- Rock Drilling – There are many types of drills in the construction industry. Well drills, horizontal drain drills, core sample drills, the list goes on and on. At MRD we operate a variety of hydraulic top hammer, DTH, cab and non-cab rock drills. The sole purpose of a majority of the holes we drill is to be loaded with explosives to either generate crushable aggregate or to excavate an area of hard, undiggable rock. In ideal conditions, our machines are capable of drilling 2 ½” to 6 ¾” diameter boreholes as deep as 80’-100’ in to the ground.
- Test Drilling – For clients that do not have an established rock source or who may be looking at a possible site for development, we highly recommend taking the time to test drill. Test drilling is a relatively quick and cheap way to really know what you are getting in to before you spend quite a bit of time and money on a project. We have experienced many situations where a client believes they have a lot of rock so they proceed to clear and prepare a large area for mining the potential rock source, only to find out there is only a few feet of rock on the surface. Or the opposite of this situation when a customer budgets a number for a dirt excavation project, only to find out there is a hard deposit of basalt right in the middle of the project! MRD can test drill to provide an extremely accurate drill log to inform the customer how much material is on top of the rock, how deep the rock is, and give a general idea of rock quality and hardness. Let us help you identify what you are REALLY getting in to before you spend your time and hard earned money planning around a major unknown!
- Blasting – For McCallum Rock Drilling, drilling and blasting go hand in hand. We have found over the years that there is no substitute for having one team complete the drilling and blasting portion of any project. The knowledge, attention to detail, and, most importantly, COMMUNICATION are unrivaled when one team completes the process. At MRD, a majority of our drillers are licensed blasters. In addition, our day-to-day blasters have a lot of experience drilling.
- Timber – In the early years, a majority of MRD’s work was drilling and blasting for private timber companies in Washington and Oregon. Drilling and blasting roads, landings, ditches, and rock pits to allow loggers and log trucks to operate efficiently on steep ground. Rich McCallum was one of the first in the Pacific NW to offer a full package service of rock drilling AND blasting. MRD’s proficiency in this niche spread quickly by word of mouth.
- Quarry – Historically, rock quarries would either have their own drill on site or hire a contract drilling company to come and poke boreholes which they would then have the explosives distributor deliver the powder, load the holes, and fire the blast. With MRD offering a full drill and blast service, quarries in the area quickly realized the benefits. MRD began contract drilling AND blasting for many commercial quarries, offering these services for far cheaper and more efficient than the quarries were able to do the work themselves. When hydraulic drills were introduced, their speed and efficiency made the practice of commercial quarries in the Pacific NW a thing of the past. Now, MRD’s fleet of rock drills services many quarries, with their team of blasters following behind to load and shoot each blast.
- Construction – During the housing boom of the early to mid-2000’s, MRD was drilling and blasting more house pads and housing developments than ever before. Wielding the knowledge from the experience of drilling and blasting in large commercial quarries, MRD was able to scale the knowledge of vibration to smaller hole construction blasting. The amount of blasting MRD does is a major advantage, allowing blasters to gather massive amounts of data on fragmentation, muck pile heave, air blast, vibration, and many other characteristics of a blast. This data has allowed MRD to blast in areas where it was never thought possible due to the proximity of structures, utilities, people and other sensitive issues.
After the housing market crashed in the late 2000’s, this area of the business dried up rapidly. However, the experience and knowledge gained from blasting so close to structures proved invaluable to the future of the company. With this knowledge, MRD was then able to apply the practices learned to all other applications of drilling and blasting. Public works projects that were once thought to be too sensitive for blasting were now able to be completed, each one adding to the knowledge of how to efficiently apply explosive energy to rock.
This idea of efficiently applying the explosive energy to rock is what MRD strives to improve on with every project. Each project has a specific goal, whether it is to create massive fragmentation of the rock, generate landscape rock, or just get the rock to where it is a manageable size. With each goal comes a question: “How much explosives should we use?” This is MRD’s specialty. Controlling the drilling and the blasting MRD is able to survey, design, drill, load, delay, and detonate with the goal of using the exact amount of explosives necessary. No more, no less. This idea of using an exact amount, is known in the blasting industry as Powder Factor. Powder Factor can be presented in many different ways but essentially it is the ratio of the amount of explosives compared to the amount of rock blasted. An easy example is if you have one cubic yard of solid rock loaded with one pound of explosives, you will have a Powder Factor of 1.00 lbs/yd. This ratio is the golden ticket to drilling and blasting. If you are not using enough explosives, too low of a Powder Factor, the blast will generate poor fragmentation, fly rock, excessive vibration, and poor diggability. If you are using more than necessary, too high of a Powder Factor, the blast could generate an abundance of fine material, excessive air overpressure (think “BOOM”), and what could be the most important, too HIGH OF COST.
With the experience and knowledge from all aspects of drilling and blasting, MRD strives to achieve the exact right Powder Factor for all applications. This allows for competitive pricing, proper fragmentation, and most important, control over the blast, minimizing the impact on the environment around it, whether it be from fly rock, air overpressure, or vibration.
- Quarry Development/Pit Planning – As the largest drilling and blasting contractor in the Pacific Northwest, we have extensive experience and knowledge of all types of rock formations, pit development, and mining plans. Let MRD be a resource for step-by-step development of surface mining, not only maximizing your drilling and blasting program, but also adding value to bench development, bench height determination, rock bailing, proximity to the crusher, and many other cost points. Not only can we nail down a Powder Factor, but a partnership with us means every step of the mining process from the bench to the primary will be analyzed for maximum efficiency. We have techniques for minimizing oversize and maximizing crusher throughput that can put value in your operation you never thought possible.
Watch us having a blast
Watch McCallum Rock Drilling featured on the History Channel’s show “The Works”. This segment shows how explosives are used to “slice mountains in half”.
McCallum Rock Drilling blast on Highway 26 on April 21, 2015. Low-res version.
Watch More Videos
End of year 2016 Highlight Video. Lots of great blasts. We are very proud of the work we do, hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoy doing it!
McCallum Rock Drilling 2016 Highlight Video
McCallum Rock Drilling’s annual submission to the International Society of Explosive Engineer’s Blasters-r-Us Video Round-up. This highlight video includes blasts of all kinds, including quarry blasts, shots for timber pits, as well as construction drill and blast projects for Interstate 5 and other highways. All blasts are designed to the specific needs of the project and customer. No animals were hurt in the making of this video.
Here is our yearly entry for the 2012 “Blasters R Us” video round-up at the International Society of Explosives Engineers, held this year in Nashville, Tennessee. This video highlights a few specialty construction projects we completed using technical blasting techniques in a close-in environment. Each project presented unique challenges that McCallum Rock Drilling was able to overcome with close cooperation with fellow contractors. Also in the video are a few blasts showing commercial quarry customers as well as timber drilling and blasting projects.
2013 Highlight Video for the ISEE