Utility safety: Certified training program for underground construction operators

Safety products: “We’re In This Together” is the philosophy at the Ditch Witch® organization, a Charles Machine Works Company, and the core behind its training program to provide underground construction operators with training that fits their schedule and best suits their needs.

“The industry is growing and needs a new generation of operators, especially as broadband expansions and other market demands continue as forecasted,” said Greg Wolfe, Ditch Witch director of training. “This training program provides the tools, information and convenience to learn HDD best practices effectively and safely at your own pace and at no cost. It also provides operators with immediate productivity on the job.”

The initial launch of the Ditch Witch Certified Training program is focused on horizontal directional drilling (HDD), which extends the company’s on-site, classroom-style training to allow novice HDD operators to train online at home, in a dealership, or on a mobile device. The program includes six training courses: HDD overview, best practices, drill pipe, tracking, HDD tooling and drilling fluids. Anyone interested – including industry newcomers and experienced operators – can register online and take the courses at their convenience, as many times as needed. After completing all courses, participants receive a certificate of completion.

“All equipment should be operated and maintained by well-trained operators,” said Wolfe. “But we’ve found that newer operators are intimidated because they’re not familiar with the use of HDD equipment.”

In addition to the online courses, the Ditch Witch Certified Training program includes instructor-led classroom training courses, HDD simulator training, and dealer-site training on the equipment and on the jobsite. Combined, these training solutions are designed to expose operators to real-world challenges and scenarios, and help them gain an understanding of machine controls and learn proper operating procedures for improved productivity and enhanced jobsite safety.

With plans to incorporate additional curriculum, the training program will eventually extend beyond HDD to focus on all segments of the underground construction industry. “The driving force behind the comprehensive training program is ‘we get crews ready.’ We are excited to bring new opportunities to the market and continue to serve as a trusted industry resource for our customers,” Wolfe added.

Providing quality training and resources is a Ditch Witch® standard. The company assembled its first training team in 1974, and has continued to provide expert training and jobsite solutions aimed at helping customers increase project safety and productivity.

The online training courses are currently available in English, and will soon be offered in Spanish and German

About the Ditch Witch® Organization
Ditch Witch, a Charles Machine Works Company, invented the underground utility construction industry, and today it designs, manufactures and markets the most complete line of directional drills, drill pipe, HDD tooling, vacuum excavators, trenchers, chain, teeth and sprockets, mini-skid steers and vibratory plows. Handcrafted in the USA, its products are supported by the Ditch Witch dealer network with over 175 locations worldwide.

For more information about Ditch Witch Certified Training or other products, click here to go to Utility Products’ Buyers Guide.

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