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Contech Construction Products

Joe Dennis was named manager of engineered products in the marketing and development organization of Contech Construction Products, Inc., in Middletown, OH. The announcement was made in a press release by Mark McCormick, senior vice president. Dennis joined Contech in 1989 as an assistant sales engineer and was assigned to the Great Lakes Region where he was promoted from associate sales engineer to sales engineer. He was later made a regional sales engineer. Before his most recent promotion, he was an engineer of the Mid-Atlantic Region.


Kevin Alft was named vice president of the Advanced Control Systems (ACS) Product Group and Corporate Engineering. Prior to joining Vermeer in 1997 as a product manager, Alft was an engineering manager for Blount Incorporated in Owatonna, Minnesota. He was named director of ACS for Vermeer in 1998, and has since lead the continued growth and determined the strategic direction of ACS. He also identifies which new electronics-based technologies to pursue, assists in building the corporate engineering group and rapid prototype capabilities, and is responsible for the corporate test department. A University of Wisconsin graduate of agricultural engineering, Alft is pursuing his MBA and is chairperson of the Equipment Manufacturers Institute Underground Electronics Council. He also belongs to the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Society of Automotive Engineers, Society of Agricultural Engineers, and Institute of Navigation. Alft lives in Pella with his wife Judi and three children.

Randy Gard was named vice president of Global Planning with a variety of responsibilities in regard to business strategies, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, and divestitures, as well as responsibilities for Vermint and European operations. Gard came to Pella with his wife, Vicki, in 1997, when he accepted the position of Vermeer director of rubber tire products and later director of corporate procurement. He attended Northwood University in Midland, MI, followed by 18 years at Eaton Corporation. His previous positions include manufacturing manager in Eaton's engine components division in three different locations and director of U.S. manufacturing at Stuart Entertainment in Council Bluffs, IA.

American Polywater

American Polywater's cable pulling research has allowed the creation of a lubricant quality calculator for more accurate estimates of the amount of lubricant required in specific cable pulling situations. A free calculator is available for use on the Internet at quantity/quantity.asp. American Polywater developed a scientific model for determining lubricant quantity needs based on cable size, conduit diameter and length, conduit condition, and the number of bends. The company is sharing its results with the industry at the aforementioned website address.

Godwin Pumps

Godwin Pumps recently hired two branch managers. Bob Spatz of Skokie, IL, will oversee sales and operations of the Godwin Pumps branch in Lansing, IL. Prior to joining Godwin, Spatz held various sales and management positions with equipment rental and construction companies in the Midwest. Scott Malcolm of Moon Township, PA, will become the branch manager in Pittsburgh, PA. Malcolm will oversee sales and operations in western Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Godwin, Malcolm held sales positions with Petroclean, Clean Harbors, and ETSS in the Pittsburgh area.


John Newland in April joined Straightline Directional Drilling Systems as dealer development manager. Newland is responsible for establishing a dealer network in the United States and Canada, as well as international markets. This is to position Straightline for growth in worldwide markets for horizontal drilling systems and tooling.


The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) recently selected Bill Hillman as its new executive vice president. Hillman most recently served as NUCA's director of government relations. Hillman will run NUCA's operations and be in charge of departments including communications, education, government relations, meetings, membership and safety. Hillman began working at NUCA in 1991 as the association's legislative council.

Plastics Pipe Institute

A 12-page, four-color brochure commemorating the organization of the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI) in 1950 is now available from Ardun Advertising in Houston, TX. The PPI represents manufacturers and designers of plastic pipe and accessories. The brochure includes a timeline and historical highlights of the industry and its evolution into the 21st century. Today, the PPI acts as a voice for members that share an interest in educating other industries about the benefits of plastic pipe.

TBE Group

Richard Howarth was hired as assistant vice president and deputy division manager of TBE's construction management division, a full-service national consulting, engineering and planning firm in Clearwater, FL. Howarth is responsible for directing activities of the construction management division on the West Coast and in central Florida. Howarth was promoted from director senior resident engineer, a position in which he was a senior project engineer and project manager for TBE's large construction management projects.

Furgo South & Brierley Associates

Furgo South, Inc., and Brierley Associates in April announced they would jointly seek tunneling projects in Texas. The two companies are involved in geo-technical engineering and construction management. The purpose of this alliance is to capitalize on each companies complimentary strengths for design, construction, and maintenance of underground tunnels. Brierly Associates provides project planning; layout; and tunnel design services; and Furgo South provides geotechnical engineering and testing; and geologic interpretive services.

HAMM Compactors

Several appointments and promotions were recently made at HAMM Compactors, Inc., in Irving, TX. Richard Evans is the new sales manager. He will focus on sales support to the dealer network in North America and Central America. Bruce Monical was promoted to marketing manager. Steve Strom of Lakeland, FL, is regional sales manager in the Southeast United States. Jim Hornsby of Sacramento, CA, is regional sales manager in the Western U.S. and Canada. HAMM has more than 120 dealers in North America and Central America.

CMS Energy

CMS Energy Corporation in April announced its participation as an asset investor by contributing access to some of its pipeline right-of-way in a new nationwide broadband telecommunications network being built by Aerie Networks of Denver, CO. Aerie is planning to complete its more than 20,000-mile network in 2003. The majority of Aerie's broadband network will be built along right-of-way owned by 12 natural gas, oil, and liquid petroleum pipeline companies and telecommunication affiliates.

CH&E Manufacturing

ABS Pumps, Inc. in April announced the acquisition of CH&E Pumps, a pump manufacturer. The acquisition was effective in January, 2000. CH&E began manufacturing high quality engine driven pumps in 1908 in Milwaukee, WI. The pump models that CH&E offers include both centrifugal and diaphragm pumps with discharges from two to six inches and with 3.5 to 50 horsepower. The acquisition of CH&E further expands the ABS product offering to the marketplace.

Sharewell Establishes Motor Repair Facility

Sharewell LP, a manufacturer and distributor of horizontal directional drilling (HDD) systems, recently announced the establishment of a full-service motor maintenance and repair facility at its headquarters in Houston. The facility is capable of assembly, maintenance and repair of mud motors ranging in size from 2 7/8 inches to 6 3/4 inches.

"We decided to make a commitment to our own facility after years of unreliable service from third party motor rental companies," said Sharewell President Todd Caspary. "Repair cost and turnaround time are important factors in operating mud motors successfully. This new service facility gives us control over our quality assurance program and repair costs which will translate into cost savings for our customers.

"We are the only full-service supplier in the HDD industry offering in-house motor maintenance and repairs. This move indicates Sharewell's commitment to the industry and our customers to provide better products at more cost-effective rates," Caspary stressed.

Mike Detrick has joined Sharewell as motor service manager to oversee the new facility. He has more than 15 years of experience in motor repairs and maintenance. Info 181

Customer Photos Sought For Anniversary Calendar

American Augers will publish a calendar this fall in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Customers are encouraged to submit photos which depict American Augers products in action, especially older pictures. Customers will receive recognition for submitting the photo and will be given a supply of calendars for their own use. All submitted photos will be returned unharmed to the sender, Color snapshots, enlargements or slides can be used.

Customers should affix a label to the back of each picture. Notes written directly on the back of the photo could damage the photo itself. Along with the sender's name and phone number, labels should note the machine model and any available information about the job the machine was on. American Augers will also consider sets of photos which depict complicated jobs, and which can be made into montages.

Photos should arrive at American Augers' office no later than Friday, Sept. 15, 2000, to be eligible for consideration. Call Gary Stewart at 800-324-4930 for more information. Info 185

Ditch Witch Creates College-Level Training Program

The underground construction industry continually reports the need for increased numbers of highly-qualified, skilled and motivated technicians capable of servicing a variety of construction equipment. To address this need, the Ditch Witch organization has created a two-year college level program with curriculum to match the Ditch Witch product line.

The partnership between the Ditch Witch organization and Oklahoma State University-Okmulgee has been in effect for almost two years and is designed to train students in the latest developments of engine repair, hydraulic and electrical systems, microprocessor applications, test procedures and diagnostic tools. This program, named the Service Technician Excellence Program (STEP), allows students to earn an Associate degree in Applied Science with a major in Ditch Witch Service Technology. In addition to the technical curriculum, courses are offered in areas such as math, composition/technical writing, psychology, U.S. history, U.S. government, business and ethics. Students spend 60 percent of their time in the classroom and 40 percent in a hands-on lab.

Successful completion virtually guarantees students a job at a Ditch Witch dealership. Investing in this type of program provides the Ditch Witch dealer network a solid workforce capable of maximizing customer productivity through excellent service work.

During the six-semester program, approximately one-half of the time is designated for technical/academic education at OSU-Okmulgee and the remaining time allocated for on-the-job experience at sponsoring Ditch Witch dealerships. The primary responsibility of the dealership is to provide training-related employment for the students during their dealership internship. Info 189
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Publication:Underground Construction
Date:Jun 1, 2000
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