Digging Deeper - February 2022 - Akkerman

Digging Deeper – February 2022

Akkerman Inc.

Digging Deeper – February 2022

Mainline Segment 9 Project

Project Overview

The project involved the construction of a 36-in. diameter HDPE water line inside of a 48-in. diameter casing, that ran under highway I-20 and a Union Pacific Railroad near Stanton, TX.

While using their 48SCII TBM with standard carbide cutter head, J & J Boring, Inc. encountered rock conditions midway across the bore which were not stated in the pre-bid GDR. The unanticipated ground proved challenging to mine with the initial TBM cutter head setup. After a few worn tooling changes, the contractor decided to develop a better solution to mine the rock.

The Challenges

  • Installation in hard caliche/limestone rock
  • Crossing under active rail line and I-20 Highway
  • Actual project rock rating was 40% harder than pre-project GDR indicated
  • Hardest rock encountered within sensitive rail road Zone A, requiring 24-hour non-stop construction and no surface access

The Solution

Key benefits of owning an Akkerman TBM is the interchangeable cutter heads feature and the ability to access the face of obstruction removal. J & J Boring, Inc. contacted Akkerman for a Disc Cutter Head attachment for their 48SCII TBM to fracture the hard caliche and limestone rock into pieces while maintaining alignment despite geological variations.

The 48SCII TBM Cutter Head features:

  • (16) 6.5-in. disc cutters, capable of 5 tons of thrust each
  • Cutter head rock scrapers assist in transferring cuttings away from the face, to the conveyor, then to the haul unit for removal from the tunnel
  • Heavy-duty bearing to handle disc thrust loads
  • Recommended Uni-directional operation for effective mining

The lead 48-in. casing was welded to the TBM to counteract the rotational torque necessary to mine the rock with uni-directional cutter head. The operators monitored the thrust loads on the cutters to ensure they did not become overloaded.


  • J & J Boring, Inc. completed the drive in challenging rock that would have been otherwise improbable
  • No cutter head tooling replacements required
  • Mid-project rock testing indicated project rock samples of 13,000 PSI UCS.

View Case Study

10th Akkiversary

Chris Sivesind began employment as sales manager on February 10, 2012, as our second remote sales team member following Troy Stokes.

After Chris graduated from Washington State University with a degree in finance, he worked as the regional manager for his family’s pipe jacking and auger boring construction company. He then worked as a sales representative for a trench safety rental group, then another trenchless equipment manufacturer before coming to Akkerman in 2012.

Chris brought a wealth of industry experience and established customer relationships, making his transition as Akkerman’s Northwest region sales manager an easy adjustment.

When we spoke with Chris, he eloquently described a love for his vocation. So, in his own words.

“There is a new Luke Combs song out titled “Doin’ This.” Basically, the song goes on to explain if “I wasn’t doing this, I would be doin’ this.” This is how I feel about being in the trenchless industry. I can literally remember the first project I was on when I was five years old – it was a 36-inch culvert installation in a remote area of Washington. In fact, my wife and I drove over the installation this past September, and I told her the story.”

“My Dad had been in the business since 1965, and I have been going with him on jobs since 1980. In 1976, at 30 years of age, he took over the boring division of a family business. In 1982, my Dad started his own company, and that is when it became part of my blood too. I have always thought of the what-ifs and such, but everything always points back to, if I wasn’t doin’ this, I would be doin’ this…”

Chris resides in Kenmore, WA with his wife Susan, four beautiful daughters, and two spoiled dogs. When Chris is not “doin this”, he enjoys golf, cooking, crabbing, a great happy hour, watching sports, and country music. Go Cougs!

Frisbees For Fido

If you follow Akkerman on social media, you’ve no doubt seen Tripp. Tripp is an adorable four-year-old English Bulldog with a big personality and Akkerman’s Sales and “Barketing” intern. As part of his duties, he recently secured a batch of quality Made in the USA frisbees for the 2022 tradeshow season.

Tripp, Reagan – Head of “Puplick” Relations, and Coco, Chief Canine Officer, got together to launch an idea for a special project. The trio wants to collect high-quality photos of fellow pets of Akkerman, either in their favorite Akkerman attire or just in their best pose. Everyone who submits a photo will receive a Tripp-approved Made in the USA frisbee.

The grand reveal of the photos and special project will be released later this year. For now, text or email Laura with your Akkerman pet photo in exchange for a new frisbee. Photos will be accepted through the end of February. Thanks for your participation.

Staff Highlight

Dave Crabtree began employment on April 30, 2001. He has worked as a mechanic, field technician, and been in his current role of facility maintenance manager since 2014.

Nominated because:

“Never-ending dedication to going above and beyond after hours. He is forever coming back to load or unload trucks. When nobody stays, you can always count on Dave. He is truly a team player.”

“Dave is always willing to help, no matter what is asked of him. He is helpful, hard-working, and fun to be around. He is the glue that holds many departments together.”

Admirable Qualities:

  • Hard-working
  • Loyal
  • Honest
  • Knowledgeable
  • Dedication
  • Team-Player
  • Asset
  • Funny


Akkerman is here to help you through 2022. Request a free calendar!