March 2017 Vol. 72 No. 3


Five Exhibitors Named UCT 2017 ShowStoppers

Theresia Light, Robert Light and Cecily Light, of RBI receive ShowStopper Award from Karen Francis of UCT

Five exhibitors at the recent 2017 Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) were awarded the annual UCT Show Stopper Awards.

Winners were selected by a panel of unbiased industry experts who walked the show floor looking for exhibits that attracted them and other attendees into their booths to learn more about the organizations’ products or services. Consideration was given to exhibit design and visual appearance, product/service displays and materials, and activity levels at the booths.

“Presenting the Show Stopper Awards is my favorite part of UCT,” said Karen Francis, conference director. “Winners are always so surprised and glad to receive the recognition.”

The five winners this year included two first-time UCT exhibitors.

Rock Bit Industries (RBI), Pflugerville, TX – “That’s wonderful. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be at UCT. Thank you very much,” said Robert and Theresa Light, and daughter Cecily, about being named a Show Stopper on their first UCT experience. Blending innovative design and outstanding product display, the 20 by 20-foot RBI booth resembled a country roadhouse – complete with tables, chairs and a dart board – and highlighted the company’s HDD rock bits, tooling and backreamers, as well as its hospitality, product support and customer-service focus.

Vacmasters Trevor Connolly
Karen Francis, UCT and Trevor Connolly, Vacmasters

VacMasters, Arvada, CO – The manufacturer of air-powered excavators made a big splash on its UCT debut by displaying an actual truck-mounted System 5000 and skid-mounted SpoilVac in a 20 by 40-foot booth. System 500, which uses intense air power to penetrate, expand and explode the soil, while keeping it dry for easy vacuuming and quick backfilling, handles a variety of tasks – underground location and verification, repairs, maintenance and installation. SpoilVac combines powerful, convenient mud cleanup with an optional high-pressure water system for quick potholing to determine the exact location of the borehead or nearby buried utilities.

Another winner was a repeat Show Stopper.

Toby Wright and Riff Wright
Toby Wright and Riff Wright, Radius, and Karen Francis, UCT

Radius HDD Tools, Weatherford, TX – “We are thrilled to win this award a second year in a row,” said Riff Wright, president. With UCT 2017 being near the company’s Texas hometown, Radius definitely went bigger. In a 20 by 20 foot ‘arena,’ a mechanical bull was a huge draw for daring riders, and everyone wanting to watch. “Because we didn’t have to travel very far, we decided we could splurge a little on our booth,” said Wright, Radius president. Riders and spectators were also attracted to the adjacent display of Radius HDD products – rock tools, bits and blades, reamers, swivels, drill pipe, adapters and subs, parts and accessories – and how they make drillers’ jobs easier.

Two UCT veterans also stood out among the exhibitors.

Akkerman UCT ShowStopper Award
Jason Holden, Maynard Akkerman, Chris Sivesind and Justin Akkerman, Akkerman, and Karen Francis, UCT

Akkerman Inc. Brownsdale, MN A leading manufacturer of guided boring, microtunneling and pipe jacking equipment for installing a variety of underground infrastructure, Akkerman’s booth focused on its newest offering. The guided boring machine (GBM) 4800 Series jacking frames can install up to 48-inch OD pipe and be supplemented with extensions for 8-, 10- and 20-foot pipe lengths. It can install a 3-foot length pipe from a minimum 11-foot pit, and an 8-foot length concrete pipe from a 15-foot shaft. 

Hunting UCT ShowStopper Award
Karen Francis, UCT, Stan Brown and Klane Kirby, Hunting Trenchless

Hunting Trenchless, Broussard, LA Hunting Trenchless manufactures a complete line of drill stem, downhole tools and mud motors for the HDD market, using a durable one-piece forged design that eliminates joints and welds. The booth featured HXT quick connect drill pipe which requires only one rotation to fully connect or disconnect downhole transition subs, starter rods, pulling adapters, backreamers and other downhole tools for both Vermeer and Ditch Witch HDD rigs in the 40,000-pound class and below.

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