TEI drifters in China

It’s been a very busy fall here at TEI and recently Glenn Patterson completed a sales and service trip to China with the TEI distributor Ougan. The main purpose of this visit was to commission the first TE1000s on the new Yutong anchor/micropile rigs. Yutong was impressed with the ASA system used in TEI drifters and were excited to use the American built drifters on their drill rigs. The Automatic Stroke Adjustment does exactly what it says; all TEI drifters will reduce the frequency and energy of the percussion impact when the drill string is not engaged with the ground or rock. Glenn stayed with Yutong for two days explaining the differences between the American TEI drifter and the European build drifters. In the end all of the technical departments at Yutong were satisfied with the TE1000 and were ready to operate the machine. As you can see the first TE1000 drifters at Yutong are on anchor rigs built for the Chinese military Engineering Corps. TEI is looking forward to a continued relationship with Yutong in the future and providing many more American made products for use on their drill rigs.

Glenn also visited other drill rig manufacturers as well as TBM (Tunnel Boring Machine) manufacturers and also manufacturers of the hollow bar micropile system. A very busy two weeks flying around China to build TEI business. TEI is finding success in China as a supplier of OEM components to Chinese manufacturers. The Chinese manufacturers are very capable of building their own drill rigs but prefer to use American or European components to build a better quality rig. TEI has been busy meeting with these manufacturers to show how using the TEI American Drifters it is possible for them to build a better drill rig. So far things are moving well and increasing as time goes by. TEI would like to again thank our distributor Ougan for working hard to prepare these meetings and making them a success. TEI is proud to send our products to the Asian market.

TE1000 drifter installed on a new anchor at the Yutong factory in China.

TE1000 drifter installed on a new anchor at the Yutong factory in China.

We still got a little red on that drifter!

We still got a little red on that drifter!

2015 TEI Hollow Bar Installation School Completed

The American drill manufacturer TEI Rock Drills held their annual hollow bar installation school this past June at their facility in Montrose, Colorado. Over the years this school has grown in popularity, selling out the past six years. Because of this popularity TEI changed the format of the 2015 school to accommodate more students and instructors. Attendees were treated to 2 ½ days of intense hands-on training as well as classroom instruction by the top manufacturers and engineers in the hollow bar industry. The comradely that carries through the school and beyond is evident in the comments we receive and the popularity of the TEI hollow bar school.

The school has been held the first week of June for nine consecutive years. TEI Rock Drills gives great importance to the success of their customers and specific training is invaluable to the success of everyone. 2015 is the first year that the school attendees were split in half. Each team was given their own safety shirts, either green or orange. In the morning team orange would be in the classroom and in the afternoon they would switch with team green and move outside to the equipment. In all each color group was divided up into four smaller groups, with each group taking a turn at every drill and grout plant. This allowed every attendee more time with each piece of equipment than ever before, greatly improving the school experience.

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The hollow bar school is presented as a neutral event were all manufacturers put competition aside and work together to promote the safe and correct installation of hollow bar micropiles and soil nails. TEI Rock Drills provided their popular HEM excavator drill and the new TD100 electric limited access drill. Contech Systems along with Ischebek Gmbh provided the Titan 40 bars used on the excavator drill while Williams Form Engineering provided their 76mm Geo-Drill bar for the TD100 electric drill. Contech Systems and Williams also sponsored the Wednesday night dinner reception for the entire school. The grouting equipment for the school was supplied by Chemgrout and Oberman Gmbh. Each manufacturer had their own training personnel, which allowed attendees to get direct answers about all the equipment.

Inside the TEI warehouse there is a classroom. This is where we did the deskwork and held our lunches. The classroom instruction included grouting, drilling, testing procedures, case studies, maintenance and a hands-on assembly and testing of a drifter. All of this information is compiled into a notebook that attendees take home to use in their future work. The combination of classroom and fieldwork has proven to be the most effective way to teach the installation of hollow bars. “This is the best school or class I have ever attended”, “the knowledge of the instructors was great, there wasn’t a question that didn’t get answered”, “we want to come back next year”, these are the typical comments we get every year.

Not everything was all work. In the evenings group dinners were held allowing each participant to discuss the day with his fellow attendees. These are the times that bring home the best part of the school. True, all the attendees learn and take home a great reference manual to use in the future. But the best part of any TEI event is the contacts and friendships that are made and built upon every year. The chance to meet and work with other contractors looking to do the same thing as you, in their own part of the world is a class event.  This is what truly makes the TEI hollow bar school something special.

TEI Rock Drills wants to thank all of the 17 instructors and 38 attendees for another great school. We apologize to the people that couldn’t register but we keep the school at this size to maintain the quality of the experience. This unique school combines the best people and equipment of our industry every year. And yes, we already have a list of attendees started for the 2016 TEI hollow bar installation school.

TEI Rock Drills awarded ISO 9001:2008

ISO JPEGTEI Rock Drills has recently been awarded an ISO 9001:2008 certification to “design, manufacture and assemble rock drills, drilling attachments and limited access rigs.” For those not familiar with what an ISO certification is and why it is important let me explain. ISO is the International Organization for Standardization a voluntary group headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. This group develops international standards used by 164 member countries to facilitate world trade by providing common standards between member nations. The goal is to “develop a quality management system that will consistently provide product that meets customer and regulatory requirements.”

Just as it sounds this is a long process with many reviews and inspections. Some companies choose not to bother with ISO certification and feel that it is a waste of time. TEI however, has always been committed to being the very best at what we do and ISO is part of that.

Donna Rousse

Donna Rousse

The process of acquiring ISO certification took almost two years and was spearheaded by TEI production manager, Donna Rousse. Donna did her best to hold monthly meetings with all department heads to make sure that things were on track. Processes had to be documented, edited and organized for everything from brochures to waste steel removal. “Although these processes and meetings were at times difficult the benefit to TEI in the end was invaluable” says Rousse.

One of the big reasons for TEI obtaining ISO certification is the ability to work directly with other manufacturers. TEI supplies drill rigs and components to OEM (original equipment manufacturer) suppliers, The United States Military and partners for special projects with contractors. The ISO certification means that all of the parties involved are “equal” and use the same documentation method enabling the most efficient integration of all the pieces. TEI can email a print to another manufacturer and they can incorporate our print to make the initial drawings and also have the comfort of knowing that all of TEI’s processes are documented similar to their own processes.

TEI thanks Donna and all of our employees who “bought-in” to establishing the ISO system for our manufacturing. This system will continue to guide TEI’s growth in the future, enhancing customer satisfaction through continual improvement of this system.

TEI Hollow Bar Drill School 2015 – SOLD OUT!

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 School Attendees

TEI Hollow Bar School Attendees

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.

Eberhard Heinzemann teaches grouting

Eberhard Heinzemann teaches grouting

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 2-4 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.

2015 Schedule    Registration Form

TE160 provides safer drilling with BROKK

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New TE160 Hydraulic Drifter Takes

Brokk Power and Safety to Cramped Worksites


Brokk remote-controlled demolition equipment brings Goliath-sized drilling power in a David-sized package for mining, demolition and tunneling applications with the latest TE160 hydraulic drifter rock drill from TEI Rock Drills

The new drill attachment is far superior to the alternative for drilling in cramped spaces, jackleg drills. The Brokk/TEI combination eliminates fatigue caused by operating the heavy handheld tools, improves overall drilling accuracy and promotes safety by allowing operators to stand farther away from the drilling site.

“Heavy jackleg drills are difficult to move and can quickly wear out the operator. With the Brokk machine and this drill head, they won’t tire so easily,” said Peter Bigwood, vice president of sales and marketing at Brokk. “Instead, they can run powerful drilling equipment in tunnels, mines and demolition sites for longer and from safe distances.”

When miners use jackleg drills for drilling 1 5/8-inch diameter holes for blasting, for example, they stand within 3 feet of the working surface, which puts them at risk of being hit by water-propelled, fractured rocks or falling debris. They also have to strain against jackleg drills for long

periods of time, and the exertion can lead to injuries and inaccurately drilled holes. With a Brokk machine and the TE160 attachment, they can consistently drill to 20-foot depths while standing well out of harm’s way.

Operators can take the 45-inch-tall Brokk 160 units into areas with 6-foot height clearances, which make them great for workspaces with little headroom. In addition, when the arms and stabilizer legs are folded in, the Brokk 160 is less than 31 inches wide, narrow enough to fit through doorways or onto elevators at demolition sites.

At just under 26 inches long, the TE160 is the smallest drill attachment from TEI, yet it packs a punch. The TE160 delivers 35 to 60 foot-pounds of impact energy at 5,000 to 6,500 blows per minute. The drill also produces 100 pound-feet of torque and reaches rotation speeds of up to 250 rpm, which makes it an accurate and faster alternative to jackleg drilling through brick, concrete and rock.

In addition to enhancing safety, power and speed, the new drill attachment complements other Brokk attachments to make the Brokk machines more versatile. For example, demolition crews can use the Brokk 100 or Brokk 160 with the TEI attachment to bore 2-inch-diameter holes for splitter or cracking agents in non-explosive demolition applications. They can then quickly switch out the drill for a hydraulic breaker, shear or bucket to size and remove debris.

The hydraulic TE160 drill attachment is also quieter than pneumatic handheld alternatives. This allows construction crews to use the equipment in locations where noise-control ordinances are in effect, such as in and around apartment buildings and high-rise towers.

Brokk also makes the new drill easy to handle by integrating its controls into the Brokk machines’ control systems. “Operators can control the Brokk and the TEI drill with a single control rather than one for the machine and one for the attachment,” Bigwood said. “This makes the Brokk and drill combination more convenient and practical, and also frees up an extra worker who normally would be required to operate the second control.”

TEI Rock Drills and Brokk have a world wide agreement to offer quality drills in remote and limited access job sites.



The TE300 drifters will be discontinued in 2016

This notice is for all TEI customers still using the old TE300 and TE300HT hydraulic drifters.  2015 is the fnal year that TEI will support these models.  Our TE350 and TE360 have proved themselves to be a great improvement in technology and TEI will continues to develop this line of drifters in the future.

If any TEI customers are still running the TE300 or TE300HT drifters please contact TEI to hear about our upgrade program from the TE300 to the new TE360.

TEI thanks all of our long-time customers that have made our business successful over the past 35 years.

TEI discontinues the old TE500 drifter.

This is the final notice that TEI Rock Drills will no longer supply spare parts for the old TE500 and TE500HT drifters.  We believe that we have contacted everyone using these old drifters but don’t want to miss anyone out there.  If you still by chance have a TE500 or TE500HT drifter please contact TEI to hear about our generous upgrade package to the TE560 drifter.

Thank you to all of our long-time customers we look forward to serving you for many years to come.

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 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…]