Associated Training Services (ATS) recently completed a one-of-a-kind horizontal directional drilling (HDD) school at its 50-acrew facility in in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
The two-day training program, held Feb. 23-24, featured several brand new directional drills, locating equipment, mud mixing systems and vacuum excavation equipment. In all, 75 people from a variety of contractors and organizations in the Midwest attended the event.
The training program included classroom training on a variety of topics and practical training operating and using the equipment. The ATS facilities were very useful as they included a covered practice area that made it much easier for the trainees to operate the drills and locators in the 30-degree, rainy weather.
Dan Swiggum, ATS business development specialist, said he is excited about the new drilling programs at ATS because he knows how big the demand for drill operators is now and where it is going to be. Starting in June, HDD will officially become part of the ATS Heavy Equipment Operator Training program.
ATS trains 800 to 1,000 operators a year and ATS instructors travel to companies to conduct training at their facilities as well. According to Swiggum, students at ATS are new to the field and just starting their careers and 50 percent of them are veterans. In its 50-year history ATS has trained more than 2,000 veterans. All of the registration fees paid for the drill school were donated to the Wounded Warriors program in the name of ATS.