December 2023 Vol. 78 No.11


Business News

This year marked a milestone for Texas-based Avanti International, as the injection grout manufacturer celebrated its 45th anniversary as an industry leader. 

Pioneered by industry icon David Magill in 1978, Avanti started with just one product – AV-100 Chemical Grout – that was primarily used to seal leaking sewer lines. Today, Avanti offers a comprehensive line of acrylamide, acrylics, US Grout Ultrafine cements, polyurethanes, epoxies, pump accessories and more.  

“Through hard work and dedication by our team, we are honored and grateful to be celebrating 45 years of success and a future that is just as bright – thanks to the support of our industry friends and clients,” said Britt N. Babcock, P.E., president of Avanti. “David Magill paved the way for decades and was an integral leader who aided in developing industry-wide standards and practices that are still in use today.” 

Since 1978, Avanti has upheld its dedication to providing injection grouting education by offering a comprehensive range of educational resources including grout schools, webinars, technical presentations, and onsite training that serves the municipal, industrial, and geotechnical sectors. 

Avanti’s injection grouts have contributed to the success of critical infrastructure projects in diverse environments throughout the United States, and across the globe in countries such as Australia, Nigeria, Abu Dhabi, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom. 


Avanti International, (800) 877-2570, 

Wyo-Ben Acquires M-I Swaco Bentonite Operation


Wyo-Ben, Inc., a leading provider of high-quality drilling fluids and minerals, has acquired the bentonite operation of M-I Swaco, a division of Schlumberger and renowned global leader in drilling fluid systems and services.  

The acquisition of M-I Swaco bentonite operation, located in Greybull, Wy., represents a significant milestone for Wyo-Ben, as it brings together two industry powerhouses with complementary strengths and expertise. By combining resources, knowledge, and experience, the newly formed entity offers an enhanced portfolio of products and services to customers worldwide. 

Wyo-Ben has built a strong reputation over the years for its commitment to delivering superior drilling fluids, sealants, and additives that meet the unique needs of its customers. This addition will further enhance Wyo-Ben's ability to provide tailored solutions for drilling and completion challenges across a wide range of applications. 

M-I Swaco's established global presence and extensive customer base will also contribute to the accelerated growth and market expansion of Wyo-Ben. The acquisition will bolster the company's ability to serve its customers on a larger scale, tapping into new markets and providing a broader range of integrated solutions to address the evolving demands of the industry. 

"This acquisition aligns perfectly with our long-term growth strategy and allows us to provide an even more comprehensive suite of products and services to our valued customers worldwide,” said David Brown, CEO of Wyo-Ben. “By combining our strengths, we will enhance our capabilities and unlock new opportunities for innovation and success." 

Both Wyo-Ben and M-I Swaco share a common commitment to excellence, quality, and customer satisfaction. The acquisition will facilitate the exchange of best practices, technical expertise, and operational efficiencies, resulting in improved customer experiences and accelerated innovation. 

Privately held, family-owned Wyo-Ben Inc. has been in business since 1951 and is a leading producer of Wyoming Bentonite clay-based products. Headquartered in Billings, Wyo., its materials are used globally in applications such as oil, gas, and water well drilling, environmental construction and remediation, hazardous wastewater treatment, cat litter, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals, as well as many other industrial and consumer related products.  


Wyo-Ben Inc., (406) 652-6351, 


Duke’s Root Control Inc. acquired Underground Infrastructure Services (UIS) of Livonia, Mich., significantly expanding Duke’s wastewater and gas inspection and remediation services. The acquisition strengthens Duke’s position in the industry, enabling it to address broader environmental challenges. 

“Duke’s is proud to deepen our presence in an attractive geographic area with unique capabilities and a broader toolbox of environmentally friendly services,” said Matt Fishbune, CEO and president. 

UIS provides inspection and replacement services for underground utilities in the water, gas, cable, and electrical markets. With a dedicated fleet, expert operating technicians and state-of-the-art hydro excavation and drilling equipment, UIS has also built a specialty in the inspection and remediation of lead service lines through its ability to excavate in tight, sensitive areas using non-mechanical and non-destructive drilling methods. 

UIS is Duke’s fifth acquisition in the last five years and takes the municipal wastewater management services leader into attractive adjacent markets, such as clean drinking water delivery, an area of increased federal and state focus as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021. 


Pictured, from left: McElroy’s Steve Caldwell, human resources director, and Tony Little, environmental health and safety manager; and Betsey Kulakowski, Oklahoma Safety Council executive director. 

McElroy has once again been recognized for its commitment to workplace safety, receiving  

the prestigious Pinnacle of Safety Award from the Oklahoma Safety Council for the highest levels of excellence in safety and health management commitment, safety culture, and safety performance. 

“McElroy has a strong company-wide culture of safety,” said McElroy Environmental Health and Safety Manager Tony Little. “We understand that our people are our greatest asset, and it is always our number-one priority to ensure they have a safe and secure working environment.” 

The Oklahoma Safety Council is a member-based, non-governmental, nonprofit public service organization. Its mission is to promote the adoption of safety, health, and environmental practices and procedures that prevent and mitigate human suffering and environmental loss. More than 700 businesses throughout Oklahoma are members. 


The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) has partnered with planning, engineering and program management firm, Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc. (LAN) for two major sediment removal projects in Houston-area watersheds. 

These projects will restore critical bayou capacity to reduce flood risk and remove siltation and repair damage caused by Hurricane Harvey to re-establish channel conveyance capacity to pre-Harvey conditions. 

LAN will complete engineering services for survey, environmental, geotechnical, sediment removal design, permitting and all support services for over 75 miles of channel in the Little Cypress, Cypress Creek, and Greens Bayou watersheds. The team will navigate the specific challenges associated with sediment removal, such as federal funding compliance, environmental permitting, provisions for material disposal, utility conflicts, construction access, and traffic control. 

“We’re eager to partner with the district on these critical projects. Our team is prepared to leverage our expertise and resources to effectively address the challenges,” said Matt Manges, P.E., CFM, ENV SP, vice president and stormwater practice leader. 

The firm has designed and overseen these measures on numerous HCFCD projects in the past, including Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery projects, channel and detention basin repairs, and Tropical Storm Imelda channel repairs. Manges continues,  

“We understand the importance of flood control measures and are dedicated to implementing innovative solutions that will contribute to the long-term resilience and safety of the surrounding communities,” Manges added. 


Best Line Equipment, a successful industry-leading equipment dealer in Pennsylvania for more than 35 years, now offers DEVELON products from its new location in Jessup, Md. The company’s first facility is in Maryland, it will serve the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., areas. 

The dealership will feature a full line of DEVELON construction equipment, including full-size excavators, wheel loaders, dozers and articulated dump trucks, for the construction, rental, government and industrial markets. The location also offers parts and service departments for its customers, including field service trucks and road sales. 

“Our company has a customer-first mentality, where we look at it not as a customer/sales relationship but rather a business partnership,” said Armand Cencetti, vice president of sales at Best Line Equipment.  

“We’re proud to offer DEVELON products that put as much emphasis on the customer as we do and provide cutting-edge equipment and technologies.” 


The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) has upgraded its popular jobsite recording solution, NUCA-WINS, to Version 3.0. 

NUCA-WINS is a powerful software application allows authorized users to quickly report a variety of job-site events, such as injuries, utility strikes, employee illnesses, near misses, property damage, and safety observations in real-time, utilizing both iOS and Android devices.  

First released to the industry and NUCA members in the fall of 2020, it’s powered by App partner Compatica’s intuitive software. 

“Software is like a shark that can never stop swimming,” said Adee Feinstein, Compatica’s CEO. “It requires constant development and enhancement to keep up with perpetual technological change and ever-evolving industry needs and practices. We’re fortunate to have NUCA and its members as partners in this process, guiding us on how to best improve NUCA-WINS and the state-of-the-art.” 

NUCA-WINS 3.0 represents the “Next Generation” in job-site data collection. It supports fully documenting all types of incidents, as well as collecting any possible site, asset or employee reports and communicating them within the organization in real-time. NUCA-WINS allows companies to create their own workflows and customize reports to better fit their unique requirements. Some of the Version 3.0 features include: video statements; job-site reports; data collection workflow configuration, customized to your requirements; data visualization dashboard; geolocation mapping annotations; audit trails. 

On-the-spot worksite recording is the best way to avoid delays in reporting incidents, most of which carry liability concerns. With NUCA-WINS 3.0, a supervisor can make a complete event report, including pictures, audio, and video recordings. The App can document incident locations, equipment involved, and witness statements., and easily allows supervisors to record near-misses and workplace safety observations. 

Employee health and illnesses can also be recorded with NUCA WINS 3.0, enabling supervisors to report issues immediately after recognizing them. E-signed attestations and waivers are instantly accessible, and employees can be referred to an approved clinic if there are injuries requiring medical attention. 

Cooper Equipment Rentals 

Cooper Equipment Rentals Ltd, has acquired Warner Rentals Ltd., and Scotty’s Rentals and Landscaping Ltd., expanding Cooper’s branch and specialty footprint in western Canada. 

Warner Rentals was founded in 1975 by owner Ralph Warner and currently has five locations in Kamloops, Princeton, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm and Scotch Creek, British Columbia. Over the past 48 years, the company has become a staple of the communities it serves, with a reputation for quality, integrity, and community involvement.  

The acquisition of Warner Rentals sees Cooper expand the company’s footprint in the central British Columbia interior and intensifies its service coverage in a rapidly growing and important western Canadian market.  

Headquartered in Rock View County, Alberta, Scotty’s specializes in providing climate control equipment – including heaters, generators, and tarping services – as well as fencing for residential construction. Since its founding in 2007, the company has built a reputation for providing excellent service and support.  

The addition of Scotty’s bolsters Cooper’s climate control division, while also adding a new product line in fencing.  


ROMCO Equipment, a Volvo Construction Equipment dealer, serving Texas for over 60 years, is expanding its footprint in the Southwest with the acquisition of Sierra Machinery. 
ROMCO and its parent company, SMT, have acquired 100 percent of Sierra Machinery, which has been the exclusive Volvo CE dealer in southwestern Texas and southern New Mexico. SMT is a global Volvo Group dealer with Volvo CE distribution in North America, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and more than 26 African countries. 

Prior to the Sierra Machinery acquisition, ROMCO had 14 locations across the eastern half of Texas. ROMCO offers new and used machines for a variety of applications, including construction, paving and aggregates. 

“We’re thrilled to have Volvo CE as a partner as we take our dealership to the next level with this expansion,” said ROMCO President Steve Passmore. “The acquisition of Sierra Machinery is an important step for ROMCO. This strategic move further strengthens our position in the industry and enhances our ability to deliver comprehensive construction equipment solutions to our valued customers in the region." 

Maria Teran, president and CEO of Sierra Machinery, will continue in a leadership role while ROMCO and Sierra integrate their operations. 

In other news, Volvo CE is making available its 48-voltage DC (direct current) protocol for electric charging solutions. 

There is currently no industry standard for 48V DC charging solutions – the power required for electric compact machines – which means customers currently likely need to source multiple different chargers if they have a multi-branded fleet. 

Volvo CE has, therefore, opted to publish its own brand-agnostic software protocol, as well as plug specifications, used on its 48V off-board DC chargers – commonly referred to as fast charging. This enables other OEMs and suppliers to use it in the development of their own charging solutions for compact machines. 

With this move, Volvo CE aims to facilitate and accelerate the electromobility transformation by helping the wider industry create more charging solutions – based on a common protocol – for the benefit of customers transitioning to emission-free solutions. 

A 48V power supply is designed for the smallest range of compact construction machines. For Volvo CE, this currently applies to the ECR18 Electric, EC18 Electric and ECR25 Electric compact excavators, the L20 Electric and L25 Electric compact wheel loaders and the DD25 Electric asphalt compactor. 

For heavier equipment, the use of a 600V power supply is required. There is already an industry standard protocol for this voltage that has been designed by the automotive industry. 

Broadband Forum/Fiber Broadband Association; 

Broadband Forum and the Fiber Broadband Association signed an agreement in principle to advance the industry forward with future-proof, high-capacity, low latency fiber broadband capabilities that will enable the Metaverse and beyond. 

With a common focus on developing and educating the broadband industry on best practices, the agreement will combine the Fiber Broadband Association’s strong background and expertise in fiber advocacy, research, education, and member and community resources with Broadband Forum’s technical strengths in best practices, interoperability, certification, and standards. 

Broadband Forum will leverage the new relationship by increasing awareness of its progress in technology, standards and certification work. It will also increase awareness and education among Tier 1, 2, and 3 operators and vendors of its mission to advance broadband innovation and the benefits of interoperability. 

The agreement will give the Fiber Broadband Association’s Technology Committee leadership team increased visibility of Broadband Forum’s work across all areas of fiber broadband service delivery, from inside the building, across the fiber access network to the cloud. It will also give the Fiber Broadband Association the opportunity to contribute to current and future specification work and represent the needs of fiber broadband providers within the Broadband Forum community in the Americas.  

Broadband Forum has held technical pre-conference workshops at the past two Fiber Broadband Association Fiber Connect annual conferences and will become a more integral part of the conference. 

“In an effort to achieve true progress, we recognize it takes a collaborative engagement across the entire broadband industry and that is why we have formed alliances with some of the most impactful broadband organizations across the globe,” said Gary Bolton, president and CEO at Fiber Broadband Association. “Our agreement with Broadband Forum is an exciting next step in our journey to advance fiber deployments across the Americas and finally connect every community to standardized, ubiquitous, high-speed broadband services.” 

Oxford Plastics 

Oxford Plastics, a leading UK-based innovator and manufacturer of site safety equipment, has had remarkable success in the USA market, achieving 80-percent year-on-year growth between 1 April 1, 2022, and March 31, 2023.  

This exceptional growth can be attributed to the company's strategic partnership with customers and its relentless pursuit of code approval for its products at the Department of Transport level. 

Over the past decade, Oxford Plastics has been diligently laying the foundations for its LowPro Road Plates and Trench Cover business, working hand-in-hand with end users on street works and construction sites across the United States.  

Its flagship product, Oxford LowPro 15/10 trench cover, has played a crucial role in the company's triumph. The lightweight composite trench cover is used by pedestrians and 3.5-ton vehicles over a 900-mm excavation and is a great alternative to steel plates. 

It has already been approved by the Department of Transport in the USA in New York City, Georgia State, Portland, Las Vegas and Chicago, with utility companies Con Edison, National Grid, Peoples Gas, Pacific Gas & Electric and Atlanta Gas also approving it. 

"We have sold the LowPro range for over 10 years in the USA, and our expansion efforts have been supported by a talented team of salespeople and dedicated support staff both in the USA and our home base in the UK,” said Peter Creighton, business development director for Oxford Plastics. “With this solid foundation in place, we have ambitious growth plans for 2023 and beyond." 


Oatey Co. acquired Lansas B.V., a manufacturer and distributor of underground pipe and disc plugs based in Eijsden, Netherlands.  

For more than 70 years, Lansas has been a leading manufacturer of pipe and disc plugs servicing the waterworks markets in Europe. Manufactured through a highly efficient and automated production process, Lansas plugs are designed to meet the requirements of customers.  

“For decades, Oatey has been a leader in the U.S. waterworks pipe plug market under our Cherne brand,” said Oatey CEO Neal Restivo. “The addition of Lansas … well positions us to grow our presence in the European waterworks market.” 

Today, Cleveland-based Oatey operates a comprehensive manufacturing and distribution network to supply thousands of products for professional builders, contractors, engineers and do-it-yourself consumers around the world.  


Wood is delivering concept and front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies for nearly 2,000 miles of onshore low-carbon pipelines in North America. 

Ranked number one in Engineering News Record’s International Design Firms list six times in the past decade, Wood’s experts have designed five of the longest pipelines in the U.S. and are seeing a bonanza of new projects on the back of growing investment in clean energy infrastructure.  

“Following the roll out of key government policies and incentives in both the U.S. and Canada, we’re seeing a significant increase in the number of proposed hydrogen and carbon capture and storage projects,” said Katie Zimmerman, decarbonization director of the Americas at Wood.  

“In order to meet market demands, the construction of new energy infrastructure projects and the ability to repurpose existing infrastructure will play a critical role in supporting the energy transition.” 

In addition to completing carbon capture and transportation studies for over 150 facilities globally, Wood is expanding the United States’ network of hydrogen pipelines by a third and will add nearly 1,000 miles to carbon capture pipeline networks across North America.  

Furthermore, at a moment in time when extreme heat has made the delivery of electricity to homes critical, Wood is continuing to grow critical networks for natural gas, working across the region to secure a low carbon energy system for North America.  

“The ability to combine our domain knowledge with our decarbonization and digital expertise to advise, design and deliver the infrastructure necessary for the energy transition is what drives our success,” said Mark Netzel, vice president of upstream and midstream at Wood.  

“Our work is never done; we continue to work with our clients to drive innovation and efficiencies to deliver trillions of cubic feet of hydrogen, natural gas, carbon dioxide and more to meet the needs of America’s energy consumers.” 

Wood is a global leader in consulting and engineering, helping to unlock solutions to critical challenges in energy and materials markets. It provides consulting, projects and operations solutions in 60 countries, employing around 35,000 people. 

Felling Trailers 

Felling Trailers, Inc. added Larson Cable Trailers to its product offering, with LCT-7500, LCT-5620, and LCT-5700.  

A division of Felling Trailers, acquired in May of 2021, Larson Cable Trailers, Inc. is a known leader in fiber-optic cable-handling trailer products.  

“We feel this move will allow us to provide enhanced regional dealer support, providing training and product support,” said Nathan Uphus, Felling Trailers sales manager. 

“With the two companies working together with seven regional sales managers, we can now provide sales and product support nationwide. This will, in turn, allow more time for Larson's Tech Training Specialists, Rick Larson, and Mike Young, to focus on end-user support.” 

Felling Trailers is a family-owned and -operated Felling Trailers is a full-line trailer manufacturer located in Central Minnesota. Started in 1974, the company’s engineers utilize the latest Industry-leading design techniques, and its experienced metal craftspeople use cutting-edge technology to turn its customers' conceptual trailer needs into tangible products. 

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