Feed Systems, Towers, Mast, there are many different names for the long piece that makes the drill head go up and down. At TEI we manufacture what we consider a feed system.
The term feed comes from underground mining, which is where TEI started in 1980. A feed comes in a set length and is lighter than a lattice or steel beam type of mast. This is to allow the feed to be positioned in front of the machine for drilling blast holes in a tunnel. The picture below shows one of TEI Rock Drill's old jumbos next to our HEM excavator drill. You can see how this type of feed construction is necessary to make this drill rig work.
With the expierience gained in manufacturing underground equipment, TEI was able to manufacture a true excavator drill attachment.
Understanding the history of the feed system and TEI Rock Drills will make it much clearer why TEI is the only drill manufacturer that does not modify the excavator in any way. Other manufacturers remove the stick and modify the hydraulics.
TEI Rock Drills manufactures three types of feed systems, the ACF, the PCF and the HCF series of feed systems. Below is an explanation of each type of feed.
The ACF feed is made of aluminum and is used for the TE250 drifter or the RDS250 rotary head. This system is used on the MME series of mini-excavator drills and the man-portable drills. The continuous chain drive has 1,500 lbs. of pullback and is powered by a gear reduction.
The aluminum can be cut to any length and very useful for limited access drilling. The picture on the right shows the installation of Titan 30 bars under a hospital that were cut into 11-inch long pieces.
The HCF series is a patented feed system that incorporates an internal hose reel and a unique shell design that has very strong weight to rigidity charachteristics. The HCF feed has 5,000 lbs. of pullback, however the DrillAll GEO has a HCF feed with 8,000 lbs. of pullback. The HCF feed is used with the RDS350 and RDS550 rotary heads and the TE300and TE550 drifters.
The hose reel keeps all hoses inside the feed and away from the ground, or anything else that could rip a hose from a drill rig. If you look at the picture above you can see there are no hoses hanging from the drill. The drill head moves down the feed twice as fast as the hose reel, again keeping the hoses tight the entire time.
The other part of this patented feed system is the design fo the rails. The steel that the drill head rides on is actually turned into the feed so that the rails oppose each other. The three steel elements are welded in a type of "A" frame giving the HCF feed system it's incredible strength, but also it's lightweight.
The HCF also comes in a heavy version, HCFH. which provides up to 12,000 lbs. of pullback. The HCFH is used for the RDSH1000 and the RDS550 hydraulic rotary heads and the TE550 drifter.
The PCF fee series uses the same type of shell design as the HCF feeds, except the PCF is powered by a gearbox. The PCF feed has 3,500 lbs. of pullback and is used with the RDS350 rotary head or the TE300 drifter.
The advantage of the PCF feed is that the drill head travels the entire distance of the feed. You can see that the gearbox is placed under the rails, allowing the head to travel the entire length of the steel rails. When you need a short feed use the PCF.
The PCF is also available in a heavy series the PCFH. This is used with the RDSH1000 and RDS550 hydraulic rotary heads and the TE550 drifter.