Civil engineering contractors Condor Projects Ltd, which specialises in restricted access stabilisation, recently put its TEI HEM 550 through its paces on urgent repair works on the busy A1 at Ferrybridge.

Purchased through Skelair International, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of ground engineering and rock drilling equipment, the drill attachment was one of the company’s largest capital investments for some time.

Condor’s Simon Shaw explains: “We initially hired the drill for two to three weeks for an emergency project, but quickly realised that it would be a sound addition to the fleet, so we off-set the cost of the hire against the purchase.”

In November 2016 the TEI was used on urgent repair works on the A1 at Ferrybridge, a busy interchange where the road meets the M62. As a result of weathering, the bank had slipped and cracked and needed to be re-stabilised.

Condor was called in by AECOM and worked alongside PBS Construction (N.E.) Ltd, which was responsible for the initial digging out. The project had a very tight timescale, due to the traffic management required to enable works.

“The project was not huge, but it did have some specific challenges,” explained Shaw.

“The timeframe in particular, which was dragged in by a week due to traffic management issues, plus working alongside another contractor meant that our coordination had to be spot-on.”

With six weeks for clearance and drilling to take place, Condor used the TEI HEM 550 to secure 305 anchors of between four and ten metres. The process was further complicated by the fact that two different diameter nails were required – R32 and R38.

Access was another issue at the site. With no top-access, all of the works had to be done from the hard shoulder, with the added pressure of a lane closure on the motorway. Working at height, Condor switched the TEI between a long-reach machine and a 22-tonne excavator.

“The TEI HEM 550 is a set-up that we know well, and we were able to switch between the two set-ups with just an hour’s notice,” explains Shaw.

“The speed and efficiency of the TEI, coupled with the expertise of our team, meant we were able to deliver on a tight timescale. It is the most efficient drill for anything over ten metres, and we have drilled up to 24 metres with no issues. We don’t have anything that can drill as big as a TEI!” he concluded.

Chris Neighbour of Skelair added: “The TEI drill attachments are incredibly versatile and can be mounted on any conventional excavator, making them adaptable to many different jobs and scenarios.”