7 Tips for Maintaining Your Skid Steer and Excavator Attachment Going Into Summer
1. Look for Wear on your Centralizer Gates
As a key component in the movement of the drill, your centralizer gates wear down throughout a job. Check your centralizer gates between jobs and replace them when they start to wear down to keep your machine in peak condition.
2. Grease, Grease, Grease
Your drill has many grease points that prevent early wear and allow your machine to run smoothly. Regular greasing is important to maintain the machine during use. Sometimes, when your drill is doing work on the job site, common grease points are overlooked during daily maintenance. Take advantage of the time between jobs to look over your machine closely and make sure everything is well-greased.
3. Check Nylatron Wearpads
Located on the mounting assembly for your Word Rock Drills motor, the Nylatron Shims on your rock drill allow your motor to move smoothly along your feed rail. Over time, these Nylatron Wearpads become thin due to the constant movement. Regularly replacing these wearpads is essential for maintaining the longevity of your machine.
4. Give your Hydraulic Hoses the “Once Over”
Hydraulics are the lifeblood of your WORD drilling attachment. Because of this, it’s important to keep your hoses in top shape! Check that all of your hose connections are tight and that your hoses are well managed so that they do not get caught on anything while drilling or in transport.
5. Stock Up on Biodegradable Rock Drill Oil
Rock drill oil makes the world go round. Well, not really … but it is a key component to a smooth functioning drill! Take this opportunity for maintenance to give us a call and stock up on Biodegradable Rock Drill Oil for the season to ensure that you don’t run out while on the next job.
6. Set Chain Tightness
The feed rail chain on your WORD Rock Drill can become loose periodically. The natural movement of the machine during drilling leads to wear within the primary sprocket of the feed rail chain. This sprocket contains a 1/16th brass bushing which is often the cause of a loose chain. When testing your chain tightness first check to make sure the brass ring within the sprocket is in place and not showing signs of wear. You can then proceed to tighten the chain as usual. Test the tension by moving the drifter all the way forward and checking the rigidity at the middle of the chain.
7. Take Advantage of your Mist Pump
Did you know that the mist pump accessory on your rock drill can double as a pressure washer? It sure can! Springtime is a great opportunity to take advantage of this additional feature to clean your machine thoroughly before it heads out to the next job. Keeping a clean machine is key to the lifetime of the unit, allowing you to spot any potential maintenance point early and keep everything running smoothly.
Ready to Stock Up for the Season?
Contact our sales team to snag a Parts Kit!
1) Sub Zero Temperatures? You Won’t Be the Only One Who Needs to Bundle Up!
When the temperature begins to creep below freezing, there are a few things that you need to do to keep your drill running smoothly. If you need to use the water mist dust suppression system while working, insulate your water lines to prevent them from freezing in severe temperatures. If it’s really cold, you can bundle up your mist pump in a heated blanket to take the chill off! One thing to remember if temperatures are low, make sure to drain ALL of the water out of your mist pump at the end of the day so that it doesn’t freeze up while not in use.
2) Not Drilling as Quickly As You Used To? Your Bit Could Have Something to do With It
Have you noticed that you aren’t drilling as quickly as you were at the start of your project? There are many factors that could be at play in this situation but one common culprit is your bit. As to be expected, your bit sees a lot of friction during the drilling process that can wear it down. If you’ve noticed this slowdown and you know that the soil conditions have not changed, check the bottom of your bit between holes. If the rounded tungsten carbide teeth have flattened out, it’s time to give us a call and we can get a new one on its way to you!
3) It Might be a Good Idea to Keep Sawdust or Bentonite on Hand, Here’s Why
When it comes to drilling, it’s always a good idea to expect the unexpected … especially when it comes to soil conditions. Even with advanced technology and geotechnical site mapping you can still come across unexpected surprises. One such surprise that can make drilling difficult is the presence of cracks or fissures in the rock. These cracks can decrease the air pressure down the hole and increase the likelihood of your bit getting stuck. Putting sawdust or bentonite down the hole while you’re drilling will help fill these cracks and help maintain the needed air pressure while drilling.
4) Blowing Out the Top Of Your Big Holes? Try Some DIY Temporary Casing to Prevent Cave-In
Particularly when drilling holes in the 10″ – 14″ range in soft soils the air pressure moving through the bit to clear the hole can cause the top of your hole to blow out. This blowout creates excess material in the hole that can cause your bit to get stuck. To help prevent this from happening, you can use Tube Form from the local hardware store to create a temporary casing that can be removed once the drilling is done.
5) Working Near a Radio or Cell Phone Tower? You Might Have to Teather Your Radio Remote
If your Excavator or Skid Steer Attachment operates with a radio remote control, nearby radio or cell phone towers may be interfering with your remote functions. If you have tried changing frequencies on your radio with no success or are looking for a quicker solution to get back up and running. Luckily, tethering your remote is quick and easy. Pop the identical round black caps on the side of both your receiver and your remote and screw in the end of the 20M cable provided with your machine. If you are experiencing radio interference and would like to try out different frequencies before tethering, give us a call and our service team will walk you through the process!
“In the beginning was the Word , and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”John 1:1-4
We often get the question “Why WORD?” and the scripture above is the reason. Our founders’ long-standing faith in the Lord to take care of their family and provide.
As we have grown throughout the years, and God has provided for us and the many families that are now on our team, we have been blessed beyond measure and sought out ways to extend our good fortune to others. We have made it part of our company culture to be humble servants and always help where we can within our team, local community, and beyond.
Serving through Our Team
A passion for serving within our team has led us to participate in a number of local organizations that have made an impact on a global level. Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child, Wine to Water, and Habitat for Humanity are ministries that were collective team favorites to participate in. Through these three ministries, our team has had the opportunity to engage in hands-on service activities that have resulted in a global impact. Not only do these service days offer a positive outlet for our team to give, but they are also wonderful team-building opportunities that help us to build on our core values as an organization.
Monthly Educational Active Team Building Opportunities
Activities our team can really sink their teeth into, we offer monthly Educational Active Team-building (EAT) outings for our team and their families. These monthly outings were developed as a fun way to give our team the chance to learn new things that aren’t necessarily work-related. Typically a mix of service, learning, or hobby-type activities. These outings have included volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Team golf lessons, an afternoon at the lake, and a painting class. All fun and educational team-building activities that add a little change of pace to the month and give our team the opportunity to learn a new skill or serve the community.
Increase the Versatility of your Jobsite with a Drilling Attachment
When it comes to drilling in hard-to-reach places, the conversation typically turns to limited access in terms of compact spaces that limit your equipment options. However, creative thinking isn’t just reserved for your limited access sites. Almost every job site requires some degree of problem-solving and equipment knowledge to find the best solution to get the job done. This is where having versatile equipment in your fleet gives you the upper hand.
Getting to the High Ground
Getting the right equipment, to the right location, to get the job done is what it’s all about. When it comes to extended reach capabilities, standard all-in-one drilling units won’t be able to give you the mobility you need. Whether you’re reaching high onto the side of a mountain or down over the edge of a roadway, the equipment you choose plays a big role in the success of your project. Many of our customers choose an excavator attachment when faced with this type of project. Why? Versatility!
Why Choose a WORD Machine?
Choosing a WORD Excavator attachment as an alternative to an all-in-one drilling machine gives you options not only for your current project but also for future project capabilities. WORD excavator attachments can be adapted to excavators of all shapes and sizes. As long as weight capacity and hydraulic flows are met, you can choose the best excavator to fit your current project without restricting capabilities on future projects. These attachments also provide additional flexibility for the use of your excavator throughout a project. As an attachment, the drill can easily be disconnected and stored after it completes its phase of the project. This allows the chosen excavator to be utilized in other ways on the site or returned ahead of schedule if it’s a rental.
Whatever project or site you are working on, having versatile equipment will help you save both time and money. This versatility also increased the type and variety of jobs that you are able to complete without additional unnecessary equipment purchases. Ask your WORD Sales Rep how you can get set up with a versatile attachment unit for your next project!
Contact Us Today!
You’ve been told about the various team benefits at WORD but you want to know a little more about what these benefits look like in practice. Here is a breakdown of the benefits you receive at WORD and what it actually means!
One benefit that sometimes needs a little more explanation is our 9/80 schedule. This schedule was born from our desire to give our team a little more work-life balance while still providing the best service to our customers. By implementing a 9/80 schedule our team can take every other Friday off (in alternating groups), while still working 80 hrs throughout a pay period. But how does it work? Well, by coming in at 7:30 am and taking a 30-minute lunch rather than an hour, you create an additional 8 working hours over the course of a 2-week period, and “voila!” you have a 3-day weekend every other week! Many of our team members take advantage of this day off to run errands, go to doctor’s appointments, or do other activities that they might otherwise have to take PTO hours to accomplish. If an occasion comes up that you need to take personal time on an alternative day of the week, this extra day also gives you a little more flexibility with your time.
At both our office and shop locations, we keep a fully stocked kitchen so that there is always something on hand whenever lunch and snack time roll around. Add your go-to items to the grocery list every other week and you never have to worry about packing your lunch while rushing out the door before work ever again!
Meat lottery? What the heck is a meat lottery?
Although it sounds odd (and just a little unappealing), “Meat Lottery” is the popular name for an occasion that happens around every 6 months at WORD. On these special occasions, the WORD team is gifted with the delivery of a whole cow to be spit amongst everyone! With every cut of the cow on the table (literally), an order is selected and everyone gets to pick their cut of choice to take home with them. Something that started as a simple way to help out a local farmer, has become an exciting tradition that the team looks forward to throughout the year.
Monthly Educational Active Team Building Opportunities
Activities our team can really sink their teeth into, EAT up the opportunities with our monthly Educational Active Team-building (EAT) outings. These monthly outings have included volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Team golf lessons, an afternoon at the lake, and painting class. All fun and educational team-building activities to add a little change of pace to the month and give you the opportunity to learn a new skill or serve the community.
As a faith-based company, we offer Chaplain Services to our team so that they have a familiar face, unattached to their daily life, that they can chat with if they ever need to. Our current chaplain, Greg, visits weekly and takes the time to speak with everyone even if only for a few minutes. We encourage everyone to take the time to talk with Greg, even if it’s just about your plans for the upcoming weekend!
Not quite sure what a Heath Savings Account (HSA) is? Looking for more information on how to get the most out of your HSA? Whether you are new to the WORD team or an old pro, it’s important to know how to get the most out of your HAS account!
What is an HSA account?
Let’s start with the basics, what is a Heath Savings Account (HSA)? An HSA is essentially a personal savings account that can be used to pay certain health care costs. This account allows you to make contributions and withdraws tax-free, as long as you use it for qualified medical expenses. To be eligible for an HSA you must be enrolled in a high deductible medical insurance plan, like what is provided at WORD Rock Drills. With a typical high deductible health plan, the monthly premium is lower, however, you pay more healthcare cost upfront before your insurance will kick in.
What can I use my HSA account for?
Now that you know what an HSA account is, what can you use this money for? When you first get started at HSA Bank you will be issued a debit card for your HSA account. This debit card ties directly into the money you have contributed and the card can only be used for qualified medical expenses. There are a variety of medical expenses that fall under this umbrella. The most common expenses are listed below:
- Doctor’s office visits and co-pays
- Drug prescriptions
- Over-the-Counter Medications
- Dental treatments (including X-rays, cleanings, fillings, sealants, braces, and tooth removals)
- Eyeglasses (Rx and reading)
Find the FULL list of qualifying expenses HERE.
Can my family use my HAS account?
When setting up your HSA you have the option to choose an individual or family account. Choosing a family account allows you to contribute more money into the account each year tax-free while the individual contribution maximum is normally half of the family amount. Regardless of the status of your account, your HSA can be used to pay for qualifying medical expenses for your dependents. However, we would suggest that you set up your account as a family account if you intend to use it in this manner in order to maximize the value of the account.
How can I contribute to my HSA?
Depending on the insurance plan you choose, WORD will contribute up to $— per month to your HSA account. If you choose to register your account as a family account, the WORD contribution will remain the same, however, you can increase your personal pre-tax contributions to have more available in the account to use on your dependents. The maximum contributions 2023 contributions for individuals is $3,850 and family is $7,750.
Drilling Do’s and Don’ts for Team Safety and Drill Efficiency
|Have properly installed whip checks on both ends of your airline
|Having properly installed whip checks is important for the safety of both the drill operator and anyone else around the machine during operation. Whip checks are an additional piece added around the connection between the machine and the airline. These safety features prevent the air hose from lashing out, should it disconnect during use.
|Clean off your quick connects before attaching
|Your drill will rarely stay clean on a job site. It’s just as unlikely that it will stay clean between jobs simply due to the elements that it may be exposed to while in storage. Under both circumstances, it is important to wipe off your quick connects before attaching them to your excavator or skid steer to prevent debris from entering your hydraulic lines. Watch a Video on Keeping Your Drill Hoses Clean
|Use the pressure wash feature of your mist pump to clean your machine at the end of each day
|Did you know that if your drill has a mist pump system it can double as a pressure washer? That right! Your drill is equipped with a selector valve at the top right of the control panel that allows you to connect a quick coupler plug to a pressure washer wand. This setup makes it easy to wash down your machine at the end of each day so you can start fresh on your next shift.
|Use the feed extend feature when positioning your drill stinger
|Using the feed extend allows for precise placement of the stinger on the ground to begin your hole. Using the stick and boom or skid steer arm to place the stinger can damage important parts of your machine and negatively impact its ability to drill.
|Check your line oiler regularly and refill with rock drill oil when needed
|Rock drill oil is what makes the world go round … well at least in the drilling world it does! Keep a regular check on your rock drill oil levels throughout the workday and refill when needed to keep everything running smoothly. Watch our Line Oiler Video
|Make sure you have a secure hold on the machine before moving with a forklift
|Picking up a drill with a forklift is a little bit more precarious than picking up your average pallet. Always make sure your forks are locked, have a spotter, and make sure you don’t have any hoses pinched before lifting the machine off!
|Grease your machine frequently
|Grease, makes the world go round …. Well, maybe not, but it is the key to a happy rock drilling unit. A general rule of thumb for drilling is to grease your machine at the beginning of each day and repeat for every 4 hours of use from that point.
|Use the wrong size airline
|Using the wrong airline for your drilling unit can make a big difference in drill efficiency. Additionally, having too much or too little airflow to your machine can cause unnecessary strain on the unit.
|Put dirty water through your water line
|Running clean water through your mist pump system will help prevent unnecessary strain on the water pump. In addition, it will minimize the amount of debris within the system that could cause buildup.
|Track over long distances or rough terrain with your skid steer attachment in the vertical position
|Transporting your skid steer attachment in the vertical position creates a top-heavy machine. This can cause your skid steer to become unbalanced creating safety hazards for your team.
|Jam your excavator attachment into the ground and use it to lift the tracks of your excavator
|Do we reeeaalllyy need to go over why this is a bad idea? Long story short, drills weren’t built for that level of strain, and using the drill in that way can cause major damage to the unit that could result in a huge safety hazard. Drills are meant for drilling only!
|Set your radio control on the tracks of your machine
|We know that accidents happen, but there is no worse sound than the crunch of a radio control and the resulting horror when you remember where you last saw the remote. Keeping your remote away from the tracks and off the ground is the best way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
|Disconnect your machine on an unlevel surface
|A majority of the weight in your drilling unit is in the feed and motor setup. Therefore, they tend to be top-heavy in the horizontal position. Disconnecting your unit on a level surface will not only minimize its potential to roll but also make it easier to reconnect when you are ready to use it next.
From Mountains to Caverns and Even the Arctic Circle
Enter the World Of Rock Drilling with WORD
It’s always an interesting conversation among our team when a customer comes to us with a project that is a little out of the ordinary. These are our sales teams’ favorite calls to get because it gives them the opportunity to dig into their rock drilling knowledge to help the customer develop a solution. Forcing us to think outside of the box in some of these situations, these are the calls that keep us on our toes. A lot of the time, that is why the customer came to us in the first place, for a new perspective with a little bit more know-how in drilling than what they might have themselves. They know what needs to happen, they know the end result, but they don’t know how to drill their way to that goal.
For one customer, earlier in the history of WORD, they knew exactly where they wanted to go … about a hundred feet underground to a newly discovered cavern system. But how to get there was a different story. A popular cavern tours destination, this customer had decided to expand their business and break through to a new cavern system on their property. As a small business, they weighed their options between contracting out the tunnel work that would need to be done from the surface down to this new space or, bringing the operation in-house. During the research phase of this decision, they came across WORD and the solution they were looking for. An excavator attachment later, they were drilling and blasting their way through the first layer of earth.
Another interesting project that our team has come into contact with in the world of rock drilling, took place in the Arctic Circle. In this challenging environment, equipment weight was a huge obstacle for this customer. Due to the fragile permafrost that makes up the topsoil level in this region, heavy drilling equipment would bog down into this layer and easily become stuck. Due to the versatility of our WORD Skid Steer attachment, and weight compared to other drilling equipment, this attachment was a great solution for this customer.
This last job was a roller coaster, literally. Due to a combination of elements, this customer had a subsurface water problem that was slowly but surely sliding his mountain roller coaster down the mountain face it sat on. Having hired contractors who failed to sufficiently stabilize the mountain, they reached out to WORD for a drill that could help them do the project themselves. With the purchase of an EX125 unit, that’s just what they got. Checkout the video below to see this unit in action!
Top 10 Rock Drill Attachment Accessory Options at WORD Rock Drills
10. Energy Chain
The longer your feed rail, the more important the addition of the energy chain becomes to the overall effectiveness of your machine. We offer a range of feed rail options from 6′ to 24′ for our Skid Steer and Excavator attachments depending on your specific project requirements. The addition of an energy chain is often recommended for any feed rail exceeding 12′.
9. Nitrogen Charge Kit
A common addition whenever a unit is equipped with a Doofor drilling motor, hydraulic clamp, or hydraulic breaker; this accessory comes in handy for routine maintenance of any unit with these features. These kits are available in three options that allow you to stock up on additional pieces that you might need in the field whenever accumulator maintenance is required. View Accumulator Charge Kits Here
8. Hydraulic Clamp
Making this accessory addition to your excavator or skid steer drilling attachment can really boost efficiency on the job site when dealing with hollow bar. This accessory is the ideal companion to your machine, assisting your team by quickly grabbing the coupling for quick unthreading.
7. Hydraulic Clamp and Breaker
A very helpful accessory whenever you are operating with casing, the addition of a hydraulic clamp and clamp breaker to your machine saves your guys in the field from the grueling work of wrestling with large pipe wrenches all day. The hydraulic clamp and clamp breaker accessory can easily unthread drill pipe/casing up to 8″.
6. Remote Angle Indication
An easy add-on to any excavator attachment purchase, the addition of angle indication to your remote will provide you with a digital readout of your drill positioning. This feature is particularly beneficial when you are on a job that requires specific angle positioning such as roof bolting, dewatering, and hollow bar installation.
5. Line Oiler
Available in two sizes, a line oiler is a much-needed accessory whenever you are drilling with a down-the-hole hammer. The line oiler allows for a regulated flow of rock drill oil to lubricate the airline while drilling and keep everything running smoothly. Learn More Here
4. Dust Collector System
One of the newer options available for WORD EX series attachments, this dust collector system is one step up from our very popular mist pump dust suppression system. Where our mist pump system uses water to dampen the amount of dust generated while drilling, this newer system collects the dust and pulls it away from the hole entirely. This option may be more favorable for your project if strict dust regulations are involved or in cold temperatures where water is likely to freeze.
3. Excavator Shipping Platform
Making the investment in an excavator shipping platform for a new or existing unit has many benefits. Equipped with a dedicated job box and forklift designations, this platform makes it easy to move your rock drill unit from one job to the next with everything that you need. Store spare parts, dedicated tools, remote control components, rock drill oil, and more in the job box to keep these essential items easily accessible throughout the project. In addition, this platform is ideal for storage between jobs to keep your unit off the ground.
2. Stabilizing Kickstands
Equip your crew with additional drilling stability with our SS Series kickstand. Most commonly used when drilling larger holes, these kickstands make drill operation easier by limiting the range of movement if the skid steer begins to bleed down during drilling.
1. Mist Pump Dust Suppression Kit
One of our most requested accessory options, our water mist dust suppression system applies water while drilling to dampen down dust. Whether or not dust suppression is required on your job site, limiting dust can tremendously help your crew. In addition, the kit comes with a water tank and pressure washer wand, making it easy to clean your drill at the end of each day.