HDD Hall of Fame Inducts Cherrington, Melsheimer as Inaugural Pioneers

FORT WORTH, Texas (UC) — Industry pioneers Dick Melsheimer and Martin Cherrington became the first inductees into the HDD Hall of Fame on Wednesday in its inaugural ceremony at the Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition in Fort Worth, Texas.

Martin Cherrington (L) and DIck Melsheimer at the HDD Hall of Fame event during UCT in Fort Worth.

Their award was presented during the HDD Reunion Reception and co-sponsored by Underground Construction magazine and UCT, along with 16 other Founding Sponsors whose support made the historic event possible.

”It's only fitting that these visionary men who invented horizontal directional drilling should be the first inductees into the HDD Hall of Fame," said Underground Construction Editor-in-Chief Robert Carpenter. "In the coming years, we look forward to honoring other industry leaders whose advancement of HDD helped modernize underground infrastructure construction."

In the 1960s, Melsheimer developed the concept, equipment and tools for the “cut-and-bore” method, using horizontal earth boring to facilitate the rapid installation of underground gas and electrical utilities. This was the original horizontal directional drilling method using a pulling swivel and product pipe connected to a backreamer, which would cut as it was pulled back towards the boring machine.

Also in the 60s, Cherrington was inspired to further develop the concept of guided drilling when he saw another company use a hand-held air drill for a gas line installation. Cherrington's crews used air drills to check the bore path – essentially early potholing that is performed today by vacuum excavators – and achieved the first river crossing for Pacific Gas & Electric.

Both remained dedicated to ongoing improvement of HDD and contributed to numerous advancements in the decades since.

Founding Sponsors of the HDD Hall of Fame and HDD Reunion include:

JT Miller

Tulsa Rig Iron

Derrick Corporation

LaValley Industries

Century Products

American Augers

INROCK Drilling Systems, Inc.

TT Technologies

Railhead Underground Products

LaValley Industries

Right Turn Supply

Sharewell HDD


Hard Rock Directional Drilling

Mud Technology International

Bell Trenchless Consulting

Underground Construction Magazine / UCT



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