AM Ground Systems Company


We replaced a sample line for WBCO in August 2008.  This array is a 4 tower parallelogram with the transmitter building at the east end of the array.  The bad sample was from the tower located the at the far western end of the array approximately 850ft away.  We had 2 options...  Conventional trenching and then repair of hundreds of cut radials OR directional boring UNDER the array.  The costs were very similar for each method.  The trenching process was much cheaper than boring but initial radial location, preservation and repair quickly offset the initial savings.

WBCO elected to use directional boring. 

We located and engaged a boring contractor from Columbus and had numerous conversations with said contractor.  Beginning about 2 weeks prior to the project start, we attempted to contact this contractor numerous times but never received a returned call.

We eventually located Pickens Underground Utilities and engaged their services.  They arrived with all needed equipment and manpower and began work.  The boring went faster than expected and left some additional time for their crew to assist us pulling the new sample line.  Mark Pickens (proprietor of PUU) has worked for and around radio stations in the past and already knew about the need to protect the ground field.  He even did a stint of on air work in a previous life.  We won't hold that against him.

We were impressed with the professionalism and skill of Mark and his crew.  I would highly recommend them for any excavation work around a transmitter site.  (740) 726-2067


Vermeer Boring Machine

The racks on the side of the machine carry 300ft of boring rod.

Conduit from one bore visible while bore continues.

A pull vault will set in the hole between the conduits.

Machine mounted electronics package.

This box talks to the handheld locator and a "sonde" contained in the boring head.

Handheld locator

This locator communicates with the machine mounted electronics via UHF. It can determine the head depth, location, boring angle and boring head rotational position.

Pickens crew working on boring head.

The boring head.

The head is actually very simple. An angled "duck bill" allows the head to be aimed. The sonde is contained inside the round portion just behind the duck bill. The crew is about to change batteries in the sonde.

My assistant on this project Tad.

He is doing what he does best... Supporting a nice clean shovel.

A neat looking old barn next to the transmitter site property.

Pulling vault.

It is essential that the vault be large enough to manipulate the coax.

Backfilling around the vaults


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