November 2016 No. 71 Vol. 11


Updated TTC Auger Boring School Slated For February 2017

The Trenchless Technology Center  (TTC) will hold its second Auger Boring School (ABS) on Feb. 13-17, 2017, at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA.

Auger boring has been around since the 1930s when the first homemade machines were used to mine coal. For years, knowledge and information about the auger boring construction method came from on‐the‐job training and contractor innovation to meet industry demands. In the 1980s the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) released the first manual to educate the owners, contractors and regulators on horizontal earth boring and pipe jacking. This manual was followed by a significantly enhanced NUCA manual in 1986.

However, there remains no substitute for hands-on experience and training with industry experts. Leo Barbara, former owner of American Augers, organized the first week-long school for hands-on training in response to industry demand. Over the years, he has presented the auger boring course with NUCA at various locations around the country. This course is now offered at the TTC on the Louisiana Tech campus. The training program has added engineering elements, but remains an intense hands-on course.

The inaugural 2015 course was a week-long training program with a mix of lectures and hands‐on field work. Attendees from around the country had an opportunity to learn in depth various aspects of this construction method. Classroom sessions presented planning and design for auger boring projects. This was followed by hands-on field project sessions where attendees could operate some of the newest equipment provided by American Augers and Barbco, along with various types of pipe, all in a controlled environment. Actual, full-sized auger tunnels were constructed without the pressure of schedule and profit. Instructions included tutoring from contractor, manufacturer and engineering specialists.

The February date for ABS was selected to avoid the busy construction season, major conferences and related events, and rainy seasons. February temperatures in Ruston are typically mild with plenty of sunshine.

New for 2017

Although the 2015 school impressed attendees and received very favorable reviews, the steering committee decided that some positive changes in the program would be extremely valuable. The main change is splitting the program into two tracks – one for engineers and the other for contractors. Lessons learned indicate that focus for planning, design and construction are significantly different from the perspective of the practicing contractor or engineer. Material taught last year will be used in these tracks, as appropriate, and new material will be added as needed to address the interest and needs of these specific groups. Brian Dorwart of Brierley Associates is the special advisor for the school. Dorwart, along with Babs Marquis of McMillen Jacobs Associates, are taking lead in developing lectures for these tracks.

The same enthusiastic group of volunteer instructors from ABS 2015 will be participating in the February school. American Augers and Barbco have again committed to bringing equipment for the practical sessions, while Permalok and Northwest Pipe will supply pipe joints for installations. Baroid will supply materials for instructing about drilling fluids in the lab and field sessions. The TTC staff will make all necessary preparations and manage the week-long event.

“I was very pleased that TTC was able to present the Auger Boring School last year and we’re looking forward to an even stronger ABS in 2017,” said Tom Iseley, TTC director.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere personal appreciation to the auger boring equipment manufacturers, drilling fluid products, pipe material suppliers, dewatering pump providers, etc. for all that they did to make our first ABS successful, and their continued support to make each annual ABS stronger. We treasure this long-term partnership. We believe that working together, we can expand the technical envelope of Auger Boring,” he concluded.

TTC Auger Boring School 2017

Feb. 13-17, 2017
Louisiana Tech Campus
Ruston, LA

Until Nov 30, 2016,
Dec 1 – 31, 2016,
After Jan. 1, 2017, $1,559
Additional 10 percent discount for three or more attendees from same company


Jadranka Simicevic,
ABS director,,
office (318) 257-2744,
cell (318) 278-0437.


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