Underground Construction - July 2019 - 4

EDITOR'S LOG

Robert Carpenter | Editor-in-Chief

HDD Reunion

In the "good old summertime," family
reunions abound. Meeting at a park, campground or Grandma's house, Great Uncle
Fred enthralls us with tales from the "old
days" and Aunt Betty passes on family cooking secrets. Brothers and sisters, scattered
across the globe by profession and marriage,
renew sibling relationships. Cousins meet
- sometimes for the first time. Memories
flow, laughter erupts and tears fall for those
relatives who have passed.
Family reunions are a tradition that
I, for one, hope never fade away in this
modern, hyper-paced world within the
digital universe. Sure, keeping up with
someone on Facebook is a great option, but
it can't come close to duplicating the rush
of face-to-face, hugs and handshakes type
of contact where kinship is reestablished.
That family atmosphere abounds within
the horizontal directional drilling industry.
It started slowly with the concept being
explored in the 1960s by Dick Melsheimer
for small, electric-line installation, and
made practical for large applications
through efforts led by Martin Cherrington.
By the late 1980s, HDD was established as
a technology and gaining steam. Growing
demand from electric, gas distribution and
steadily increasing telecommunications
work led to development of small rigs and
the industry was off and running by the
4

JULY 2019 | UConOnline.com

early '90s, and rapidly became essentially a
Wild West environment.
The Underground Construction
Technology International Conference &
Exhibition was ground-zero for the explosive boom time of early HDD. All kinds of
educational sessions and workshops were
key in informing, educating and facilitating
knowledge and technology. The exhibit
hall was filled with the latest and greatest
equipment and technology. UCT was the
go-to event for HDD.
There was a major hic-up, particularly
for the small rig market, when the fiber
trunkline work imploded in 2001. But the
industry has since survived, thrived and
expanded exponentially into all markets
with all sizes of rigs.
HDD is firmly established in virtually
every facet of underground infrastructure
construction. Warm relationships, built
through the challenges of design, execution, soil conditions, severe weather,
successes and failure, build bonds that can
never be properly realized via pixels.
For the increasing numbers of personnel
who have found long careers in the HDD
market, it has become a way of life. Over the
last 50 years, this family of HDD now has
second and even third generations finding a
rewarding livelihood in the market.
While this has historically been a tightknit community, diversification with many
new faces entering the field every day,
makes it tougher to stay in touch. With that
perspective, industry minds decided it was
high time for an HDD reunion to be held at
the historical focal point of HDD education,
technology and networking, UCT. No matter
if you operate a million-pound rig or a small
machine, whether you are long-since retired
or a recent entry into the market, this is an
event that honors the HDD industry.
The short list of activities currently
planned include a special party and reception, expanded and broad-based educational
curriculum, and both established and new
companies on the exhibit floor. Companies
are excited about the prospect of catching

up with long-term customers and forgotten
friends, and networking with the wave of
new contractors who will be attending.
We're also pleased to announce the establishment of an HDD Hall of Fame.
I can't wait to become re-acquainted with
all my old friends, while welcoming the multitude of new personnel to this unique, fun
and rewarding event. We'll be announcing
details and registration information soon,
but for now, mark your calendars to attend
the first-ever HDD Reunion in Fort Worth
next January in conjunction with UCT.

Can't slow rehab
Also, in this issue is our annual guide to all
kinds of rehabilitation technologies and various specs. This special section features the
principal players in the rehab marketplace.
We've been producing this special section
for some time, and each year it expands,
paralleling the steady growth of the market
itself. For example, it wasn't long ago
that we had very little mention of water
rehabilitation methods in the Rehab Tech
Guide. Today, water rehab has exploded
with many options.
Historically, much of our rehabilitation
technology has its origins in Europe,
where the need to maintain or replace
centuries-old systems is extreme. As North
American systems are overloaded, it is no
surprise that European technology migrates
across the Atlantic and finds a new home
in America. Of course, as we American and
Canadians have a way of doing, we take that
tech and rapidly adjust it to our needs.
Ultra violet, cured-in-place technology
is also coming of age. It was a concept
many years ago that faded out of the North
American market as impractical and too expensive, only to return in force and rapidly
expand with many companies now offering
the method. It's a great example of just how
robust the rehab market has become. *


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Underground Construction - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Underground Construction - July 2019

Contents
Underground Construction - July 2019 - FC
Underground Construction - July 2019 - IFC
Underground Construction - July 2019 - Contents
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 4
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 5
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 6
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 7
Underground Construction - July 2019 - 8
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Underground Construction - July 2019 - IBC
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