Day 3: The UCT Experience—Attendance and Results

By Erin Nelsen, Online Editor | January 2010 Vol. 65 No. 1
Stay to the Last Day winners with show manager Karen Francis.

By Day 2 of the conference, attendance at the Tampa show had reached approximately 90% of the turnout for the entire 2009 show in UCT’s home state of Texas, with a particularly strong showing from contractors and regional partners of the big players. Some regional representatives questioned gave their reason for coming as a way to get in touch with Florida clients or show strength with a corporate partner, but education was another big motivation. “I’m a contractor, so I really come here for the new technology and the classes,” said J.B. Conant of Sunbelt Infrastructure. “I’ve seen more new technology here than anywhere.”

HDD Drilling Forward
HDD Rotary appreciated the attention. “This is our best UCT in seven years,” said president Gary Haub. Part of the success stemmed from the new string of seven-and five-eighths-inch drill pipe HDD Rotary is now offering, the largest diameter manufactured under its processes, but VP of operations Jay Miller noted that they benefited particularly from teaming up with partners. Since their booth backed the booth of support vendor Superior Drillpipe, “People would come by and Superior would say, ‘You want seven and five-eighths?’ and send them right over.”

Jerome Reese of Superior Drillpipe diagrams the upsetter.

Superior Drillpipe is a new exhibitor to UCT, and only 25 months old as a company, but by its own account the manufacturer made an extremely successful debut. The company’s president, Warren Hoover, said Tuesday morning one meeting had already made the show worthwhile for him. Of course, with the bulk of exhibition time still ahead, there were other meetings. Superior’s Jerome Reese explained why customers were eager to talk to the company: “The upsetter we have [the machine that forges the end of the pipe] is one of only two in the world with a 2800-ton capacity. It shakes the whole plant.” That means the upset “strengthens the pipe in the most crucial areas, gives it a thick wall at the weld so it doesn’t fail. You can drill 10 miles below the ground and it doesn’t fail on you.”

Ditch Witch was particularly pleased with the Tampa location. “There are a lot of customers here that we haven’t seen in a few years,” said Paul Ebersole. Their bright-orange booth stayed busy through Wednesday, and contributed to an optimistic outlook for 2010. David Pierce put it succinctly: “There’s interest out there. People are tired of being down.”