Installing solar ground mount systems becomes easy when you have a WORD Rock Drill in your equipment toolkit.
The Solar Industry is booming and one thing that we hear way too often is “how do I get these things in the ground”? When it comes to commercial and utility scale solar sites this big question of “how” can end up costing companies time and money. How do you get these racking systems into the ground when the “easy” soil has already been claimed? How do we move large scale solar into areas where soil conditions are inhospitable for traditional ground mount systems? And how do we do this without spending tons of time and money hiring subcontractors or tying up our large pile driving machines to pre-drill? Well, a WORD Rock Drills skid steer attachment might be the answer you’ve been looking for!
A common solution in many industries, rock drilling attachments are becoming a staple item in the toolkits of many solar developers and EPC’s as installation challenges become more prevalent. The solutions that once worked when faced with tough soil conditions such as subcontracting with drillers, predrilling through the capabilities of your production pile driver, or choosing to excavate each hole are becoming more costly and time consuming. Now a days, drilling subcontractors are challenging to find and even more challenging to get onsite when you need them, predrilling with the drilling capabilities of your production pile driver waste valuable production hours for that high value machine, and excavating each refusal hole is yet another waste of time and money. In these situations, rock drilling attachments are a thriving solution.
Tackling Tough Turf
The WORD Rock Drill skid steer drilling attachment is an easy to use rock drill that attaches to any skid steer that you have on hand. Functioning as a traditional rock drill, this attachment can be used to easily maneuver through a solar site to drill out refusal holes or predrill before installation begins. Many solar customers have seen the competitive advantage of owning their own drill simply from the convenience and efficiency it brings to their jobsite. With the capacity to break through rock in hole sizes up to 14″, the WORD SS series attachments only need a 2 man team to knock out any drilling you might need on your next job!
Innovation in Racking Installation
In addition to the efficiencies of having an onsite drilling unit ready to mobilize when you need it, the WORD SS series attachment can be configured to install helical anchors and ground screw racking/mounting systems. As a cost effective alternative to larger all in one machines, a skid steer attached unit provides a unique level of versatility through its ability to transition from traditional rock drilling to installation. Just like when drilling with this unit, using this machine is a 2 man operation easy for anyone on your crew to learn.
Growth in the solar industry has brough more interest for commercial and utility scale project than ever before seen in the industry. However, as more solar projects are installed, there becomes less and less hospitable land for these systems to be placed. Simultaneously, innovation in racking and mounting systems are challenging the use of traditional pile based methods. Rock drilling attachments offer the opportunity to increase the versatility of your organization not only by expanding your ability to install different systems, but by also giving you the tools to tackle tough soil conditions with ease.
There is no denying that rock drilling machines are expensive. Stand alone machines in particular can cost a pretty penny, taking a chunk out of your budget and profits. Fortunately, Rock Drilling Attachments are another option out there that are more cost effective. As a bonus, Rock Drilling Attachments give you more flexibility, as you can easily take the attachment on and off your equipment as needed.
Although most Rock Drilling Attachments are more cost effective than a stand alone drilling machine, this industry has fallen into a pattern that inhibits its customers from reaching true versatility. A majority of rock drilling attachments are engineered to perform a specific type of work. And they perform this type of work well. However, your company does a variety of work and the specs that fit the job you purchased the drill for don’t do anything to help you on the next job.
So, what gives? Why can’t your rock drill do more? Why do you need a completely new machine for EVERY job?
Well … the WORD on the street is that you DON’T!
That’s right! You DON’T have to pay big bucks for a Rock Drilling Attachment that you can only use once in a blue moon! If you want a drilling attachment that will become a tool in your arsenal, rather than an ornament in your equipment yard, WORD is the way to go!
WORD Drilling Attachments are MADE for versatility. We like to call ourselves the multi-tool of the rock drilling industry because of this. WORD Drills are specifically designed to accommodate multiple drilling heads with a patent pending Quick Change Mount.
The Quick Change Motor Mount is a unique system of pins and hoses that allow you to quickly switch the motor on your drill. With this ability, you can switch the type of work you perform from one job to the next or even on the same job. Some customers have even told us that they can switch their motors in as little as 30 Minutes!
When you purchase a WORD Drill you aren’t just investing in the project in front of you, you are investing if the future of your company.
4 Things for Construction Companies to Consider as the U.S. Makes its Way through the Re-Opening Phases
1. What will the New Normal Look Like
Like any major event, the “normal” we enter into as the U.S. moves through the re-opening phases will not be the same “normal” that we all knew before quarantine began a few months ago. The immense social and economic impact of the “stay-at-home” orders have undoubtedly triggered lasting impacts not only to the U.S. economy but the general state of mental health for U.S. citizens. Although the construction industry was deemed “essential” by many states, we all still felt the strain.
So, what will the new normal look like? Maybe the new normal will require consumers to wear their face masks when in public. Maybe the new normal will require us to find creative ways to maintain the 6 feet apart rule while on a job-site. Maybe the new normal will mean that many of our office staff will continue to work at home. No one really knows. We know that things are going to change, in one way or another, but we are all capable of continuing forward into the new normal and adapting.
2. Prioritize Health
As we return to work it is still important to maintain the safety guideline set by the CDC to help minimize potential exposure. Listed below are some of the CDC recommendations for construction workers:
Notify your supervisor and stay at home if you or anyone in your household is presenting symptoms.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as shared tools, machines, vehicles and other equipment, handrails, ladders, doorknobs, and portable toilets. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces periodically throughout the shift but also:
At the beginning and end of every shift
After anyone uses your vehicle, tools, or workstation
Limit Tool Sharing if Possible
Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas where there is significant community-based transmission of COVID-19.
Read more of the CDC’s recommendations for construction workers HERE.
Additionally, OSHA has released recommendations for the construction industry to minimize worker exposure to COVID-19. Listed below are a few of the recommended actions:
Encourage respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
Promote personal hygiene. If workers do not have immediate access to soap and water for hand washing, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
Keep in-person meetings (including toolbox talks and safety meetings) as short as possible, limit the number of workers in attendance, and use social distancing practices.
Clean and disinfect portable job-site toilets regularly. Hand sanitizer dispensers should be filled regularly. Frequently-touched items (i.e., door pulls and toilet seats) should be disinfected.
The official OSHA document with further recommendations can be found HERE.
3. What’s the Budget?
With all of the postponed work and changes due to the COVID-19 shutdown, for many construction jobs the timeline and budget has changed. On top of changes to the parameters of the job, many vendors have been forces to adjust prices and production times in order to stay a-float as their margins were impacted over the last few months. As we get back up and running it’s important to communicate with your vendors if your timeline has changed so they can work the changes into any new production schedules. It is also important to reach out to make sure the funds you have budgeted for your project are still accurate post-COVID.
4. Check on Your Equipment
Before you get back to work it is important to check over your equipment and perform any maintenance. If your equipment has been sitting you may have a list of things that need to be done to get it back up and running well. WORD Rock Drills, for example, should be routinely greased and checked for wear in areas that see a lot of movement. Greasing the drill and checking the common wear parts ensures that your drill is at top performance when you start working. Looking for more drill maintenance tips? Click HERE
Most all contractors have had to deal with limited access issues at some point within their careers. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but the more time I spend in the construction industry the more I have come to realize that working with limited access is almost inevitable. When a limited access job site also needs a rock drill, creativity, versatility, and innovation becomes key to helping the contractor come up with a solution to get the job done.
Adaptability and Limited Access Drilling
In all honesty, I am relatively new to the rock drilling industry. However, in my two years of working at WORD Rock Drills I have heard dozens of impressive stories about how contractors overcome the constraints of limited access drilling. Most recently, one of our customers at WORD purchased an M125 drill motor to do just that.
Lakes & Rivers Contracting out of Illinois won a contract with the Illinois Department of Transportation to remove and replace a pier protection cell for I-80 over the Des Plaines River in Joliet, IL. The previous cell, having been struck by a barge, had been badly damaged and had fallen. To replace the damaged pier, Lakes & Rivers Co. planned to anchor a replacement cell into the underlying limestone with 2.5” rock anchors, increasing the cells ability to withstand barge impacts in the future. In order to complete the anchoring process, Lakes & Rivers Co. needed to be able to drill 24 rock anchors in a cell that was only 26’ in diameter and approximately 10’ below the top of the sheet piling.
Creating Drilling Solutions
Confronted with limited access within the cell, Lakes & Rivers Co. knew that conventional drilling rigs would be challenging to put in place and operate once inside. As an alternative solution, they reached out to WORD Rock Drills and purchased our M125 drill motor. This motor provided the needed torque and DTH hammer capabilities to drill the 6” diameter holes needed for this job. They then built a sled system onto their existing crane and mounted the drill onto the sled, allowing the drill to travel up and down the crane leads to drill.
Working With WORD
Through this drilling method, Lakes & Rivers Co. was able to successfully complete their job, mending the protection cell and helping to keep the bridge safe from future harm. Their purchase of a WORD M125 drill motor also increased the capabilities of their fleet for future projects. When asked about their experience working with WORD Rock Drills, Lakes & Rivers Co. Project Superintendent on the job replied, “Working with WORD was a great experience, their salesman, John, helped me through specifying the equipment for the project and was willing to offer some input to follow-up questions we had through the drilling procedure.”
Let’s be honest. ConExpo 2020 was something none of us expected. Between the rain, coronavirus, and a shortened show; this years ConExpo was not lacking in drama.
However, despite the strange circumstances of the show this year, there was an amazing turnout! The smaller number of attendees actually turned out to be beneficial, giving us time to have quality conversations with each person that entered our booth. From an attendee perspective, many Attendees also seemed to enjoy the show more because they didn’t have to constantly fight masses of people to get to the booths they wanted to see.
WORD Braving the Storm
Premier of WORD Rock Tour
If you made it out to ConExpo this year you may have seen us in our inaugural “WORD Rock Tour” themed T-shirts for 2019. These shirts represent a yearly initiative WORD is making to represent our customers and bring some fun into the rock drilling industry. These T-shirts will come out at the end of each year, themed to fit a popular rock band but with a WORD twist. The back of the T-shirts will list the locations that each drill in that year was delivered too! But that’s not even the best part! Each WORD drill customer from that year will receive a commemorative tour t-shirt to celebrate!
Shipping Container Transformation
Conexpo 2020 was a time of firsts for WORD Rock Drills! Not only did we premier our new WORD Tour T-shirts but we also designed a new booth for the show! Unlike anything we’ve done before, this display actually started its life as a shipping container! After months of planning and modifications, we turned a shipping container into a casual booth space with a bar, couch, and even a second level observation deck! If you didn’t make it to this ConExpo, come check out our shipping container display at MineExpo 2020 or IFCEE 2021! It’s a great place to escape the trade show chaos, kick your feet up, and enjoy an afternoon happy hour!
Our last big initiative for ConExpo 2020 was to have all of our WORD Rock Drills team attend! ConExpo is an amazing show in our industry. With the amount of exhibitors and equipment showcased every three years we believe that attendance is an experience no employee should be left out of. Focusing on team bonding and education, we gave every WORD employee the opportunity to attend ConExpo and experience its magnitude. Having the capability to bring our team together for experiences like this is something we value deeply at WORD and we hope to continue this tradition moving forward!
Price Your Drill Today and Join the WORD Rock Drills Team!
You’ve got to get the job done! You’ve beaten the competition and the contract is yours but now its time for logistics. Limited access drilling it tricky. Are you trying to get a drill rig through a doorway? Down some stairs? Helicoptered onto a remote location? Struggling with accessibility in basements or parking garages?? Is your team overwhelmed trying to make this all happen??
We’ve got great news! WORD Rock Drills’ new Man Portable drill rig could be your solution.
1. Made to Be Moved
The Man Portable Drill was made to be moved easily and is exactly what you need for limited access drilling! Standing at 108 inches tall and 36.5 inches wide this drill rig is skinny enough to fit through a standard doorway, light enough to be maneuvered down stairways, and just the right height to fit in a standard basement or parking garage. Additionally, the light weight aluminum feed rail and wheels on the Man Portable allow it to be pushed by a single man or lifted by 2 men.
2. It Fits AND It Ships
Not every job site is conveniently located. Beyond having the capabilities to be easily moved while on the job site, the Man Portable Drill is also easy to transport! With a drill like this, you don’t need roads. This drill can even be delivered via helicopter if needed … AND it’s been done!
3. High Torque, Small Package
Manufactured with over 1,300 ft/lb of torques, you won’t lose any power with this rock drill! In addition, this drill has offers 3,000 lbs of pullback, a 60 weight chain, and the ability to add 1″-6″ clamp.