Two New River crew members working with cabling in a dirt hole with an excavator scoop next to them.

LoDrils Dedicated to Fallen Heroes

On March 4th, 2016 New River Electrical Corp welcomed into its equipment fleet two new TR20 pressure diggers nicknamed Griffin and Newton.  “Griffin” was named and dedicated in the memory of fallen US Army Sergeant Dale R. Griffin, while “Newton” was named after fallen US Army Captain Michael W. Newton, both of whom were college classmates and brothers in arms to New River’s Director of Fleet Operations, retired US Army Captain Joshua L. Bandy.  These machines join “Big Mike” New River’s first excavator mounted LoDril, a DH-40 named in memorial to Michael R. Howell, New River’s previous Fleet Manager, and a half dozen other pressure diggers from Watson, Highway, and Terex in our fleet.  These machines will see use across our service area performing foundation drilling tasks for our substation, transmission, and distribution crews, and thus laying out the firm foundations that allows New River Electrical to continue “Transforming the Future.”

A group of individuals presenting a large donation check for $14,000 to the Virginia Military Institute, with construction equipment in the background.

Bay Shore Systems Inc. , the manufacturer of the drill rigs, requests units to be nicknamed by the owner, and the decision was made to name them after CPT Newton and SGT Griffin.  Once the vendors involved in the order, construction, and design of these rigs found out the meaning of the names, it was decided that in addition to honoring their memory in the dedication of the rigs, a donation in their honor would be made as well.  A total of $14,000 was donated to The Virginia Military Institute, evenly split to the Civil Engineering/Electrical Engineering Department, Rifle Team (of which Newton was a member,) and the Wrestling Team (of which Griffin was a member.)  These donations were made by New River Electrical, Driller’s Choice Inc., Bay Shore Systems Inc., Jeffery Machine Inc., and James River Equipment.

New River Electrical has veteran roots back to our founder, Navy Veteran Sherrill W. Stockton, and today employs many veterans of multiple branches of service.  We take great pride in honoring the service and sacrifices made by our veterans and those that our service members make daily in support of this great country.