New Trenchless Equipment Unveiled at ICUEE 2009

The International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) attracted more than 16,500 registered attendees — making it the second largest in show history despite a down economy, especially in construction-related markets, according to show organizers.

Also known as The Demo Expo for its trademark of extensive equipment demonstrations in job-like conditions, ICUEE 2009 took place Oct. 6-8 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. More than 780 exhibitors used more than 1 million net square feet of outdoor and indoor exhibit space.

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The inaugural H2O-XPO of the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) chose to co-locate with ICUEE 2009, as did the iP Safety Conference and Expo (safety and training) and the IUV Technology Conference (design and engineering). NRWA held its annual convention in conjunction with ICUEE 2009.

ICUEE focuses on the utility/construction industry, including electric, phone and cable, sewer and water, gas, general construction, landscaping and public works. Many trenchless technology exhibitors used the opportunity at ICUEE to unveil new equipment and technology, mainly on the new installation side of the trenchless market.

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A sampling of the new equipment seen at ICUEE includes:

Akkerman Mfg.:
Introduced its Powered Reaming Head tool, which eliminates the need for specialized casing and augers. The PRH allows you to upsize your pipe to 14, 16 and 20 in. in diameter. Operates with standard jacking frame and P100Q and P150Q power units. Product pipe length does not change tooling.

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Digital Control Inc.:
Unveiled its DigiTrak SE directional drilling locating system. The system is compatible with existing DigiTrak Mark Series and multi-function remote displays. It provides the latest 3D antenna technology and intuitive picture-driven menus. It is named in honor of Steve Edwards, a longtime employee who passed away.

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Vacuworx International: Showed off its MC 3S self-contained vacuum lifter for smaller diameter pipe, 4 to 20 in. The lifter easily attaches to excavators, forklifts, wheel loaders, cranes and boom trucks. Any pipe and slabs can be handled including concrete, steel and poly.

The AXIS guided boring system features a laser-guided system that provides pinpoint accuracy in the trenchless installation of 10- to 14-in. pipe for on-grade water and sewer projects. This pit-launched system has the ability to install up to 350 ft of steel, clay, and HDPE or PVC pipe in one bore. Spoil is removed from the cutter head via a vacuum excavation system, keeping the pit clean.

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A few companies introduced multiple pieces of equipment:

McLaughlin Mfg.:

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  • The CBM 48 cradle earth boring machine is designed to help speed the installation of steel casing used in the cross-country pipeline industry. Powered by a 162 hp, air-cooled, turbocharged diesel engine, the CBM 48 produces 170,000 ft-lbs of auger torque to efficiently install steel casings ranging from 10 to 48 diameter and up to 120 ft in one pass. Cradle boring does not require a construction pit, instead a trench the length of the casing is excavated and the cradle boring machine along with the casing are suspended in the trench using pipe-laying or side-boom equipment. This reduction in setup time can help pipeline contractors complete more bores per day.
  • The Xtreme line of combination air/water vacuum excavators offer a class leading 1,200 cfm positive displacement blower that provides unsurpassed power in difficult ground conditions. You can custom build a unit to meet their needs including a choice among 500-, 800- or 1,200-gal spoil tanks and the unit can be set up in either a trailer or skid-mounted configuration. The Xtreme line also features the industry-exclusive, three-stage filtration system that allows for both wet and dry vacuum excavation.
  • The ON Target auger boring system allows contractors to not only control horizontal on-grade changes, but also allows for lateral direction changes. The new system provides contractors with more control of the auger boring steering head leading to more accuracy for difficult on-grade bores.

American Augers:

  • The 84/96-1800 NG is the biggest and most powerful auger boring machine available on the market today. The standard model is designed with a 300 hp, Caterpillar C-7 Tier III diesel engine and a 10 speed transmission. The machine will excel with 1.8 million lbs of thrust, and 272,236 ft-lbs of maximum torque.
  • The rack-and-pinion DD-440T, which is the only field-proven, track-mounted maxi rig-style HDD drill that offers 440,000 lbs of thrust/pullback. The carriage system is engineered with a two-pinion drive with an adjustable force limiter and a maximum carriage speed of 120 ft per minute. The state-of-the-art rotary drive includes a three-pinion and gear drive that permits 60,000 ft-lbs of maximum rotary torque, a rear-mounted mud swivel that provides up to 1,000 gpm of mud flow, a 6 5/8 inch slip spindle, and a 4-in. fluid course.
  • The P-750/G2 mud pump is a skid-mounted, self-powered mud pump that is the designed for use with mud motors, large reamers, or whenever more mud volume is needed down hole. Standard features include: a Caterpillar C-18 600 hp diesel engine, Eaton RTLO-22918B 10 speed Transmission and a quintiplex mud pump that’s rated output is 750 gpm  and operates at a maximum pressure of 1,500 psi.

Astec Underground:

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  • The entire line-up of Astec EarthPro Horizontal Directional Drills has been improved and refined with the introduction of the C Series designation. The C Series includes five models with thrust/pullback from 6,000 to 45,000 lbs — the DD-65C Mini Max, DD-1416C, DD-2024C, and DD-3238C. Designers strengthened the frames and installed stronger hardware. Machine tolerances and alignment areas were evaluated and tightened where appropriate to achieve better fit and function. They identified areas to make routine service and maintenance easier and quicker. Grease fittings were added to increase durability.
  • The Astec EarthPro DD-4045 is the latest addition to the company’s lineup of horizontal directional drills. This new model packs a powerful 40,000 lbs thrust/pullback and 4,500 ft-lbs rotary torque. Its two-speed carriage decreases cycle time when adding and removing pipe from the spindle at 140 ft/min. maximum. The DD-4045 features a Cummins QSB4.5 turbocharged Tier 3 Stage IIIA diesel and charge air-cooled engine that produces 156 hp (116 Kw).

Ditch Witch:

  • The recently released JT100 Mach 1, the largest Ditch Witch directional drill, now has an All Terrain counterpart. The JT100 All Terrain can drill and backream (with 100,000 lbs of pullback force) large-diameter pipe through rock and rocky soil. Among its many other features is a heavy-duty, double rack-and-pinion thrust drive that is field-proven to push through the longest, toughest bores. 

  • PR100 Pipe Bursting System. The PR100 is the newest and most powerful of the company’s pipe bursting systems, which are used to fracture or cut any type of water, sewer, or utility pipe and pull in new pipe of equal or larger diameter. The PR100 offers more efficient hydraulics, reduced power pack noise output, 204,000 lb of pullback, and many other advancements.

The next edition of the biennial ICUEE will be Oct. 4-6, 2011 in Louisville, Ky. For more information, visit ICUEE online at

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