Bad Azz Drill Rig


cme-550x I don’t think this is a new CME drill rig (Central Mine Equipment Company), but its a model I’m not familiar with.  The CME-550X is designed to minimize ground contact pressure for jobs with wet ground, snow covered ground, and sensitive terrain.  It can drill angle holes, or setup vertical on steep uphill terrain. We’ve used a track-mounted CME-75 drill rig on many jobs for difficult access work, I wonder if this machine would have done the trick instead. Anyone ever seen one of these on a job?


  1. Actually yes – we got one stuck in the snow on a project site in Wilton, Maine a couple of weeks ago.

    Even with chains on the tires, they aren’t particularly good in DEEP snow. The body is not articulated, so they aren’t the best piece of equipment in densely wooded areas as well. The long body length isn’t very suitable for ditches or swales, unless the driller tacks the rig (takes the ditch at an angle.)

    In general, I’m not a fan of rubber-tire ATV rigs, unless the frame is articulated. I prefer the track rigs, such as the CME-300 or CME-800 HDH All-terrain carrier for conditions that we encounter here in the Northeastern US. I’ve not yet worked with the CME-850X.

  2. Thanks for the input Wendell. So it might not be quite as tough as it looks. As you can imagine, we don’t have too much snow drilling here in Arizona! For me, I guess it doesn’t matter. As far as I know, none of the local drillers have one of these rigs.

  3. I have worked behind plenty of CME-550X rigs in Alabama. They are very common around here and in the Southeast, except for swampy areas I I had one sink up to the seat once!). The rigid body has its limitations, but most drillers learn how to maneuver in tight locations.

    I have also worked behind articulated rigs and tracked rigs. Each has its pros and cons.

  4. Thanks for the comment Robert. Its another reminder of how the state of the practice can be so specific to a geographic region. In AZ these rigs are not needed, In Arkansas and the East/Northeast, they seem to be pretty common.

  5. yes,we had one in oregon they are ok but deep mud they get stuck CME 850 track is the best way to go in my opinion

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