2018 I also should note that one of the best evolutions in the au- ger boring industry is Jim Wiest's, "Make Boring Great Again" T-shirt from Michel Byrne Manufacturing. It's become iconic! Barbco – The auger boring industry has come a long way in many aspects; remote controlled equipment, environmentally sensitive tooling and other advances have brought the indus- try a long way. We at Barbco feel that the biggest advancement that has been made in this field has been the integration of guided boring. This innovation has not only led to higher accuracy in the field but also higher efficiency and an overall safer bore. Michael Byrne Mfg. – The advent of guided boring systems and guided auxiliary components has been a technology that continues to be evolving into a more sizeable portion of the auger boring methodology. Larger and longer bores are also be- coming more common in recent years. Cutting tool technology has also progressed to give a longer wear, and more aggressive cutting for harder rock. Continuing on technology … how do equipment manufac- turers develop new technology? How can contractors play a role in equipment development? Akkerman – It is crucial to develop new technology with the interest of the customer in mind. The learning curve in the trenchless industry is more like an endless loop. It would be foolish to not fully understand both the good and the bad experiences from customers and learn from them. We value the input from our customers and use this information to ensure that our products are ever evolving toward providing the best solutions in the trenchless market. Barbco – One of the biggest ways we develop new technol- ogy is by listening to and actively working with our custom- ers. The field experience they have allows them to know bet- ter than most what is needed to get the job done effectively. Technology trade shows for engineers and manufacturers are another way we acquire industry knowledge to incorporate in our processing methods and equipment design. Michael Byrne Mfg. – Technology is often driven by the contractor and ideas that they present to us as obstacles or ex- amples of what would be a benefit to their operations. The technology is developed by our technicians and engineers in response to contractor's comments. What about safety advances? What improvements have you seen? Do you ever see examples of older machines that perhaps do not measure up to newer safety standards? Is there a way to upgrade older machines to achieve a similar level of safety? Akkerman – Safety should always be at the top of every- one's priority list. Owners, engineers, contractors, manufactur- ers and employees must become accountable for safety. One of the biggest improvements in the industry is the acceptance of necessary training and the organizations such as NUCA that promote safety programs. On the equipment side, it is great to see the features such as remote control, rollover protection, gas monitoring and elec- tronic fail-safes. Most manufacturers will figure out a price to upgrade your equipment or sell you a new one … trust me! Barbco – In regards to safety standards, there are a wide range of features on newer machines, from rollover anticipa- tion to remote control options and many others, to ensure a safer boring process and overall jobsite. In regards to older equipment, fortunately in most cases, they can be updated at the manufacturer's facility. Michael Byrne Mfg. – We have integrated sensors to shut down machines if they tilt out of their axis to help prevent roll- overs. The new engines provide a cleaner environment in the pit for operators and laborers. Michael Byrne Mfg. machines meet the CE safety standards and are CE approved. Are there general guidelines for grade and accuracy that can be achieved by auger boring? Is there an issue with overly high (or low) expectations of what the machines can realistically achieve? What are some common misconcep- tions you see? Akkerman – The Guided Auger Boring (GAB) method has significantly improved the accuracy of a conventional jack- and-bore installation. Although even I find myself correcting overzealous engineers of high expectations for the accuracy of GAB, the results from a careful pilot tube installation set-up are remarkably accurate. The overall accuracy is dependent on several factors, such as the subsurface conditions, set-up and transfer of survey points for the guidance system, equipment set-up, drive length, and air quality inside the pilot tube. One of the biggest misconceptions is the lack of proper plan- ning on the set-up. As with any trenchless project, proper plan- ning is the key to success! Barbco – With so many obstacles to look after in any bor- ing job, guidelines for grade and accuracy are very high, many times to the point where contractors will call for a microtun- neling machine vs. an auger boring machine in these precise jobs. The misconception lies in the thinking that the auger boring machine cannot meet these guidelines and standards. Equipped with guided boring technology and a well-rounded operator, auger boring jobs can be very accurate and also more economical. Michael Byrne Mfg. – Michael Byrne Mfg. has designed a swivel type cutting head to follow the guided bore system pi- lots as well as directional drills to open bores to the finished size desired, we have had positive results with this with several contractors. How would you rate the available training for contractors? Are there ample resources? If not, how can we help ensure that contractors are using the equipment efficiently and safely? Akkerman – There are not enough resources available for training in the industry. Many contractors are suffering the loss of employees due to retirement or have lost some of their best

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