Digging Deeper - January 2024 - Akkerman

Digging Deeper – January 2024

Akkerman Inc.

Digging Deeper – January 2024

Inuvik Airport Civil Infrastructure & Runway Extension

Design Engineer: The Tunneling Company – Kamloops, BC
Location: Inuvik, NWT – Canada
Ground Conditions: Permafrost zone. Included frozen clays with fine to coarse sand and trace gravels that were well bonded with 5-10% visible ice by volume.
Type of Installation: TBM Pipejacking
Material: 60-in. OD Steel Casing
Footage Installation: 320-LF crossing
Equipment: Akkerman WM480D TBM, Mixed Ground DCH, 5200 Pipejacking System, 524 Haul Unit, and contractor supplied tunnel heating & ventilation system

Most likely the northernmost TBM pipejacking project performed in North America, TTC battled extreme weather and changing ground conditions along this 320-LF alignment. Anticipating permafrost along the entire run, the ground became soft after only 17-LF, requiring TTC crews to change the TBM cutterhead to standard carbide tooling onsite to continue.

Staff Highlight

Mary Hartson, accounts receivable manager, will celebrate 36-years with Akkerman on February 22. Mary was nominated as January’s Employee of the Month for being helpful, reliable, quick-witted, honest, and assertive.

Nominated because:

“Mary is a great team player and is always helping out where needed, no matter what the task.”

“Mary is a dedicated employee and hard worker.”

“Mary’s diligence and consistency in executing the business demands of our sales/lease cycle protects our company’s interests. It would be a lot less hassle if we shipped a system every now and then without a signed contract, or proof of insurance from the customer, or proper payment. Most of the time things go OK, but for those times when they don’t, it’s a great asset to know Mary has not taken any short cuts on these very essential safeguards.”

5th Akkiversary

Mechanic and field technician Nick Barrington celebrated his five-year AKKiversary on January 2.

Prior to Akkerman, Nick worked as a wind turbine service technician for five years. He provided mechanical and troubleshooting services for Vestas American Wind Technology’s network of wind farms throughout the nation. While on a long-term project on a wind farm in Dexter, Nick met a former Akkerman employee who recommended him for his current role.

A background in traveling field service work was an advantage for Nick, being accustomed to long shifts and extended periods of time away from home. He’s been on many high-profile projects in his five years, commenting that “the most memorable ones were often the most challenging but rewarding.” Like one trip to Canada during COVID where he “flew as one of two total passengers on a 747” or “mining in permafrost in the middle of nowhere.” He enjoys traveling to many unique places, meeting different crews, and learning about the niche yet expansive trenchless industry.

He appreciates opportunities at Akkerman to expand his skill set through fabrication and more expansive technical aspects of machinery troubleshooting. Lately, he is cross-training on microtunneling, including remote project monitoring through Akkerman’s Data Log tool.

Originally from Stockton, CA, Nick now lives in Austin. In his spare time, he does miniature painting.

Safe Training Practices

Customer feedback indicates that our industry is as equally excited as we are to kick off our first season at the D.H. Akkerman Training and Development Grounds. In December, we invited our MNSHARP OSHA representative to verify that our safety preparedness measures will ensure a safe and successful first season of training. Here’s what we learned and will implement:

  • PPE, which we deem necessary, is worn at all times.
  • Install temporary fencing to keep people away from the south retaining wing wall and north wall as they make their way up to the fence on the headwall for viewing purposes during training days.
  • Install fencing along with the west head wall
  • Incorporate a safety orientation in the training curriculum for awareness of site hazards and Akkerman campus emergency procedures, with signed participant documentation.
  • During training days, utilize temporary signage along the driveway for awareness of training and to caution drivers about pedestrian traffic and equipment movement during trainings.