ICUEE opens with Vermeer’s Underground Showdown directional drilling competition

Four crews drilled as fast and accurately as they could Tuesday afternoon to determine the winner of Vermeer Underground’s Ultimate Crew contest. The manufacturer had been conducting the contest all summer.

The contest wrapped up on the first day of the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) Demo Expo with the Underground Showdown.

In the Underground Showdown, a panel of judges scored each of the four teams based on time to complete the bore, accuracy to reach the target, safety procedures and teamwork. One crew member operated the Vermeer Navigator drill, with another standing nearby to help, and another doing the locating of the drill head as it moved underground to the final target.

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Along the way there were targets for the crews to hit. The first target — a small circular disk in a ditch — was about halfway through the bore. The second target was an above-ground circular disk at the end of the course.

Competing were crews from Precision Underground (Bismarck, North Dakota), Martin Hildreth Company (Rockwell City, Iowa), Tru Tek Drilling (Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania) and B&T Drainage (Marshall, Illinois).

Taking first with a time of 4 minutes 47.8 seconds was B&T Drainage Inc., while Tru Tek Drilling was second (5:37.1), Martin Hildreth Company was third (11:23.63) and Precision Underground was fourth (13:57.2).

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Tru Tek was the only company to hit the final target at the end of the course.

The four finalists were selected by a round voting over the summer. They were selected from eight semifinalists. The other four semifinalists that didn’t make it to the finals were Roseau Electric Cooperative (Roseau, Minnesota), Triad Western Constructors (Cortez, Colorado), M3 Contracting (Monticello, Minnesota) and Ulmer Contracting (Vancouver, British Columbia).

As the winner, B&T Drainage earned the use of a new Vermeer D24x40 Series II drill for the next year.

Related: Vermeer S3 Navigator horizontal directional drill

ICUEE Demo Expo runs through Thursday with show hours today from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, go to For more on the Ultimate Crew contest, go to

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