NTA Wraps Up Successful 2008; Plans For Future

Following the Northeast Trenchless Association’s (NTA) fifth annual meeting, immediate past president Bruce Hubbard reflected on the association’s accomplishments in 2008 and outlined goals for 2009.

New England is an area where soil conditions are not as well suited to trenchless methods as other areas in the country. As a result, the number of trenchless contractors is relatively small compared to other regions. Membership is comprised of contractors specializing in trenchless construction with suppliers of trenchless products and services holding associate memberships.

Yet in a relatively short period of time, the NTA members have established the association as a vital voice in the trenchless industry, said Hubbard. Throughout 2008, NTA continued to emphasize educating the marketplace about the benefits of trenchless construction while training its members in trenchless methods and the importance of working safely.

“Safety is a critical issue, and we make sure that some aspect of safety is discussed at every meeting,” Hubbard said. “An understanding of the importance of effective safety programs starts at the management level and trickles downhill. Education helps a company change its safety culture when necessary.”

Hubbard said NTA also has continued to emphasize promoting its members to clients and prospective clients.

2008 accomplishments

Upgrading of the association’s web site was completed in 2008, and it includes basic information about horizontal directional drilling, pipebursting, sliplining, pipe ramming, auger boring, locating buried utilities and vacuum excavation. This information provides an excellent primer for anyone wanting an explanation about those technologies and procedures. At meetings, members also have an opportunity to exchange information about successful projects.

Other important activities of the NTA in 2008 included:

  • Two NTA members appeared on the education program at the 2008 UCT show in Atlanta, GA;
  • Speakers at meetings throughout the year are nationally recognized experts in their fields;
  • A HDPE pipe subcommittee was established and made presentations during the year, including one to the Maine Water Utilities Association; and
  • A Member Think Tank subcommittee was formed with the goal of assisting the board with ideas for future meetings and developing a NTA safety slogan.

“The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has requested a presentation on trenchless construction applications to determine how they might incorporate trenchless into their projects,” said Hubbard. “We will make the presentation in February or March.”

Hubbard said he is especially pleased with progress made in educating the engineering community and attracting engineers to membership in the NTA.

Looking ahead

For 2009 and an uncertain economy, Hubbard said the association will be an important source of support of members in sustaining their businesses, continuing educational programs and promoting the benefits of trenchless construction.

The new year’s programs got off to a good start in January at the annual meeting in Boxborough, MA, with workshops on fluid recycling systems, reading and understanding soil reports, basic techniques for fusing HDPE pipe, new drilling techniques, operation and maintenance of high pressure piston pumps, locating techniques, environmental benefits of trenchless construction, bypass pumping systems, prevention of crossbores through sewer laterals, preparation of contracts and effective techniques for promotion during economic downturns. A highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Eric Giguere titled A Real Life Lesson in Safety.

Receiving the Founder’s Award at the meeting was Danielle Martin, general manager, Henniker Directional Drilling, Henniker, NH. Martin served as NTA president in 2007.

Hubbard is project manager at ETTI, Lisbon Falls, ME. His term as president ended at the January meeting.

New officers are: Ralph Edwards, Vermeer Northeast, Hopkinton, MA, president; Matt Timberlake, Ted Berry Co., Livermore, ME, vice president, and Brian Dorwart, Haley & Aldrich, Manchester, NH, secretary.

The 2009 NTA Board also includes Harold (Corky) Morse, Bore-Tech, secretary; and Bruce Hubbard, ETTI Directional Drilling, outgoing 2008 president. Not pictured is Jim Hargraves, director, retired from Ditch Witch of New England.

Northeast Trenchless Association, (617) 510-8090, www.northeasttrenchless.com

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