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March 27-29, 2024

Embassy Suites,


(Not included in Attendee Registration)

(Lunch not provided on this day)

Utility Locator Skills Enhancement
Workshop – $250

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.

Ground Penetrating Radar Training: $150

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.


8:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Instructor: Roger Cox
ACTS Now Inc.

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.