HammerHead Trenchless Launches New Training Facility

The 5,000-square-foot learning center provides hands-on training across several different applications

HammerHead Trenchless Launches New Training Facility

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HammerHead Trenchless has its first graduating class of contractors from HammerHead University, its new trenchless technology learning center.

The two-story, 5,000-square-foot educational facility at company headquarters in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, provides both classroom and hands-on application training for every HammerHead product line. Courses are available for the pipe ramming, pipe bursting and pipe slitting methods; lateral and vertical CIPP cleaning, preparation and rehabilitation; and pipe and culvert spot repair.

HammerHead University’s first graduates included six Apollo Home employees, who received manufacturer certification after three days of hands-on, guided instruction. Founded in 1910, the Cincinnati-based business provides sales, service and repair of home mechanicals including heating, cooling, ventilation, electrical, plumbing and sewer systems for more than 800,000 customers in its Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana service area.

Apollo’s excavation manager Dustin White received his initial CIPP certification from HammerHead prior to the existence of the new facility. He returned for a three-day course on CIPP lining and point repair along with four Apollo technicians receiving their initial certification. He says the university-like setting improved the learning experience for those four technicians.

“The controlled environment really makes a difference,” White says. “The mockup creates a better real-life experience. It takes away the anxiety of a ‘game-time’ situation. The pipe was embedded in gravel, but everything was above ground, giving our people who are new to CIPP better visual access to see exactly how it works.”

Jeff Urbanski, HammerHead’s training and technical services manager, says a fully controlled learning environment allows students to focus on the fundamentals of the applications without the distraction of specific, site-based complications. Getting grounded in an application’s principles allows students to be better prepared for anticipating how job site factors will affect an operation, as well as how to quickly determine the root cause of any problem that arises.

“This is innovative education. It’s not just reading from a book. We simulate real-life applications, replicating situations that put participants inside a house or a manhole on a street. But taking away the soil, watery ground conditions and confined entries in their first experience with the method results in more consistently repeatable performance over a wide range of work site conditions,” Urbanski says. 

A controlled learning environment is also a safer environment to gain practical experience before applying techniques in the field.

“Mistakes in a controlled setting result in greater understanding, whereas on an actual job, mistakes can cause expensive downtime due to equipment or property damage,” Urbanski says. 

For those who already have that grounded understanding, he says instructors can alter mockups to duplicate a specific site’s set of complications.

“Contractors can study in advance the impact of certain variables like cobbled soils and flooded pits before they face them on the job,” Urbanski says.

Courses are led by application experts.

“Our HammerHead University teaching staff consists of former plumbers, knowledgeable factory and industry equipment specialists and experienced field technicians – all highly trusted advisers,” says Urbanski.

The HammerHead University setting enables courses to be held year-round. HammerHead is also currently in the process of establishing an “e-learning platform” with continuing education units for its courses.

Says Urbanski, “In association with our courses, students will be able to go online and for a small fee take a pass-fail course to receive certification that applies specifically to their state or a given municipality if it’s governed by specific guidance. Certification will be annually renewable.”

Average class sizes in a given application range between two and five people. The university demonstration area accommodates up to 18 participants in as many as eight separate application stations simultaneously. Larger class sizes can be accommodated in the HammerHead University conference room. 

To enroll or request information about specialized courses, contact HammerHead Trenchless at 920-648-4848 or visit www.hammerheadtrenchless.com/training.


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