TEI measuring system to help carve Crazy Horse Monument

This was a special project for the Crazy Horse Monument to build a Pointing machine to measure the progress in carving and rock removal at the sculpture of Crazy Horse.

The machine is to be mounted on the hand to document the work being done there then have the ability to be moved anywhere on the mountain to record the work being performed.

The machine was delivered on Friday the 18th with everyone very optimistic about the arrival. We had some paint damage from the trip, a bit more than we would like for a project like this but we can fix that. Monique (mountain sculpture and manager) was very happy with the look and operation of the machine.

Our first project was to set the bottom rail that the machine would be riding on. This required finding rock anchors and leveling bolts. We found both mechanical bolts and some threaded bar we could set with epoxy to use, both pieces had the same thread which worked out very nice. After surveying in the rail and laying out the holes we drilled for the different kind of bolts and set the bolts. This took all of our first day there but we had everything set and the rail mounted and leveled.

Crazy Horse Memorial measuring system by TEI Rock Drills

Above is a view of where the pointing machine will set for measuring the hand of Crazy horse. That’s a nice 365’ drop from each side out on the hand.

Day #2; this morning was spent checking the level and security of the rail system. We did not want and mishaps with handling the pointing machine at the end of the hand. We also had some very nice 50 mph winds this day but we decided this would be a very good challenge since the weather is never very calm at this point of the mountain.

After double checking our level and torquing the bolts we were ready to move the pointing machine. We did some calculations to get our center of gravity over the rail and moved the machine to the top of the arm.

This picture shows how the machine will measure the side of the arm reaching 27’ off of the “X” axis with the plumb bob.

Crazy Horse Memorial measuring system by TEI Rock Drills

We used the survey prism to check the measurements of the machine with known points on the mountain. This was mostly done on our third day because of the intense wind we had setting the machine. After using the pulleys and testing the cables with all the tooling in place we were happy that all worked well. This being a special project and the only thing like this in the world makes all the processes very unique.

The third day we tested all the movements using the full length of the rail and moving the prism on the “Z” axis (UP/DOWN) taking measurements at different locations and known points on the mountain. After taking all our measurements into the office for comparison we were happy to find the pointing machine working as expected.

This was a great trip and this machine will set on the Crazy Horse monument for many, many years.

This report was submitted by Glenn Patterson VP Engineering after his latest trip to the mountain.


TEI new Mountain Drill MT100

TEI customer GeoFirma LLC, Nashville, Tennessee recently completed a difficult earth retention project near Nashville, Tennessee for a natural gas pipeline requiring new techniques and unique equipment. GeoFirma teamed up with TEI Rock Drills to solve the technical and mechanical problems associated with this job.

MT100 with Dozer 2Pipline Hillside

Project Overview

The project consisted of the construction of a new, 13- mile long, by 20-inch diameter, natural gas transmission line. As an upgrade of the system, the new line allowed the pipeline owner to comply with the new Federal DOT

pipeline inspection and safety standards. The alignment includes several areas of steep to very steep terrain in the rolling hills south of Nashville. A portion of the steep terrain is within the Fort Payne Geologic formation. This formation is known to include colluvial soils. Colluvial soils are gravity-placed soils that build up on, and below the steep slope in this formation. The soil being gravity-placed is at or near its stability equilibrium, thus providing a small factor of safety against slope failure or landslides. Any disturbance of these soils, removal of stabilizing vegetation, or increased water saturation can cause a loss in stability and produce slope failures. A slope stabilization system was needed to assure the pipeline would operate safely during its expected lifetime.

GeoFirma LLC Scope

GeoFirma LLC was contracted by Sheehan Pipeline, the project’s general contractor, to design and install a system to increase the slope stability of the high-risk areas of the South Nashville Pipeline alignment. This included 1,400 linear feet of a 50-foot wide alignment with grades as shallow as 4Horizontal to 1Vertical, and as steep as 1Horizontal to 1Vertical. The system had a dual purpose of reducing the risk of movement of the actual buried pipeline and increasing the stability of the entire 50-foot wide pipeline right-of-way. It included soil nails and rock anchors drilled and grouted perpendicular to the slope surface and Geobrugg Tecco 3mm wire mesh. Over 2,000 holes were drilled for this project. The holes were 10-20 feet deep with a 4-inch diameter, and were installed in a 6-foot by 6-foot grid across the right-of- way. All of the holes were drilled “open-hole.” A solid bar steel element with a tremmie tube was inserted and then grouted to complete the hole. There were several holes located in the ditches that would not stand open during drilling. Hollow bar soil nails were used in order to solve this problem and to avoid having to install casing in these holes.

GeoFirma used the Geobrugg Tecco® System3 3mm wire mesh with a tensile strength of over 1770 N/mm2 as the facing for the pipeline slope stability project. The mesh came in 11.5 ft by 98 ft rolls. Once positioned at the top of the slope, the mesh was very easy to roll out down the slope. The T3 clips connect the seams of the mesh without any tools. Additionally, the T3 clips made it possible to connect the mesh at the seams without any overlap since the connection is full strength or they could overlap the mesh in any pattern needed to contour to odd shapes of the slope. The mesh was preloaded to reduce slope movement after installation. This involved digging divots around each nail prior to rolling out the mesh. The divots were approximately 2 foot in diameter and 8 to 12 inches deep. The mesh was loaded by drawing the mesh into the divot with the spike plates and hexnuts. The hex nuts were tightened with a large pneumatic impact wrench. All in all the Geobrugg Tecco slope stability system is one of the quickest systems to install. In addition, Ruvolum® dimensioning software made it possible to quickly and accurately plan safety measures allowing for optimal spacing and depth of the soil nails and rock bolts. The TEI MT100 Mountain Drill proved to be a perfect match with the Tecco slope stabilizing steel mesh.


Eric Snyder, owner of GeoFirma LLC, describes some of the drilling challenges encountered while planning the job. “The drilling for the shallow slopes (less than 2H/1V) was primarily accomplished with the TEI HEM550* excavator mounted drill. The hollow bars, when needed, were installed with a TEI Skid Steer drill and a TE350 drifter. It was our original intent to utilize the excavator- mounted drill on the 2H/1V slopes as well, however, the rainy weather of the fall and winter prevented the excavator from traversing a 2H/1V slope. We already knew that a wagon-type drill would be necessary for the 1H/1V slopes and now we knew we would need the wagon for more of the project. Our dilemma came from trying to decide on whether to have a custom-built wagon manufactured for our existing Skid Steer drill and dealing with the issues of the long hydraulic hoses and a remote hydraulic power pack, or mounting a diesel engine on the wagon and routinely changing the mounting angle of the engine to match the slope angle.” Neither of these options seamed easy or practical. Both of the problems were solved and eliminated by utilizing the new TEI MT100 Mountain Drill. The drill uses an onboard electric motor to turn the hydraulic pump which “has proven to be exceptionally easy to use” says Snyder. Pulling a single electrical cord is much easier compared to dragging multiple heavy hydraulic hoses. “Having only the air and electric line to deal with is huge,” added Snyder. Another bonus in using an electric motor with a diesel generator is that it is much more fuel-efficient

than a traditional diesel/hydraulic power pack, burning 50% less fuel per day. Snyder reports that his crews would fill the air compressor with fuel once or twice a day while filling the generator only once every three to four days. “The drill’s hydraulic winch and rear-steer wheels made it easy to move and position the drill, and the MT100 provided a very stable drilling platform” said Snyder. The most unique component on the drill is the variable volume hydraulic reservoir. This feature and an electric motor are what give the Mountain Drill the ability to drill at any angle. Since this formation was known to be unstable the soil nails and netting were part of the original construction plans. The pipeline was successfully installed during the summer months. This project highlights how qualified and creative geo-construction specialty subcontractors using innovative equipment can tackle the most challenging projects.

TEI Hollow Bar Drill School 2014

Every year TEI hosts a specialized drilling school on the installation and testing of hollow bar micropiles and soil nails.  This school combines detailed classroom work with hands on field training.  Each attendee is given a textbook covering all the material from drill and grouting to testing the final product.  TEI uses our network to bring the best instructors available to teach our courses.

TEI Hollow Bar Drill School

TEI Hollow Bar Drill School

The course is divided into four parts: drilling, grouting, practical use and testing.  All of this is packed into a 2 ½-day course that will leave you with expanded knowledge of hollow bars and also a new network of colleagues in the drilling field to help grow your business in the future.

The drilling part of the course, as with all parts, begins with a classroom explanation of the main points for installing hollow bars.  A presentation showing what to do and what can go wrong is presented to get attendees familiar with the installation of hollow bars.  An emphasis on quality and attention to detail is present throughout the entire course.  After lunch in the TEI warehouse all attendees are encouraged to use the HEM excavator drills to build on what was taught earlier in the classroom.  There is plenty of time for everyone to get as much time on the drills as desired.

TEI Hollow Bar Drill School

TEI Hollow Bar Drill School Day 1

The grouting portion of the hollow bar school is taught by Eberhard Heinzemann of GSS Titan in Panama City, Panama.  Eberhard is well known in the industry not just for his expertise in all forms of grouting but also his extensive knowledge of hollow bars.  We are honored to have Eberhard share his knowledge with all of the attendees.  As with the drill rigs there are two grout plants for all attendees to get themselves dirty and familiar with grouting.

The practical portion consists of contractor case studies and “walking” through a job from beginning to end, demonstrating how to bid, win, construct and complete a hollow bar job.  The case studies are presented by contractors installing the hollow bar system either for earth retention or micropiles for foundation repair.  These case studies are very informative and always give rise to long discussions.

And of course no job is complete without testing verification of the completed work.  Top engineers are brought to Montrose to instruct students on the proper methods of testing micropiles and soil nails.  TEI keeps it’s own testing equipment calibrated and on site so that this extremely important area of construction is never overlooked.

Come to TEI this June 3-5 to experience the wealth of information dispersed during the annual TEI Hollow Bar School.  You will leave with better information for your business and with lots of new friends with the same interests as you.

2014 Schedule    Registration Form

TEI Rock Drills prepares for ConExpo

TEAM TEI is packing our bags and heading to Las Vegas for the ConExpo trade show.  TEI is located in booth #30340 in the upper Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Most of the TEI line of excavator drills and limited access drills will be on display.  There will be a TD75 electric/hydraulic limited access foundation drill on display and under power. [Read more...]

TEAM TEI at ConExpo March 4-8, 2014

2014 is a special year because the largest construction expo in the Americas is held this year, the ConExpo.  TEAM TEI will be in Las Vegas this March 4-8 to exhibit our current drilling products and introduce a few new products.  In booth #30340 at ConExpo TEI will exhibit the HEM excavator drill and the MME mini-excavator drill as well as our full line of patented drifters and rotary heads.  New this year is the TE1000.  That’s right the largest drifter made by TEI Rock Drills.  The TE1000 is designed to install up to the 103mm hollow bars.  The popular limited access drill TD75 will be under power and available for demonstrations in the booth.  And of course there will be food, fun and music for happy hour every day in TEI booth #30340. [Read more...]

TEI World of Concrete 2014 Preview

TEI will be at the World of Concrete Expo in Las Vegas January 21-24, 2014. On display will be our excavator drills, man-portable drills and the latest hydraulic drifters. Join us in booth #S11527! TEI will be in the south hall as usual so please make plans to stop by and take a break from the hectic pace of the expo. We will have lots of chairs and refreshments for everyone. [Read more...]

2013 Open House Recap

TEI has once again hosted another successful open house this past October 8-10. Attendees came from all over the world to visit the manufacturing plant, learn about the uses of TEI products and watch demonstrations of the new TEI drills. Every night there was a social dinner for all attendees to mingle and get to know each other. The open house is an annual event held every October we hope to see you next year. [Read more...]