Gulf Coast Chapter News


October 30, 2020

Port Allen, LA (October 30, 2020): Members and friends of the Gulf Coast Chapter of PDCA gathered on October 30th at Bridgeview Gun Club for a competitive skeet shooting event, followed by the Fourth Quarter Chapter Meeting. This was the Chapter's lone, live event of 2020 due in large part to the health pandemic. Officials with the organization implemented COVID-19 safety protocols for the shoot and meeting.

The morning skeet shoot involved grouped teams of four which competed against one another. An awards ceremony and luncheon were available at the conclusion of the competition. Gulf Coast Chapter of PDCA members then met to discuss organizational matters. 

The Chapter thanks meeting sponsors Scott EquipmentAmerican Piledriving Equipment (APE)SamuelJuntaan and Madere & Sons Marine Rental, LLC.

Scenes from the event:


October 25, 2019

More than 110 practitioners in the deep foundations industry gathered in Prairieville, Louisiana on October 24th for a comprehensive, day-long professional development event designed to educate attendees on some of the newest and best practices for driven pile installations. The PDCA of the Gulf Coast organized the event, chaired by contractor member Michael Kelly, which the Chapter offers to educate professionals in the region every other year on the driven pile. All participants who completed the seminar were awarded 7 Professional Development Hours.

The 2019 PDCA Engineers Conference was co-sponsored by PDCA of the Gulf Coast and Nucor Skyline and consisted of seven different presentations. PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter President Travis Schonacher from Sealevel Construction opened and closed the program. The following agenda is a list of each presentation and session sponsor in the order they were provided to attendees:

Breakfast - Sponsored by PDCA

Vibration Monitoring Protocol per Purple Book by Joubert Harris, MS - LADOTD
Sponsored by Southern Earth Sciences

Experimental Study of Driven Pile Set-Up in Soft Clays by Chad Held, P.E. - Eustis Engineering
Sponsored by GRL Engineers

Efficient Structural Design of Precast Concrete Piles by John C. Ryan, Ph.D., PE - Ryan Structural Engineers, LLC
Sponsored by American Piledriving Equipment

Advanced Measurements/Pile Layout by Joey Coco, PE MBA - Forte & Tablada, Inc.
Sponsored by Sealevel Construction, Inc.

Lunch - Sponsored by LB Foster Company

Steel Coating and Application to Steel Piles by Marty Hall - Yellow Creek Coating Services
Sponsored by PDCA

Preserving Wood Pilings by Tim Carey - Lonza Group AG
Sponsored by Desoto Treated Materials

LAPELS Professionalism and Ethics by William Hyatt - LAPELS Board Investigator
Sponsored by Mississippi River Equipment

PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter thanks all attendees for participating in this highly successful event. The next gathering of the Chapter will be November 14th when it hosts its Fourth Quarter Dinner Meeting at Messina's in Kenner, LA.

'Protective Steel Coatings' Presented at Third Quarter Chapter Dinner Meeting

august 23, 2019

Pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers and suppliers and geotechnical engineers throughout the Gulf Coast region descended upon the Golden Nugget Biloxi Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, MS for the Third Quarter Chapter Dinner Meeting of the PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter. More than 50 attendees enjoyed a social hour prior to the dinner that coincided with a professional development program entitled 'Protective Steel Coatings' presented by Steve Kotler of Sherwin Williams. The expansive Gulf Coast Chapter works to serve its membership spread throughout the southern states and schedules regular events in different locations between Louisiana and Mississippi.

In addition to the scheduled program, the Third Quarter Dinner Meeting included a briefing on Chapter business. The group is organizing the "PDCA Engineers Conference" on October 24, 2019 at Parc 73 in Prairieville, LA. The day-long, professional development event begins at 7:30 a.m. and runs through 4:00 p.m. It will feature seven different presentations on various issues of interest to pile driving contractors and geotechnical engineers. Other business included an address from PDCA Executive Director Frank Peters who detailed initiatives of the national Association. One of the many efforts is promoting of the new PDCA Store, an online resource for stakeholders in pile driving to purchase both educational materials and PDCA logo merchandise. Many store items were available and purchased at the meeting.

The PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter Third Quarter Dinner Meeting was made possible by sponsors International Construction Equipment and Gulf Coast Prestress Partners, Ltd. The fourth and final Chapter Dinner Meeting of 2019 is scheduled for November 14th in Kenner, LA.

Free One-day seminar for engineers scheduled for October, participants can obtain 7 pdh's

august 14, 2019

The Pile Driving Contractors Association of the Gulf Coast has announced that it will be conducting the "PDCA Engineers Conference" on October 24, 2019 at Parc 73 in Prairieville, LA. The day-long event begins with a 7:30 a.m. breakfast and runs through 4:00 p.m. It will feature seven different presentations on various issues of interest to pile driving contractors and geotechnical engineers. 

There is no cost to attend for employees of engineering firms and participants will be awarded up to 7 Professional Development Hours, including 1 hour of Ethics. A "Certificate of Completion" will be provided at the conclusion of the event. See the following event flier for additional information about the upcoming event.

PDCA/Gulf Coast Chapter Exhibit at SWGEC

May 9, 2019

Several members from PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter participated as exhibitors at the 43rd Southwest Geotechnical Engineers Conference May 6-9 at the Hilton Capitol Center in Downtown Baton Rouge, LA. This initiative was a partnership between the Chapter and the PDCA national office.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development hosted the annual event sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration. PDCA members networked with engineers from throughout the southwestern U.S. and engaged with interested parties about pile driving practices from the construction perspective.

Gulf Coast Chapter members who participated include; Dylan Andre' of Patriot Construction, Brandon Phetteplace of GRL Engineers, Scott Williams of Cajun Industries, Bennett Dulaney of Southern Earth Sciences, Greg Major of DarkHorse, Jacob Indest of Eustis Engineering, Robert Baker of Baker Pile Driving and Taylor Stiles of SeaLevel Construction.

2019 Second Quarter dinner Meeting

April 25, 2019

Each year, members of PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter look forward to the Second Quarter Dinner Meeting which takes place at the L'Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge, LA. On April 25th more than 60 members gathered in the popular venue for an evening of networking and fellowship which began with an open bar reception. A full dinner and a business meeting led by Chapter President Travis Schonacher of SeaLevel Construction immediately followed. The assembly then heard a technical program from speaker Chad Held of Eustis Engineering. Members also engaged in the ongoing discussion about a Chapter initiative, the 'Test Pile Program.'

Before attendees were released to the casino floor, they took a few moments to recognize the efforts of previous Chapter leadership; current Vice President Kirt Jackson (Cajun Industries) presented a plaque to last year's President Michael Kelly from Gulf South Piling (below, left). Then, current Secretary Dylan Andre' (Patriot Construction) honored his immediate predecessor Daniel Sprunk of Cajun Industries (below, right).

The event was a success thanks to the valued PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter sponsors; DeSoto Treated Materials, Inc., Tadano, Scott Equipment and Kobelco. PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter convenes next for the Third Quarter Dinner Meeting in Biloxi (venue TBA). Also, they are planning a Professional Development seminar in October and a Clay Shoot. Watch your inbox, this website and future editions of PileDriver magazine for further details.

2019 First Quarter Dinner Meeting

January 31, 2019

PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter hosted the 2019 First Quarter Dinner Meeting on Thursday evening January 31st at the suburban New Orleans venue called Messina's Restaurant, Kenner, LA. Chapter President Travis Schonacher (SEALEVEL Construction) presided over the meeting, which included a reception, buffet dinner and industry presentation.

Ric Anderson, Nucor Skyline, was the guest speaker who presented on "Steel Pipe and Its Applications in Pile Driving." Nucor Skyline was also the meeting sponsor. Thanks Nucor Skyline for your continued support and participation.

During the meeting, the Officers of the PDCA of the Gulf Coast Chapter honored retiring PDCA Executive Director Stevan Hall and presented him with a silver steel plate with the Chapter's logo engraved. Hall was able to thank the members of the Chapter and express his appreciation for all they do for PDCA and the driven pile industry. He also took the opportunity to introduce new PDCA Executive Director and New Orleans native Frank Peters to the Chapter who welcomed him with an enthusiastic applause.

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