Derrick Pursley, an HDD drill operator and Texas native, was crowned the Ultimate Operator on the opening day of the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE) in Louisville, Ky. Pursley’s recognition as the Ultimate Operator is the culmination of the yearlong Navigator Nation campaign from Vermeer that celebrates and honors HDD operators.
“In this industry each day is different. I continuously learn something new,” said Pursley. “I’ve had jobs in the past where I didn’t want to go to work, but I’ve never had that feeling in this business. I enjoy what I do, and I’m proud to do it.”
Pursley grew up in Andrews, Texas. He graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1998 with a degree in business management and then played professional golf for three years. Pursley joined West Texas Boring Co. in 2001. He currently lives in Odessa, Texas, with his wife and two children.
The purpose of the campaign was to show the passion and expertise drill operators have for their profession and elevate awareness for the new generation of HDD operators. A video contest began in January where videos were submitted of their outstanding HDD crews to the campaign website, NavigatorNation.com.
Nearly 31,000 unique site visitors from 92 countries visited NavigatorNation.com throughout the course of the year. More than 100 profiles were submitted and the site received nearly 15,000 votes in total with Pursley receiving the most votes.