HDD Initiative At UCT Offers Exciting Hands-On Opportunities

Reacting to the changing needs of the evolving horizontal directional drilling industry, UCT has launched an educational program and interactive display at this year’s event.

The HDD market has evolved, changed and adapted to new industry needs and dynamics. But like any strong, vibrant industry, there many needs, challenges and problems to be overcome. That’s where the reenergized and expanded HDD focus at UCT comes in.

Last January, Underground Construction magazine hosted a roundtable discussion with several key HDD contractors from different regions of the country and varying sizes of operations. This was a no-pressure, simple exchange of perceptions and perspectives. Toward the end of the discussion, owners, consulting engineers and vendors also joined in the discussion.

The result of those open-forum talks plus follow-up comments was instrumental in the design and launch of a three-part HDD initiative for UCT 2014. For starters, the educational program has doubled in size with topics and program material for all levels of owners and operators and accommodating various skill levels. Another round table open forum is in the works as well.

But perhaps the most exciting new program is the DrillZone, a special area within the UCT exhibition designated as an interactive, hands-on education and information experience for anyone interested in HDD. The concept is that contractors, owners and engineers can obtain a true feel for the many elements and layers involved in HDD, from the basic to the advanced, all while receiving information and asking questions in a non-commercial format. The idea is to create a fun, informational experience for HDD personnel ranging from beginners to veterans.

As has been proven in the past, nobody embraces and understands HDD like UCT. This will be the most dominating and comprehensive program of its kind. It is a major program for experienced drillers and newcomers as well as for operators and owners. The UCT DrillZone, HDD Educational initiative and Underground Construction HDD Round Table is a focus put together by the industry, for the industry, and is guaranteed to be rewarding to your business and operations.

Join us at UCT to embrace the bright future of HDD.

DrillZone Participant Descriptions (as of Nov. 20):

  • Digital Control Inc. Sonde Tracking – Try your hand at tracking a sonde by using state-of-the-art HDD locating equipment. Job site conditions will be created and this will be an opportunity to put your skills on stage or experience real-world locating challenges. It promises to be a learning experience where you can hone your skills and improve your productivity. Experts will share their knowledge and be available for discussion. Or simply come by to see what’s new in the field of HDD locating.
  • Vermeer – New Drilling Technology Tools — Maximize productivity on your jobsite. The D24x40 Series II Navigator HDD features a streamlined operator’s station with the Digitrak Aurora touchscreen display, so operators can monitor jobsite data productively. With InSite Asset Management, oversee your drill’s location, heath and function to better utilize your fleet. Use BoreAid design tools to help plan your bore better, taking into account compound curves and horizontal bends.
  • American Augers Hands-On Drill Console Simulator – An authentic replica of an actual large drilling cab with controls will demonstrate what is involved in operating big rigs and the differences compared to small/mid-sized rigs. Or, just see how good you really are at operating a large rig! Operators can view the data and information on the console as the joysticks move.
  • Baroid IDP Significance Of Drilling Fluids – “Hands-on” demonstrations will show several benefits of using drilling fluids:
  • Your eyes can be very deceptive! Learn how to perform some very basic tests on drilling fluids, allowing for really knowing your mix, not guessing at it.
  • Mix a Bore Gel drilling fluid and witness how the proper drilling fluids mix allows for keeping a loose sand formation dry and undisturbed. If the proper drilling fluids mix is used, drilling sands, gravel or even under water tables is certainly possible!
  • Have you had problems with highly reactive “heavy” clay soils? We’ll let you be part of mixing the proper polymer drilling fluid for this challenge, and mixing some clay samples with this fluid to see that this challenge can be easily met.
  • Ditch Witch Downhole Interaction — A series of interactive displays illustrate the horizontal directional drilling story including what happens downhole. It’s not only about the drilling rigs…it’s also about what takes place downhole. You can see backreamers and bits in action plus see a cutaway drill pipe. Our industry experts will be available for demonstrations and questions.

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