Cradle Boring: Old Technology Becomes New Again

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | June 2011 Vol. 66 No. 6

Gasmovic said use of cradle boring declined in the 1970s as major cross-country pipeline projects were completed. With many idle CBMs in contractor yards, there was no demand for new equipment.

With the resurgence of pipeline construction over the past several years, Gasmovic recognized that CBMs offered the same benefits as they had 40 years ago.

“There were old machines still around, but the lack of safety features discouraged contractors from returning them to service,” Gasmovic said. “Before we could consider bringing the CBM back, those safety issues had to be resolved. We worked with experienced pipeliner Larry Thomas, starting with one of our track boring machines and converted it to a CBM with all current safety features.”

To date, Gasmovic said McLaughlin is the only manufacturer building new CBM units, although some companies are refurbishing and upgrading old models. The first two McLaughlin units have been used to make 42-inch road crossings during construction of the Tiger Pipeline in Louisiana.

Based in Greenville, SC, McLaughlin has produced boring equipment for more than 85 years. The current product line includes auger boring systems, moles and related tools, custom boring equipment, vacuum excavators and utility locators.

McLaughlin Group, (800) 435-9340,