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March 27-29, 2024

Embassy Suites,


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Wednesday March 27, 2024

Utility Locator Skills Enhancement Workshop | 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

Instructor: Bob Nighswonger, Utility Training Academy

Dive into an intensive, hands-on workshop designed for utility locators of every skill level, from beginners to seasoned professionals. Our Utility Locator Skills Enhancement Workshop is tailored to empower participants with a comprehensive understanding and practical know-how for efficiently locating buried utilities such as pipes, cables, and wires. Regardless of your experience, you’ll find invaluable insights and techniques to refine your locating strategies.

This is a brand-neutral workshop. Participants should bring their line detection tools.

Course Overview

Part 1: Damage Prevention Orientation & Site Marking Communications

We kickstart this workshop with an essential orientation on the universal goal of preventing excavation damages and the role that every stakeholder plays in the process. This segment also unravels the language of excavation site markings and tolerance zones.  The information provided will paint and flag markings into dialogue between utility operators and the excavator or excavation crew. You’ll leave this part equipped to place and interpret any dig site markings and grasp the critical messages they convey.

Part 2: Locating Technologies, Theory, and Equipment Operation

Immerse yourself in the world of locating technologies, understanding the fundamental signal wave theories that are fundamental for effective line locating and troubleshooting problem locates. This section offers a hands-on exploration of applying signals using an EM transmitter and harnessing a signal receiver for accurate detection and tracing of underground utilities. Learn to navigate the challenges of signal distortion and interference with expert techniques and actionable knowledge.

Part 3: Hands-On Outdoor Training

The culmination of your learning experience, this outdoor session puts theory into practice. With your line locating equipment in hand (please bring your own), this non-equipment specific training offers a unique opportunity to apply your new skills in a real-world setting. Receive personalized tips on maximizing the efficiency and accuracy of your equipment, directly from industry experts.

Join us for a day of skill-building, knowledge-sharing, and hands-on learning to elevate your utility locating abilities to the next level.

Damage Investigation Workshop | 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Instructor: Roger Cox, ACTS Now

OK, you’ve had a damage, now what? Whether you are the utility owner/operator, excavator or the locator of record; the one thing you’ll have in common now is a need for a quality damage investigation. Just determining the facts about the damage is not enough. The objective of this workshop is to teach the participant how to conduct a quality damage investigation. If the investigation doesn’t determine clearly why the damage occurred, it is likely to reoccur. Additionally if the investigation itself is not clear, concise and complete, you are more likely to be responsible for damages and/or fines even if you were not responsible for the damage. Attend this workshop and learn what makes a photograph a good photograph, learn the value of telling the story of the damage with sketches and photos and presenting your findings with credibility. This workshop is for anyone who has ever been involved in a damaged utility line and tried to identify who was “at-fault” instead of gathering the facts.

Ground Penetrating Radar Training | 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Instructor: Dan Bigman, Bigman Geophysical LLC

This workshop will begin with a review of the basic concepts of ground penetrating radar and the application of this increasingly popular technology to utility locating and damage prevention. Classroom discussion will focus on the GPR signal, problems with different project sites and soils, how to interpret utility data and best practices. For the hands-on portion of the workshop, the students will get a start-to-finish walkthrough of the settings and system setup, proper operation, data collection, interpretation, and mark-out best practices. Students can bring their own GPR units as this training is brand agnostic.

Summit Golf Outing | 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Towhee Club
3901 Kendron Rd.
Spring Hill, TN 37174

Includes cart, range balls, and lunch.

Tennessee 811 Reception | 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Located in the Exhibit Hall, with networking, food and drinks for all.

Thursday March 28, 2024

Welcome & Opening Remarks | 7:45 AM - 8:00 AM
Your Reputation is Your Brand | 8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Speaker: Scott Wozniak, Swoz Consulting

Revolves around the importance of consistency and using immediate feedback for continuous improvement.  Branding is not just for McDonalds.

Tennessee 811 Update & Annual Meeting | 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM
Speaker: Bill Turner, Tennessee 811

RSVP for Annual Meeting Only

This session is TN811’s annual meeting and includes a general overview of programs for 2023. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this session.

(Members may attend just this meeting only)

The Damage Prevention Institute's Role in the CGA Goal of 50 in 5 | 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Speaker: Sam Hall, Damage Prevention Institute

Attend this session to learn more about the DPI and its goal of taking the industry to the next level by utilizing data and statistics to generate powerful insights and efficiencies that will reduce the rate of damages to buried infrastructure and how you can be involved.

Benefits of Locator Certification | 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Speaker: Mark Parilac, Planet Underground

At any given time in the U.S., 25,000 people earn their living finding the location of underground utility lines. However, hiring trends indicate a growing number of people do not want to be a locator. People want their skills to be acknowledged and the absence of a recognized, standardized, and unbiased certification program for locating is a regrettable reason people choose not to pursue, or continue, a career in locating. Locator certification is a roadmap for establishing respect and recognition for the locating profession within the underground utility industry. Locator certification changes how locators are viewed and most importantly, how locators view themselves. Locator certification drives perceptions, careers, and results.

Lunch | 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Networking with Exhibitors | 1:00 PM - 2:20 PM
Intro to SUE | 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM

Speaker: Andrew Clark, Surveying and Mapping


Whether we’re talking design or damage prevention, there are a lot of benefits to incorporating Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) into an excavation project. Attend this session to learn more about SUE and how it’s deployed.
What Does “Reasonable Care” Look Like? | 2:30 PM - 3:20 PM

Speaker: Marcus Bartholomew, Tennessee 811

The law requires excavators to use reasonable care when working close to underground utilities. In this session, we explore what reasonable care looks like and explore some damages that reasonable care could have helped avoid.

Building SUE Policies Into Permits | 3:30 PM - 4:20 PM
Speaker: Mickey Hamilton,TDOT

In this session we explore how TDOT uses SUE when planning road projects, how SUE will be incorporated into the permit and relocation process, and how TDOT plans to use data collected from SUE.
Tennessee 811 Reception | 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Join us in the Exhibit Hall for networking, food, drinks!

Friday March 29, 2024

Service Area Editor | 8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Speaker: Bill Berzins & Meaghan Feeney, Tennessee 811

This session will cover the basics of Service Area Editor (SAE). SAE allows Tennessee 811 members to view and submit edits to their service areas online. Maintaining your service area is an important part of membership to ensure you accurately receive locate tickets.

Pipeline Safety Awareness: Changes to the TN PIPE Program | 8:00 AM - 8:50 AM

Speaker: Jim Bob Sims, Paradigm & Craig Ingram, Tennessee 811

TN811’s pipeline safety liaison program is being sunset to allow for a greater focus on excavator-targeted education. Attend this session to learn more about Paradigm’s solutions for public awareness, including liaison meetings for emergency officials and other stakeholders.
Damage Prevention & Effective Enforcement | 9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Speaker: James Prothro & Tiffany Baker, PHMSA

This information will focus on reminding stakeholders that excavation work/behaviors is governed by a related law, regulation, or best practice. Everyone needs to be held accountable to safe excavation practices, and that accountability is done, in part, by way of “effective enforcement.” We will also evaluate damage and enforcement data, and identify opportunities for damage prevention stakeholders to advance the safe excavation mission.

Tennessee Enforcement Update | 10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Speaker: Aaron Conklin, TPUC

What trends are we seeing in state-level enforcement? When should you file a complaint and how can you make it better? How will legislative changes affect enforcement penalties? What’s next for the enforcement program? We’ll answer these questions and more in this session.

No More Excuses: How the Digital Revolution Is Solving the Abandoned Line Challenge | 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Speaker: Chris Stovall, Line-Scape

This session will cover a case study in how the digital revolution helped one of the largest pipeline companies in the U.S. solve their challenges with abandoned lines and a look forward to the digital future of our industry.