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Design Blasting Services Relies on Sandvik DX800

For one contractor, the versatility of the drill allows projects that used to take a week with setup to be accomplished in a single day.

Tue April 02, 2013 - Southeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

The purchase of a new Sandvik DX800 drill has proven to be a wise choice for Brent Coleman, owner of Design Blasting Services LLC in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

“It’s been fantastic,” Coleman said. “It’s the only true purpose built top hammer drill rig that can rotate on its superstructure. You can swing the entire cab 180 degrees, which allows for more maneuverability. It’s much more versatile and has substantially more power than drills of the same size or same supposed class. It’s been a very good machine.”

Coleman explained that he originally purchased the drill because of its versatility. He wanted something that had the power of a larger machine but was still maneuverable.

“We had a project just a month before I bought it,” he said. “It was paying extremely good money, but we could not get the machine into the area where the contractor wanted it. It ended up taking us a week to do it — they would have to build us ramps and we would have to pull in and out. It was a painstaking process, and I just kept thinking that if I had that drill by now, all we’d have to do is swing over to the side, and we’d have this thing knocked out in a day.

“The rod changer system on the DX800 also is much faster than the carousel design that many drills use,” Coleman continued. “The boom reach of the machine coupled with the ease of use of the rod changer makes getting a shot drilled out much faster. And right now, it’s getting almost 40 percent better fuel economy — gallons per hour — than any other drill we’ve got.”

Coleman explained that his company has used the drill on four or five different types of quarry operations.

“About four of them have been limestone, and one was a sandstone quarry, which is notoriously really, really tough on drills and drilling equipment,” he said.

The machine was sold to Design Blasting Services by Dave Parker, an account manager for ASC Construction Equipment USA Inc. Based in Chattanooga, Tenn., Parker works the southeast corner of Tennessee and parts of North Georgia in representing Volvo Construction Equipment in addition to the Sandvik drill product line.

“The solutions I am able to offer with the Sandvik drill product line have proven to be second to none,” Parker stated.

Coleman noted that he’s rented drills for the past few years to handle his company’s projects.

“When we were going to purchase a machine, for it to be our first machine and something that costs this much money, it had to be able to do a lot of things very well. The Sandvik can go into a quarry and drill five-inch holes with no problem, just like a much larger machine would be able to do. But then it’s so much more maneuverable than those big drills that you can get it into places that you just can’t get another drill into — where you have to pull it straight in and straight out. Being able to rotate from side to side covers a lot more ground and your set-up time is a lot faster. It can pretty much operate in just about any condition that we have,” Coleman said.

Parker stated that the Sandvik DX800 is a top hammer drill capable of drilling up to a 5-in. (12.7 cm) hole diameter using 2-in. (5 cm) drill steel in lengths of 12, 14 or 16 ft. (3.6, 4.2 or 4.8 m)

“It also has an on-board system (TIM) which indicates hole inclination and depth,” he said. “The aforementioned, combined with the 180-degree swing capacity, make the DX800 the best in the business.”

Parker explained that he was introduced to Brent Coleman by his father, Ben Coleman, whom he had known for several years. He knew that Brent was anxious to learn how the product had changed since it was known as Tamrock.

“Brent Coleman is a man who knows what he wants,” Parker said. “His previous experience with Sandvik was valuable in that he was already familiar with the drill and he knew what to expect. Brent knew the options he wanted, and my job was to ensure that those options were on the drill. Brent’s confidence in Sandvik has proven to be well-founded because of the high production and availability of the drill.”

Coleman started Design Blasting Services LLC in 2008, basically out of necessity.

“I had been working for my father since I was really young, and would help him during the summer months,” he explained. “While other kids were going on vacation and enjoying their summers out of school, I pretty much worked. I went to college, and when I got out, I went back to work for my dad. We stayed pretty busy until 2008, when pretty much every industry really slowed down. We just didn’t have the work, and there wasn’t anything to do. It wasn’t that we weren’t getting the jobs and they were going to someone else. There just wasn’t anything to do. I pretty much decided that I was going to either go work for a larger company as a blaster, or I could start on my own. I had basically no overhead, and I had some money saved up, so I could pay myself a small salary until it built itself up. That was four-and-a-half years ago, and here we are today.”

For much of that time, employees included Coleman and one blaster. Today, he has 10 employees, including his younger brother, Ryan. The company specializes in drilling and blasting for quarries, site prep projects, road work and blasting for underground utilities. Their work is mainly focused in and around mid-Tennessee.

“Our approach is that we want to be more specialized,” Coleman said. “As with Nashville and other cities, areas are growing so much that there’s not really any blasting any more that’s wide open. Everything is in an urban area — its downtown and you’ve got to be precise. You have to be extremely safe, and you’ve got to be fast.”

Coleman is looking toward possibly purchasing another drill in the near future.

“This year has started off really well,” he said. “I think maybe by the end of the year, we’ll be ready to take one of the rental machines back and purchase another drill.”

For more information on Design Blasting Services visit

For more information on the DX800 or other Sandvik products visit or contact your local ASC Construction Equipment representative.

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