TEI Rock Drills, of Montrose, Colo., recently received a patent from the South African government for the internal dampening system in its hydraulic drifters.

The patent was awarded to Bill Patterson, senior engineer, and Glenn Patterson, vice president of engineering. TEI Rock Drills holds other domestic and international patents on the internal dampening system, which allows the piston to move into an “idle” position when the drifter is not engaged.

“Anyone who has spent time running top hammer drifters knows that this is a very (important) feature greatly extending the life of the drifter,” said Joe Patterson, vice president of TEI Rock Drills.

Patterson said this particular patent is important because of its increase in business to South Africa through TEI’s distributor Demolition and Drilling Equipment. TEI’s TE260 drifter is being used for work in the country’s narrow vein gold mines, and Patterson said demand for the TE260 is increasing because of its reliability in South Africa’s deep and difficult conditions.

“This new technology is replacing the older drifters on jumbos and being used by OEMs when building new drilling jumbos,” Patterson said.