Day 1: Exhibits Open

The opening of UCT 2010’s exhibit hall ushered an impatient crowd over the logo carpeting and into a full-up venue, 125,000 square feet of space studded with heavy equipment and new technology. “Everybody’s always in a good mood at this show,” one longtime exhibitor noted.

The cash bar probably didn’t hurt after a long day of education sessions and, for many, a long night of catching up on industry news and relationships over cocktails on Monday.

UCT 2010's exhibit floor just after the doors opened.

Chris Root of Vermeer demonstrates an HDD rig with automatic pipe loading.

Big Footprints
The first impression for most of the entering attendees may have been the forty thousand or so pounds of Vermeer equipment on display at the doors, with the Vermeer booth showing off both horizontal and vertical drilling rigs as well as locator-ready drill bits, drilling specialists McLaughlin sporting an estimated nine to 10 tons, and Digital Control’s bordering booth demonstrating the recommended locating equipment to keep those big rigs in line.

Terry Crosier of Digital Control demonstrates how to keep a bore straight.

Terry Crosier at Digital Control and Chris Root of Vermeer North Atlantic were discussing the advances in HDD technology in the last twenty years, with DCI’s products, advertised as accurate to within six inches through 20 feet of earth, as a physical example. “It’s like going from the telegraph to fiber optics in 20 years,” Root said of the industry’s progress.

The output screen form a Digital Control unit.

Astec Underground’s booth on the main walkway through the middle of the hall also boasted some heavy-duty décor, the DD-4045 introduced just a few months ago at ICUEE 2009. Astec’s Glen Liford reported the machine was doing well in the market, with several orders since the model’s October debut. Meanwhile, Ditch Witch’s booth was too busy to get a word in.

Astec Underground's DD-4045

Liquid Savvy
HDD prowess aside, sewer and water experts had their own bragging lists, including a new bar for public relations. Joseph Abbott at Godwin Pumps is displaying a YouTube video from a client company who partnered with them to save the day for the tourism-dependent city of Newport, RI: a sewer force main burst on Easter weekend and threatened to dump 80 percent of Newport’s sewage into scenic open water. Godwin pumps powered a bypass of more than 30,000 linear feet, completed within seven days.

Steve Henning of AP/M Permaform is addressing publicity from multiple angles, with a booth in the warm glow of proximity to Underground Construction’s, a well-attended speaking session on manhole safety practices in the sewer and water rehabilitation track this morning, and a second class scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on structural rehabilitation of storm and sewer pipe.

With just under three hours of exhibition time today, most attendees seemed eager to return for more tomorrow when doors open at 10 a.m. Exhibitors discussing the day among themselves deemed it “a pretty good start”—and hoped a sunny Wednesday wouldn’t lure attendees outside. Forecast: “mostly sunny,” high of 74F. Stay tuned.

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