Nate Hommel started Always Pure in New Jersey during 2013. Building revenue doing commercial, residential, and agricultural 4 to 6-inch wells, mud rotary drilling 100 to 250-feet deep, he bought out Clearwater Well in 2016. In merging the 40-year-old business into Always Pure Clearwater Well, he acquired an aging rig.
“The rig kept breaking down and wouldn’t deliver workload doing up to 12 wells per week,” Hommel said.
They considered one manufacturer’s rig but ran into high prices and difficulty getting detailed information.
“They wanted $200,000 more and we couldn’t get specifications or technical information,” Hommel said. “If you’re buying a machine that expensive, you want to know everything about it.”
They didn’t even consider another manufacturer's rig, preferring mechanical controls versus risky computer or upgrade problems.
“We do a lot of residential work close to the Jersey Shore. We needed to get close in tight to homes, expensive landscaping, and fences without damage,” Hommel said. “We had a big, heavy drill rig, so we looked at smaller machines with the same power but lighter weight — so we didn’t have to worry about pavers or sod — but would know we had power to handle hard drilling to 200 feet.”
Hommel found the price, information, and combination of small size and big power he was seeking in the DRILLMAX® DM250.
“It’s a little package that gets the job done. I’ve run at least four other manufacturer’s bigger machines and they have nothing on the DRILLMAX® DM250,” he said.
Now he's accepting work no matter how far down the road.
“We used to not go further than an hour away, but now we can fly down the highway,” Hommel said. “It drives like a regular truck.”
The rig production speed and power in such a small water well drilling machine match the description Donnie Wood, general manager, provided.
“When we first got the rig, I tested the speed. I did one, 80-foot well. From the time the bit hit the ground to completing the well took less than 20 minutes,” Hommel said. “There are some brutal formations where we drill and our older rig would take 45-50 minutes to chew through. In hard formations or where water is down far, the air compressor helps develop the well faster. It doesn’t matter what formation we’re in, it just chews through it.”
The compact size has the competition subbing work to him.
“Competitors call us and ask whether we can stuff into some places, drill, and get out,” Hommel said. “It’s faster than their rigs and can get in with less damage than other people.”
The speed of the DM250 equates to more production in less time doing double-cased wells required by the salt water in the area. Beginning a 240-foot well in hard formations at 10 a.m., Hommel completed the well by 3 p.m. taking time to do the job right. On a job working across the street from another drilling company, he confirmed just how much he was outpacing the competition.
“We drilled 40-feet, placed outer casing, cemented and were done by 11 a.m.,” Hommel said. “We came back the next day at 8:30 a.m. and drilled well down, developed, and grouted. Our team of three left at 2 p.m. while the team of five across the street were still working.”
Stacking irrigation well production, Hommel recently completed three wells returning home by 2 p.m. This gives him confidence to stack even more residential wells.
“Last year we sold 15 wells in a development and it took us three to four days of drilling. This year I sold five in the same development and we’re going to try to do them all in one day,” Hommel said. “They’re not deep, but we completed three irrigation wells by 2 p.m., so we believe it’s possible.”
The increased production and reliability means Hommel, as owner, can take a step back and sell more.
“It allows us to make more money and be more aggressive with selling,” Hommel said. “A driller can quickly learn and run it, so I can sell more work and keep him drilling.”
And when combined with payroll savings from faster production and fuel savings when mobilizing, Hommel believes the rig pays for itself.
When I think about the weekly pay load of carting the old rig around, the savings from fuel and my time combine to half the payment,” Hommel said.
So the payment doesn’t make him sweat
“It’s the best investment I’ve ever made in my business,” Hommel said. “All the guys can drive it 70 mph down the highway. The helpers can set it up — where before I didn’t have that option — allowing guys to do more things outside their level.”
Hommel is already planning to trade this DM250 in on a new one seven years from now — just before he pays it off.
“If it’s this good now, in seven years just think how much better they are going to be,” Hommel said.
Reflecting on everything he’s overcome building his business, including the rundown rigs he’s used, humbles Hommel.
“I started my business eight years ago from nothing. So now, to use a small water well drilling machine like this, it’s a great feeling,” Hommel said. “It gives you all the power of a big rig, just in a small package.”
Whether a veteran driller or just starting out, a factory visit provides valuable insight when making the investment required to purchase a new rig. Taking time to see firsthand how the rig you’re considering is engineered and manufactured and meeting the
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