The Roundtable Live!

(September 24th at Planet Underground, Manteno, IL)

PLANET UNDERGROUND was founded on the simple concept that the contractor is not the problem, they are the solution. How can full pictures of the utility installation and damage prevention worlds be realized without input and participation from those who are out in the field every single day performing this essential work? Our signature event, The Roundtable, took the first steps to address this problem. By inviting top members of the excavating world to sit alongside other key industry members to tell their side of the story, we expand the understanding and awareness of these problematic issues.

But we soon realized that while The Roundtable delivered top-notch industry conversation, debate and discussion, it needed a complementary action component to fully show the reality of these concepts. Thus, The Roundtable Live! was born. By inviting top contractors and operators to our facility and having them perform real-time excavations on live underground utilities, Planet Underground laid claim to a first-of-its-kind event: the only industry convention held on an actual jobsite.

Nowhere else can you come to one place and see industry-leading contractors doing such things as: installing utility lines, staging cross-bore demonstrations, pot-holing underground facilities, operating sewer cameras, simulating trench collapses, and more. The crucial, essential work that these contractors perform every single day is on display for attendees to watch and even participate in.

We also invite top equipment manufacturers to the event, and this equipment is used LIVE onsite for attendees to witness. You can speak to the operator who just used a directional drill to perform a tricky 75-yard bore shot under a road and across three live utility lines. You can discuss the advantages of using one of many vacuum excavation trucks with the operator who just made the three potholes along that bore route to ensure no lines were hit along the way. You can pick the brain of a contract locator using the latest locating equipment technology to find and mark those underground lines that the HDD operator is trying to avoid. Every aspect of the underground utility installation process is on display at The Roundtable Live!, and every piece of equipment needed for that process is used by participating contractors.

This communal, mutually-beneficial atmosphere has been critical to the achievements of The Roundtable Live!, allowing us to glean three key tenets from our success, and in the process generate a new tagline for 2020:


Protect: It is not just a locator spraying paint. A lot of work goes into keeping a job site free of costly, dangerous underground utility strikes, beginning with a proper utility design.

Equip: Whether open trench or directional drilling, job safety demands that all public and private underground lines must be exposed before excavation begins. Vacuum excavation and associated tools are fast becoming the preferred way to get that job done.

Build: It is not always easy getting a new utility line from point A to point B, but construction equipment manufacturers are making that job easier all the time. Plus, with all the tools to record new line location and elevation, we are making it safer for the next generation.

To learn more, register for an event or become a sponsor, go to

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