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.
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.