Central Mine Equipment Company

- Model CME-55 - Truck Mounted Auger Drill



When the CME-55 first rolled off the production line back in 1963, it was an immediate success. It had the power, versatility, and dependability to handle geotechnical and medium-sized environmental jobs with maximum efficiency. Although today’s CME-55 features many refinements, it’s basically the same drill that has been the standard of its class for more than 35 years. The popularity and the high resale value of this classic machine bear testimony to its performance record in the field. The CME-55 can be mounted on a variety of different carriers, including two wheel or all-wheel drive, single or tandem axle trucks. It can also be mounted on the CME-55T trailer or on the CME-300 tracked carrier.

The feed system

The hydraulic feed and retract system provides 28,275 pounds [12,826 kg] of retract force and 18,650 pounds [8,460 kg] of down pressure. The 72 inch [183 cm] stroke, hydraulic vertical drive system has no chains or cables which can stretch. It gives you precise control of force on the drilling tools. The split feed slide bushings are easily replaced after normal wear intervals, and the standard upright gives you the clearance to drill with up to 10 1/4 inch hollow augers.

The rotary box

Rugged mechanical rotary drive provides 7,700 foot pounds [10,440 Nm] of torque and rotary speeds of up to 800 rpm.

Other rotation and torque combinations are available, including a high-torque rotary drive that gives you up to 9,400 foot pounds [12,744 Nm] of torque and rotary speeds of up to 665 rpm. The five speed transmission is connected to the drill engine through a heavy-duty 13 inch clutch. With five forward gears and one reverse, there is a rotation speed and torque combination for just about any situation. The mechanical drive system also gives you a better feel for drilling conditions down the hole. It allows you to sense the need for changes in feed pressure and rotational torque.

Control logic – the key to driller productivity.

All drilling and set-up controls are logically arranged on the control panel located at the drillers’ station.

The most commonly used functions, such as the feed, hydraulic hoist, and sliding base levers are staggered for easier identification and operation. Also a lock out position for the clutch lever to prevent accidental engagement.

Patented Spindle Brake stops rotation in an instant.

Our emergency Spindle Brake can stop rotation in less than a revolution. The system is activated by two conveniently located push button switches as well as strategically located multi-directional wobble switches.

Water tank/tool box combinations.

You can choose a 250 gallon (757 L) or a 500 gallon (1,893 L) water tank. You can also choose either steel or stainless steel construction. Numerous water tank/tool box configurations are available, including models with rod storage underneath and an expanded metal rack on top.

Plenty of auger storage available.

Above deck auger storage areas are provided with the optional drill platform. The CME-55 is also available with several under-body auger rack configurations, including hydraulically operated racks that slide in and out for easy access to augers.


  • Cummins QSB 4.5L [275 cubic inch] 110 horsepower [82 kilowatt] 4 cylinder turbocharged and charge air cooled diesel engine. U.S. EPA Tier 3 emissions certified diesel engine.

Rotary drive

  • Clutch, heavy duty
    • 13 inch [33 cm]
  • Transmission
    • 5 speed forward, 1 speed reverse
  • Standard Rotary Box
    • 7,700 foot pounds [10,440 Nm] max
    • 800 rpm max
  • High Torque Rotary Box (optional)
    • 9,400 foot pounds [12,744 Nm] max
    • 665 rpm max

Hydraulic feed system

  • Retract force
    • 28,275 pounds [12,826 kg]
  • Pulldown force
    • 18,650 pounds [8,460 kg]
  • Retract rate (max)
    • 35 feet [10.6 m] per minute
  • Rapid Retract rate (max)
    • 90 feet [27.4 m] per minute
  • Feed Rate (max)
    • 55 feet [16.7 m] per minute
  • Stroke
    • 72 inch [183 cm]

Leveling system

Hydraulic jacks, inverted design with chrome-plated piston rods enclosed at all times.

    • Stroke
      • 36 inch [91.4 cm]

Automatic hammer

Our 140 pound [63.5 kg] automatic hammer gives you extremely consistent and accurate Standard Penetration Test results, meeting all ASTM-D-1586 requirements. That’s because there are no ropes or cables to impede the free fall of the weight.

The hammer swings from stored position to on-hole position. Since raising and lowering is done hydraulically, set up is quick and almost effortless.

For maximum safety, all moving parts are enclosed, including the impact area between the weight and the anvil. A 340/140 pound [154/63.5 kg] hammer is also available.

Hydraulic rod holder and breakout wrench

The hydraulic rod holder makes your job quicker and safer. It eliminates the need for a pipe wrench and a cheater bar to break tight connections. It’s also perfect for suspending tools in the hole while adding or pulling rods.

The system not only pivots from on-hole to off-hole positions, but also hydraulically moves in and out. It is especially compatible with the optional slide base.

Slide bases make the job easier and quicker

Slide base options are available for both in-out and sideways movement of the drill on the platform.

A 18 inch [46cm] in-out movement allows you to quickly move the drill off the bore hole and align the sheaves for lifting tools with the cathead or any of the hoists.

A 16 inch [41cm] sideways movement gives you even more versatility. Aligning the augers or rods when making connections is easy, or if the bit drifts off at an angle when starting a hole, you can quickly straighten it to a vertical position.

Since the upright and optional mast is mounted directly to the drill frame, they move with the drill when the slide base is used. That means you can drill in any position within a 288 square inch [1,858 sq cm] area without moving the carrier. If you have ever tried lining up your rig to an existing bore hole, you’ve probably already recognized another benefit of the slide base.

Quick mast disconnect

This feature allows you to quickly disconnect the mast when working inside buildings, underneath bridges or in other low overhead drilling locations. Since the mast is completely separated from the upright, is doesn’t interfere with other drill functions such as the in-out slide base.

With the mast in the horizontal position, you simply clamp it to its storage rack and extend the drill’s in-out slide base. This pulls the sockets on the upright drill frame away from the large tapered pins on the mast.

Patented angle drilling system

This unique system is especially effective for drilling underneath ponds, storage tanks, or other structures. When used with our patented continuous sample tube system, you can even take soil samples while drilling angle holes.

The angle drilling system will also allow you to drill vertically with the carrier positioned on an uphill slope. That can eliminate the time-consuming job of leveling an area on which to place the rig.

And, since the kelly drive is directly connected to the right angle drive box, you can raise and lower the mast with the drivetrain already connected and ready to go.

Fluted kelly and chuck assembly

If your drilling operations include a substantial amount of rotary or core drilling, the CME fluted kelly and chuck assembly can save you a lot of time. The 5 foot [1.5 m] stroke of the kelly, combined with 6 foot [1.8 m] stroke of the feed system, gives you a total stroke 11 feet [3.4 m]. You can use 10 foot [3 m] drill rods, which means fewer rod connections and less rod handling.

The kelly has two vertical slots (flutes) and two sets of horizontal slots which are engaged by the chuck to provide rotary torque and thrust. The CME fluted kelly can even be rotated without engaging the thrust keys. This gives you the option of using the weight of the drill string to provide down pressure on the bit.

The 2 5/8 inch [6.7 cm] fluted kelly and chuck assembly is available in either manual or hydraulic actuated configurations. Or if you are drilling larger diameter holes, a 3 1/2 inch [8.9 cm] O.D. fluted kelly and hydraulic chuck assembly is available.

Additional optional equipment

  • Drill platform
  • Continuous sample tube system
  • High torque rotary drive
  • Auger and rod guides for angle drilling
  • Drill rod chuck
  • Spindle adaptor
  • Air compressor (engine mounted)
  • Quick mast disconnect
  • Mast (from base of frame to sheaves)
    • 20 foot [6.0m]
    • 22 foot [6.7m]
    • 26 foot [7.9m]
  • Underside sheave
  • Quick cabling sheave
  • Low clearance sheave
  • Cathead, 8 inch [20.3 cm] diameter
  • Hydraulic hoist
    • 1,800 pound [816 kg], max line speed 200 ft./min [61 m/min]
    • 3,200 pound [1,452 kg], max line speed 100 ft./min [30.5 m/min]
    • 7,000 pound [3,175 kg]
      • Up max line speed 85 ft./min [26 m/min]
      • Down max line speed 340 ft./min [104 m/min]
    • 8,500 pound [3,856 kg]
      • Up max line speed 72 ft./min [22 m/min]
      • Down max line speed 310 ft./min [94 m/min]
  • Hydraulic wireline hoist
    • 900 pound [408 kg], max line speed 400 ft./min [122 m/min]
    • 1,800 pound [816 kg], max line speed 200 ft./min [61 m/min]
  • Water pumps
    • Progressing cavity
      • 36 gpm/225 psi [136 lpm/1,551 kPa]
      • 84 gpm/225 psi [318 lpm/1,551 kPa]
    • Triplex piston
      • 25 gpm/500 psi [ 95 lpm/3,448 kPa]
      • 40 gpm/800 psi [152 lpm/5,512 kPa]
    • Duplex piston
      • 148 gpm/197 psi [560 lpm/1,358 kPa]
    • Other pumps available

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