The Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota has a new champion – a Tamrock Commando 300 surface drill from Sandvik Mining and Construction.
Despite a blizzard which delayed the first attempt to get the Commando 300 up to the 600-ft. (183 m) mountainside, the tire-mounted, remote-controlled hydraulic drill recently arrived safely at the site 38 mi. (61 km) southwest of Rapid City.
The Commando 300 became available as part of an agreement among the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, Sandvik Mining and Construction and Forge Welkin, a distributor of Sandvik products in the West.
“We are a little overwhelmed by this,” said Kevin Hachmeister, engineer with the memorial project. “This kind of equipment has been on our wish list for years. When Sandvik steps up and says they will do what it takes to get this drill on the mountain to help advance the carving of this memorial, it has a huge impact on our project.”
The Commando 300 will be used for precise drilling and blasting in tight quarters on the mountain that is slowly being turned into the colossal Crazy Horse Memorial.
The nine-story high face of Chief Crazy Horse was completed in 1998. Work has since shifted to the 219-ft. (67 m) high horse’s head section of the sculpture, which is where the Commando 300 is expected to do its part.
“We are pleased to contribute to this historic memorial honoring Native Americans,” said Jim Crowley, Sandvik’s Western region territory manager.
Crowley and Keith Engelman, Forge Welkin territory manager, helped bring the Commando 300 to the Crazy Horse Memorial on Dec. 20, 2005. The drill was formally accepted by Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation Chairman Dick Tobias – and was at work drilling on the mountain within a few days.
Part of the Tamrock line of surface drills, the Commando 300 is equipped with an HL300 hydraulic top hammer rock drill, with a maximum recommended diameter of 2.5 in. (6.4 cm) and a maximum practical depth of 50 ft. (15.2 m).
Typical applications for the Commando 300 are foundation drilling, road cutting and trenching. It also has a four-wheel oscillated drive carrier for rough terrain capabilities and can be easily transported between job sites on a truck or trailer.
In the case of future work on upper areas of the Crazy Horse monument, it also will be moved and put in place with a crane, according to Hachmeister.
The non-profit Crazy Horse Memorial is funded primarily from admission fees and contributions. It receives no federal or state funds.
It was begun in 1948 by Korczak Ziolkowski after the Boston-born sculptor was invited by Sioux Indian chiefs to carve Crazy Horse in the Black Hills as a tribute to the great Indian chief. For more information, visit www.crazyhorse.org. CEG