Global Locate Masters – A Champion is Crowned

Global Locate Masters – Hosted by UTTO, Sponsored by USIC

The Inaugural Global Locate Masters took place in Phoenix, AZ at Global Excavation Safety Conference 2022. This unique competition, using UTTO’s Virtual Locate Simulator, drew utility locators from around the nation looking to test their skills against the best in the business. Attendees of the Global Excavation Safety Conference got a front row seat to the action as qualifiers competed across two days on the Exhibition Floor.


The Global Locate Masters was created by Infrastructure Resources, UTTO Technologies, and Ron Peterson. The primary reason being the field locate technician deserves to be celebrated for more than a lack of mistakes. Naturally, the damage prevention industry focuses on damages (or the lack thereof). The second reason, and most practically, traditional locate competitions have been difficult logistically. The locations must be carefully selected and are inflexible once chosen, competitors cannot watch one another perform the locate without gaining advantage, and gathering spectators is a challenge. The Global Locate Masters aims to celebrate the excellence that makes so many locates go right. A reliable accurate locate is the culmination of a locate technician’s skill, years of experience, and diligence. The best of the best deserve every opportunity to showcase those skills on a stage for the rest of the industry to see.


The UTTO Virtual Locate Simulator creates complex locate experiences in an immersive environment that challenge a technician’s training, skill, experience and the attention to detail required for a successful locate. The locate device behaves as if it were detecting pipes and cables under true electromagnetic signal conditions (both simple and complex).

The benefits of the Virtual Locate Simulator include:

– Accelerate the training process while improving training quality

– Compatible and functional with any chosen locate device

– Simulate a variety of buried asset types, such as pipelines, cables, etc.

– Train and locate in an immersive 3D environment without risking assets in the field

– Get rid of the need to “shotgun” for months at a time with another technician

– Multiple “real world” electromagnetic scenarios stored

– Trainer selects “locate scenarios” from a variety of difficulties

– Tricky interference signals for beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses

– Evaluation and score of training performance


First Place: Pat Bellacero, Mule Services

“At first, I was hesitant to compete. Locating is my profession and passion. I was encouraged to enter by my boss at Mule Services. The VR setup was amazing. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it really felt like a field locate. As in a normal locate, procedures had to be followed. I was super excited, and it was a great feeling.”

Second Place: Mike Malone, Premier Infrastructure

“I had a great time representing my company at the 2022 Global Locate Masters, it was an absolute honor to finish among the top 5 of the best locators in the country. To be measured on the accuracy of a locate and the science and dynamics that go into correctly marking an underground facility is not something that can be easily calculated, but the team at UTTO were more than up to the challenge. I cannot say enough about the excellence in both their presentation of the event and the product they have put into the hands of utility workers. The fact that they made it a point to not only acknowledge the skill it takes to mark underground utilities, but to highlight these skills with a competition and awards was amazing.”

Third Place: Chad Andrea, CenterPoint Energy

“I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Global Locate Masters. Making it into the finals was an exciting experience. The competition was also a good reminder that there are more things to learn and there is more room to improve. I enjoyed meeting competitors from around the country and will do my best to return and get that trophy next year!”

Congratulations to Pat Bellacero of Mule Services, the 2022 Global Locate Masters Champion. Pat holds the title of Global Locate Masters champion, becomes the spokesperson until next year’s competition, and will have his name engraved on the official GLM trophy! This honor includes interviews for magazine features, publicity quotes in social media to promote excellence in locating, and recognition of this achievement, along with company recognition, in all 2022 media coverage associated with the Global Locate Masters.

Pat is an incredible spokesperson for the utility locating profession. Not only does he bring a passion for the craft to the field, but his excellence also clearly shines through in his performance. Perhaps most telling is the fact that Pat had not previously used the UTTO Virtual Locate Simulator prior to the event. That speaks to the transferability of Pat’s skills and the quality of the simulator experience.


Throw your hat in the ring for 2023 as The Global Locate Masters comes to Tampa, FL for Global Excavation Safety Conference 2023! To hold a regional GLM competition send an email to Details on qualifying for the 2023 GLM are coming soon! Stay tuned to

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