Digging Deeper - June 2022 - Akkerman

Digging Deeper – June 2022

Akkerman Inc.

Digging Deeper – June 2022

The Future is Now – How Artificial Intelligence is Impacting Trenchless Technology

Akkerman vice president and chief revenue officer Jason Holden was recently quoted in an article from Trenchless Technology.

While AI may be more visible on the pipe inspection side, the technology is being used in new installation applications, primarily in areas of data logging, crew safety and guidance. In smaller ways, AI technology has been incorporated into applications such as microtunneling, pilot-tube guided boring, HDD, pipe jacking and auger boring.

“AI is a way to enhance quality, productivity and provide a level on internal inspection,” says Akkerman vice president and chief revenue officer Jason Holden. “AI has been used longer than we have been thinking that it was ‘a thing.’ Right now, the parameters are contained within the guidance system and just does the reporting,” he says.

“Nothing is linked to machine control because the geotechnical and ground conditions that the machines go through can’t be fully known. That’s always the underlying factor. We see AI in the control systems, behind the scenes for warnings and safety checks and data reporting,” Holden says.

One area Akkerman is testing AI on is with autonomous muck hauling, with the end-game being able to drive the hauling system between the launch shaft and the TBM system to retrieve the processed muck from the reception shaft. “We’re testing this in-house to see other ways we can use the AI technology in other systems,” Holden says.


On May 3, Dalton and Augie attended the Minnesota Safety & Health Conference and received our MNSHARP renewal certificate, effective 6/22/21 to 6/22/24. Akkerman is one of 34 MNSHARP-recognized companies.

15th Akkiversary

On June 4, Brad Wheeler will celebrate 15-years at Akkerman. Under Brad’s leadership, he and his team have facilitated outstanding equipment innovation and strategy and implemented design, manufacturing, and quality improvement processes and procedures.

Brad completed his mechanical engineering degree in 2006 at North Dakota State University. He began his career as a Test Engineer at McNeilus
Truck and Manufacturing Inc.

After joining the Akkerman team in 2007, Brad moved in rank from Design Engineer to Project Engineer, Engineering Manager, and now Director of Engineering. He’s been directly responsible for the department for just over ten years. During this time, he earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota in 2012, and his Professional Engineer licensure from the Minnesota Board in 2016.

Brad explains what motivates him to maintain an upward trajectory. “I really enjoy the variety of equipment we manufacture and the uniqueness of the application. It is energizing and rewarding to create one-of-a-kind equipment. Even more, I am incredibly grateful to work at such a great
company and with great people.”

Justin states, “Brad has great vision when it comes to product development and is always thinking of the future. Brad’s judgment is solid on engineering and business decisions. Brad has a wealth of knowledge, and we’re thankful we have such a great leader at Akkerman.

Staff Highlight

Andrew Nelson began part-time employment last April to perform utility work on the night shift. His can-do attitude quickly made him a favorite employee.

Nominated Because:

“He has a great work ethic.”

“Andrew is always in a good mood and seems to be willing to do what is asked of him.”

“Andrew is always willing to learn new things

Admirable Qualities

  • Self-starter
  • Positive
  • Quick learner
  • Dedicated