Industry Experts Instrumental In Planning,
Teaching Unique Industry Event
Final plans are nearing completion for the Trenchless Technology Center (TTC) Auger Boring School to be held Oct. 12-16 at the National Trenchless Technology Research Facility at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. The event is being organized by TTC in conjunction with Underground Construction magazine.
“The school will provide students with the knowledge and background needed to understand the important components of auger boring operations that are required to produce successful projects,” said Tom Iseley, Ph.D., P.E., TTC director and professor of civil engineering at Louisiana Tech.
Contractors, project superintendents and foremen, crew members and estimators, public officials, engineers, educators, highway department personnel, public utility personnel and representatives of regulatory agencies will benefit from the training, Iseley added. “Anyone who is involved with the auger boring will profit greatly by attending this course.”
The school is being sponsored by American Augers and Baroid Industrial Drilling Products.
The school will consist of classroom lectures (modules) and hands-on practical sessions. Classroom lectures will be given in classrooms on the Louisiana Tech campus. Practical sessions will be held in Louisiana Tech labs and at the field testing site located behind the TTC National Trenchless Technology Research Facility at the South Campus.
The field operations will include auger boring installations performed from a pit within a wide soil box built next to it. The bottom half of the soil box will be below the ground surface and the remaining part will be above. A concrete slab inside the pit will hold two launching pads, one to be used with a steerable auger boring machine and the other with a non-steerable unit. Concrete backstop blocks will be built to anchor the machines.
The soil box built on the opposite side of the auger boring machines will be 40-feet long and filled with varied soil types including clay (dirt), dry sand, wet sand and gravel (crushed concrete). The soils will be compacted and left to settle for several weeks before school starts.
“American Augers is providing two auger boring machines, cutting heads, auger packages and a small fluid system,” said Dan Heath, American Augers training manager. “Trainers will include Jimmie Lee, senior auger boring field technician, an industry veteran whose passion and knowledge of auger boring is widely recognized.”
The role of fluids in auger boring is about productivity, said Frank Canon, Baroid Industrial Drilling Fluid Products senior account representative.
“The more square inches of surface in a bore, the more friction is created, and properly lubricating the hole with fluids increases productivity,” Canon said. “Lubrication and soil stabilization are the primary functions of fluids in auger boring. Unlike directional drilling, fluid does not carry out spoil. Fluid additives for auger boring are different than for directional drilling – like the difference between grease and oil. Fluids are the ‘grease’ of auger boring, staying in place and lubricating.”
Auger Boring veteran Leo Barbera, Horizontal Holes, will be a featured participant in the school. Barbera has been active in auger boring for 26 years and was involved in the industry’s first schools early in his career.
“I’m excited about participating in the school,” said Barbera. “There certainly have been a lot of changes since I got started. I’ve always believed it doesn’t matter what you know if you don’t share your knowledge and experience with others. I’m going to provide some history and the important developments up until now, and probably have a part in the closing banquet.”
The Trenchless Technology Center at Louisiana Tech University is a cooperative research center for academia, government and industry. TTC’s mission is to advance trenchless technology by serving as an independent source of knowledge, research and education in the field of trenchless construction.
TTC AB School Committee
A special committee of industry experts has guided the development of the auger boring school. Committee members include:
- Dan Heath and Mike Varone (American Augers Inc.);
- Frank Canon (Baroid Industrial Drilling Products);
- Leo Barbera (Horizontal Holes);
- Brian Dorwart (Brierley Associates);
- Vic Weston (Tri-State Road Boring);
- Dan Liotti (Midwest Mole Inc.);
- Tennyson Muindi (Jacobs Associates);
- Rick Barbera (Tri-State Trenchless);
- Johnny Britt (Thompson Pump); and
- Robert Carpenter (Underground Construction magazine).