New Trenchless Tech Manual Illustrates Cost-Saving Options

Trenchless technology continues to expand at a very rapid rate, as more contractors recognize the efficiency and cost-savings that can be recognized in its usage. To help more of its members understand trenchless tech, the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) released this month its updated “Trenchless Construction and New Installation Methods” manual.

“The intent of this manual is to enhance the body of knowledge in our industry about trenchless techniques,” said Doug Carlson, NUCA Chief Executive Officer. “It provides a central place that provides input from utility contractors who work every day to build underground infrastructure and provide safe and successful projects. The manual’s main focus is on constructability.”

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The 148-page, full-color illustrated manual carefully addresses and explains the most common trenchless installation methods. This manual was written by construction industry experts, describing both the contractors’ and manufacturers’ perspective with the goal to educate and guide others in choosing the best subsurface method to completing a project.

As the industry continues to grow, many contractors are adding trenchless projects to their operations. Some bid trenchless projects without the proper knowledge to complete the job as specified, or their inexperience results in major project problems and costs.

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Several years ago, the committee became concerned that there is a lack of understanding of what is needed to produce successful trenchless projects from the contractors’ perspective. This manual, four years in the making, is to help utility owners and engineers specify the right trenchless method that meets their specific project needs.

In previous editions of this manual, both new installation methods and renewal methods were presented. NUCA’s Trenchless Technology Committee members decided the focus of the manual’s fifth-edition should be just on the newest trenchless installation methods.

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The manual describes in-depth these trenchless methods: 1) auger boring, 2) pipe jacking and utility tunnelling, 3) microtunneling, 4) pipe ramming, 5) horizontal directional drilling, 6) soil compaction methods, 7) direct pipe, 8) pilot tube, and 9) pipe bursting. The manual also addresses geotechnical conditions in the use of trenchless methods, as well as safety and legal obligations.

Trenchless technology can deliver a broad family of methods for installing pipelines and cables with minimum disruption to the environment and a community. Owners, engineers, and contractors need to be knowledgeable about potential methods that can be cost-effectively used for their utility construction projects. This manual also can provide a decision-making process to assist users in selecting an appropriate trenchless method for subsurface projects.

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This edition was prepared by the Trenchless Technology Center at Louisiana Tech University under the supervision of NUCA’s Trenchless Technology Committee. Benjamin Media, Inc. of Brecksville, Ohio, and its staff kindly assisted in the composition and production of the manual.

The manual is available exclusively from NUCA. It can be ordered online via for US$99.95 plus shipping.

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