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Safety Oriented Design

As our world changes, so do our problems. Each unique situation that arises brings with it the opportunity to implement new ideas, resulting in both successes and failures. Most of the time these ups and downs are no big deal and we roll with the punches.

But a failure on a job site can lead to fatal consequences.

We Have Solutions

At TEI Rock Drills, the Colorado-based industry leader in the manufacture of rock drill excavator attachments, limited access drill rigs, and associated components, we make safety top priority. When our team of forward-thinking engineers learned that nearly three million workplace injuries and illnesses are reported each year in the US, we knew the time had come to create some innovative safety solutions to address that problem head-on.

OSHA’s Top 10 Most Violated Standards List sites ‘Respiratory protection’ at number four, with ‘Struck by object’ and ‘Caught-in/between’ coming in not far behind. In response, TEI has created two new pieces of equipment that work in conjunction with your existing machinery to amp up your safety level to new heights.

The DS10851 Dust Suppression System

Wherever cutting, grinding, drilling, or demolishing of hard rock occurs, the mineral quartz is released into the air. This form of crystalline silica travels in very tiny particles deep into our lungs. Depending on the duration of the exposure, the density (available air flow), and personal protective equipment used, this can, over time, cause irreparable damage to our bodies. When those particles lodge into a pair of lungs and cause scarring, deadly diseases such as silicosis, COPD, or lung cancer are often the result. Autopsies after such deaths have reported lungs that were seemingly full of sand, or hard as a rock.

Aiming to help employers comply with safety regulations regarding respirable crystalline silica, which are much stricter outside of the US, the TEI Dust Suppression System was born. Originally called the Water Mist System, “this method of direct water injection is proving to be much more efficient than the nozzle systems that are currently out there,” says Glenn Patterson, TEI’s Vice President and International Sales Manager. OSHA recommends several methods to limit worker exposure but the most effective, they say, is applying water to the airborne particles.


Equipped with a 100-gallon (378 liter) water tank, the DS10851 can provide up to 97% dust suppression for 8 to 10 hours of drill time. The system is easy to install: simply connect in-line with the air compressor. The pressure can be controlled to match flushing pressure, and water flow can be controlled to achieve the optimal water-to-air ratio for your application.

The HCC-10 Casing Handler

How many construction workers do you know that still have all ten of their fingers? Accidental – and avoidable – amputations happen on job sites with shocking regularity.

The Rod and Casing Handler is TEI’s patented excavator attachment designed specifically with safety in mind. It mounts to most any excavator and uses the auxiliary hydraulics, so no modification is needed. It comes with a simple, easy to install joystick control.

Differing in size for each drilling application, steel rods and casings are usually brought to the job site by the pallet. Each piece may be heavy or large enough that more than one worker may be necessary to move it. This can be a time-consuming process and carries certain risks. The HCC-10 Casing Handler is able to pick up the rods and casings directly from the pallet pile and efficiently maneuver them simultaneously, with the rod inside the casing, and place them into position.

The way the casing handler is able to achieve this concentricity is by the mechanism of the clamps, which are able to adjust their diameter to grip and manipulate cylindrical objects of differing sizes. It can handle casing up to 10 inches in diameter, and a handler capable of manipulating up to 20 inches has just been released as well. It’s well-planned design and ease of use make it effective across many different industries.

“What we’ve consistently seen for the companies that have employed this equipment so far is not only an increase in worker safety, but an increase in productivity as well,” says Brian Kassel, Sales Manager at Foothills Drilling Equipment, a distributor of TEI products, “The amount of time it saves is unbelievable.”

Moving Forward

You’re familiar with the typical job site: it’s dusty or muddy, probably less than ideal terrain. It may be out in extreme weather or in a very confined space. It’s loud, there are machines and hoses and cords everywhere. It’s dangerous. And when it comes to throwing around words like silicosis, or hearing stories about workers who have lost limbs, we suddenly realize this stuff is serious.

Moving forward, TEI Rock Drills will continue to focus on maximizing efficiency while eliminating worker harm in our operations and in our products.

Factory Firm Foundations: The Use of Micropiles in Machine Installation

It’s a difficult decision: should I repair the broken machine in my factory or replace it? It really needs to be replaced, but I can’t afford the downtime. Besides, I don’t want to mess with the entire foundation or damage any of the other machines around it. Read on to find out how micropiles are the solution!



Our goal at TEI is to utilize new technologies to create stronger, safer foundations worldwide – including our own. At our 28,000 square foot facility in beautiful Montrose, Colorado, our process is ISO 9001:2015 certified and we do everything by the book – except think. When it comes to thinking, brainstorming, coming up with innovative ideas, we throw the book away completely. Our engineers are continually finding creative and efficient new ways to solve old problems.


TEI rock drills are highly regarded and sought-after all over the world for a variety of complex and interesting projects. Brokk’s demolition robots fitted with our TE160 hydraulic drifters help to reduce operator fatigue and allow access to tightly confined spaces, for example. Our equipment has been used to install ground loops for geothermal heat pumps, and for various applications by the US Military. TEI rock drills were used in the creation of the Solana Solar Generation Plant in Arizona, the Panama Canal expansion project, and the ongoing construction of Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota. Not to mention thousands of road construction, building construction, demolition, tunneling, mining, and rock quarry projects from Canada to New Zealand since we built our first drill in 1980.


But what does a company like TEI do when we need to work on our own foundation? Who doctors the doctor? Who teaches the teacher?


A few years ago, when a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine in our factory needed to be replaced, we knew the best way to ensure a solid foundation was by using our own equipment to install micropiles. It worked so well that we’ve done it five times since, and plan on doing so again.


We rely on CNC machines, such as milling machines and lathes, to accurately and efficiently assist in creating our powerful precision drills. These machines can weigh in excess of 30,000 pounds and are in motion much of the time – motion that can potentially vibrate the machine out of place if installed incorrectly. An unsuitable foundation is guaranteed to cause leveling and alignment issues, rapidly deteriorate spindle bearings, ball screws, and other machine parts as well as overall machine life, and contribute to final product inaccuracy.


The necessity to replace our machinery comes around often, as we upgrade our equipment quite regularly. Most recently, we purchased a CMM, or Coordinate Measuring Machine, for purposes of quality control. This big, heavy machine needs to be installed according to very exact specifications in order to ensure its accuracy. Depending on who you ask, there are a few different options for doing this in a pre-existing space.


The most widely-used option would be to completely gut the floor structure and then pour a very thick (think feet – not inches) layer of concrete. This can take a few days, and in a factory setting where time is money, this is an expensive option. You also run the risk of the concrete moving or cracking; even the smallest air pocket can lead to disaster. This is often countered with the addition of a large steel plate or several smaller ones to spread the load, but steel slides on steel and will create more problems over time.


Installing micropiles in this situation will alleviate all of these issues. It’s quick and unobtrusive. Downtime is minimal. And your foundation will last for many years without breaking down.


“Cement can move, piles will stay,” says Bob Foreman, TEI’s Service Manager. “The key is to figure out exactly where the feet of the machine will sit and put piles in those strategic locations. Then you don’t end up with a great deal of stress on just a little bit of surface of the cement.”

Factory Firm Foundations: The Use of Micropiles in Machine Installation

Factory Firm Foundations: The Use of Micropiles in Machine InstallationFactory Firm Foundations: The Use of Micropiles in Machine Installation


Micropiles – sometimes referred to as minipiles, pin piles, needle piles, and root piles – are extremely durable elements used in the construction and maintenance of deep foundations for many structures, and to prevent or control ground degradation due to normal wear-and-tear as well as disturbances such as earthquakes and landslides.


Composed of high-strength, small-diameter steel casing and/or threaded bar, rebar, and grout, micropiles can range in diameter from 3-12 inches, extend to depths of 200 feet, and achieve compressive capacities of over 500 tons depending upon the size used and the soil profile.


For the majority of building and repair projects, conditions are not ideal. Often, soil is not just soil: it’s mixed with construction debris or contains many different sizes and types of rock. Dense layers can be found over thinner, weaker layers. If other structures are close by, the ground may be unstable, or access could be limited. In these and other variable conditions, micropiles are a cost-effective solution to strengthen a deteriorating foundation or lay a new one.


There are different kinds of piles suited for specific needs. Generally, an all-thread reinforcing bar is inserted into the micropile casing and then cement grout is pumped inside while drilling. This simultaneous drilling and grouting technique, called the injection bored method, is unique in that smaller equipment can be used, often at lower cost, and access to tighter working spaces is possible.


The finished micropile enhances stability by transferring the load to more competent ground, or in rocky areas, to the rock itself. It’s much quicker and quieter than other techniques, it is completely vertical and therefore less obtrusive, and it’s adaptable to many different kinds of equipment.


“Micropiles have allowed us to place and replace our machinery without constantly having to modify our building’s foundation,” shares Glenn Patterson, TEI’s Vice President and International Sales Manager. “Different load sizes are required for the various sizes of machines used in manufacturing. Exclusively using the hollow bar injection method means we are able to design each set of piles specific to each individual machine and allows us to keep our factory operational during the installation process.”


Correct installation is every bit as critical as correct selection of machines for your factory or machine shop, whether you’re building a brand-new facility or retrofitting an old one. For a machine to perform successfully, the foundation on which it rests must be precise. There can be no compromises. As you can see, installing micropiles with TEI drills is the best way to do this.


Factory Firm Foundations: The Use of Micropiles in Machine InstallationFactory Firm Foundations: The Use of Micropiles in Machine Installation

Factory Firm Foundations: The Use of Micropiles in Machine Installation


TEI Rock Drills Makes History in South Dakota

Powerful Precision Drills

A TEI MME Excavator Attachment ready to work on a gorgeous South Dakota morning


Just 17 miles from Mount Rushmore, in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Crazy Horse Memorial stands tall and proud, chiseled in part by powerful precision drills out of the granite rock. This much-loved monument receives over a million visitors a year, despite being in a constant state of construction since sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski first envisioned it in 1946.

An inspiration himself, born to Polish immigrants in Boston only to be orphaned a year later, the uneducated artist went on to have one of his marble portraits win first prize at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. His award caught the attention of Henry Standing Bear, who invited him on behalf of the Oglala Sioux to create a memorial to their hero, Crazy Horse.

Known for bravely leading Sioux warriors in multiple battles against the new settlers and gold rushers utterly decimating their way of life, Crazy Horse was killed in captivity after his eventual surrender in 1877. He lives on forever in Ziolkowski’s 563-foot-high by 641-foot-long depiction; a true inspiration not only to his ancestors but to all those disenfranchised.


TEI’s Powerful Precision Drills Simplify the Task


Carving the monumental masterpiece hasn’t been easy, and the work is still on-going. Ziolkowski had to trust his artistic eye, self-taught geological knowledge, and simple tools. At first, he single-jacked or hand drilled holes for blasting, an extremely tedious procedure. Today, lasers for measurement and heavy-duty rock drills for blast holes are making this complex project somewhat simpler for the Crazy Horse Mountain Crew, as the dedicated experts are known, but it remains a painstaking process:


This is the opposite of most blasting operations, where the main concern is the final size and location of the material being blasted away … Rock to be removed is drilled on all sides with a series of parallel drill holes (pre-splitting.) Explosives are detonated throughout the entire length of each of the drill holes, cleanly removing the desired rock while leaving the remaining rock undamaged.” – crazyhorsememorial.org


Pre-splitting with powerful precision drills

Pre-splitting the granite before blasting is like perforating a piece of paper before tearing


TEI Rock Drills has been working with the mountain crew for some time: our highly durable, powerful precision drills are the perfect match. But drilling into granite creates a great deal of dust, which makes visibility and breathing difficult on the job site. The Mountain Crew asked TEI VP Glenn Patterson for a solution, and a custom-made Dust Pup was born. Recently, Glenn visited again with the crew in South Dakota to talk about further equipment tweaks and updates they may require as they get closer to finishing this American Icon.

Dust Pup on right attached to powerful precision drill

Dust Pup on right attached to MME drill for dust collection


An Enduring Legacy


“If you don’t have faith, if you don’t have any imagination, if you don’t have a dream — what are you doing here?” – Ruth Ziolkowski

Unfortunately, both Korczak Ziolkowski and his wife, Ruth, who also greatly helped to shape the project over many years, passed away before they could see their labor of love to completion. The family continues the tremendous work their father began. A welcome center, museums, and frequent special events are just a few of the cultural offerings to explore in addition to the memorial itself. TEI Rock Drills is so proud to be a part of history!

TEI Rock Drills’ Open House 2018 Showcases New Products

TEI Rock Drills’ Open House 2018 Showcases New Products

TEI Rock Drills Open HouseSpecial friends and guests met in Montrose, Colorado on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 for TEI Rock Drill’s Annual Open House. This event brought together leaders in the foundation drilling, energy, and mining sectors from North and South America and as far away as Europe, South Africa, and New Zealand for two days of learning and fun.

Attendees were welcomed with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception the evening before the event, then gathered the following morning in the TEI Classroom for presentations, hands-on demonstrations, and tours. Sales managers shared informative, amusing updates from their territories and, along with engineers, advised the group on the details of TEI’s latest products.

TEI ClassesPresentations focused on the new lightweight and user-friendly TD100 drill rig; the RDS1500, a new rotary drill with a low profile, compact size, and short overall length; and the TE760, a combination of the percussion power of the TE726 and the rotational torque of the TE560. These offerings further expand TEI’s line of limited access drilling equipment.

The popular TEI Hollow Bar School will take place in Montrose, Colorado June 2-8, 2019. Call 800-777-3745 now to reserve your space.

TEI Rock Drills is an industry leader in the manufacture of rock drill excavator attachments, limited access drill rigs, safety equipment, and associated components. All TEI products are created by in-house engineers, uniquely patented, and manufactured in our ISO-compliant facility. TEI equipment is proudly made exclusively in the US with American made parts to ensure quality, efficiency, and up-to-the-minute innovation.

TEI Rock Drills Company Photo

Electra Mine Expo Update

Electra Mine Expo Update

DDE Shop AfricaThis year’s Electra Mine Expo, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, was a well-attended event with nice weather throughout the week.  South African TEI Distributer DDE (Demolition and Drilling Equipment) had an outdoor booth showcasing many TEI drifters and attachments mounted on skid steers, mini excavators, and Brokk carriers.

The new TE326 and TE726 drifters drew serious attention from the mining industry and OEM manufacturers, especially the MSM326 skid steer attachment mounted on a Manitou carrier.  This drilling attachment turns the carrier into a mini-jumbo with remote radio operation. This MSM left the show and went straight to Manitou’s equipment yard for promotional photos to be distributed worldwide.

The Electra Mine Expo lasted five days, making for a long show for everyone working the booth.  It was nice to have consistent traffic to keep us busy during these extended days.  After the show on Saturday, we all took a journey to the Kruger National Park to see some African wildlife.

Also, after the expo, we had a chance to meet with several of our wonderful clients. We’re so excited about what the future has in store!

Elephants in Africa



WHO: Owners, Engineers & Estimators

WHEN: November 8th & 9th, 2018

WHERE: Western Equipment Solutions, 681 South March Street, Salt Lake, UT 84104

Please join Western Equipment Solutions & TEI Rock Drills at Western Equipment’s, Salt Lake City, Utah office. Western Equipment Solutions will be hosting a seminar designed for owners, engineers, and estimators. An educational event covering the selection, installation method, and testing of hollow bar micro piles and soil nail systems.

The seminar is limited to 30 attendees; please respond as soon as possible.

Send completed registration form to Sydnie Roehrman via fax (970)249-1999 or email sydnie@teirockdrills.com by October 18th, 2018.

*Cancellations must be made at least 30 days prior to November 8th in order to receive a full refund.