Growing up in a drilling family, Kyle Neuendorff began working for the family full-time at the age of 13, learning firsthand lessons on the inefficiencies associated with older equipment. So when he and his brother-in-law established TEXAS SOUTHERN DRILLING in 2019 their business objective was to become as efficient as possible drilling small residential 4-inch wells and small 6- to 8-inch irrigation wells.
“We wanted two guys in two trucks who can drive to a job and be able to complete a well without the need for other trucks or equipment,” Neuendorff said. “Once you start moving three to four trucks to one job site, you lose about a half day, depending on how many people you have on payroll, for that one job. That’s a lot of fuel and labor cutting into your profitability.”
Having run rotary table rigs for the family business, when launching his business he sought a reliable, consistent, efficient rig. He bought a used top head drive, hydraulic drilling rig set up for 4.5-inch pipe, which he soon learned was overkill for their intended scope of work. He then began having electrical issues with the high-hour machine, and when it came time for a major part, he was told it would be a six-month wait.
“After all this happened, I told myself it was time to get some real machinery that was newer and updated with less hours,” Neuendorff said. “I called up Donnie at DRILLMAX® [by Geoprobe®], and he suggested I fly out to Salina [Kansas] to check out the facility and run a rig myself.”
Neuendorff booked a flight and was able to view the DM450 and DM250 on his visit to the Geoprobe®/DRILLMAX® manufacturing headquarters. With his company targeting the smaller residential wells, the DM250 was a perfect match.
“When I flew out to Salina, seeing how organized the company was really sold me on going with them,” Neuendorff said. “Talking to engineers who actually listened to me and wanted to implement my ideas was what made me order one.”
What has surprised him most since running his new DM250 is the unmatched speed.
“From top head movement up and down, to adding rods from the carousel, to pulling rods back out of the hole — I can’t say enough about the speed. And it’s safe too,” Neuendorff said. “The other thing that surprised me is the capability to easily drill a 7-inch hole to 300 feet without issues. I couldn’t be happier with the rig.”
According to him, the top head movement up and down means he can pull and fill 160 feet of pipe in the carousel in about five minutes. This capability along with the fuel efficiency top his list of favorite features.
“At high speed, the rig burns about eight gallons per hour. This is a game changer,” Neuendorff said. “I can mud drill a 300-foot well and only use about 15-20 gallons of fuel.”
“The DM250 is on a cab chassis truck so I can safely drive 70 mph with cruise control, and being on such a small truck means no CDL,” Neuendorff said. “My guys do not need CDLs to drive the DM250 or my support truck. If I really needed to, I could even run the DM250 by myself — although it’s always better to have a second person on the job site for safety.”
As desired, the DM250 has helped him solve his breakdown issues. Despite the minimized downtime, their customer wait lists were increasing to up to six months, and customers were hanging up and dialing the next water well company. So Neuendorff decided to add a second DM250.
“When you’re efficient enough to drill one or two wells a day, you can keep your list pretty short thus earning more business, and you’re able to charge a little more than the other guys,” Neuendorff said. “We also do a lot of real estate contract jobs where they split land up into tracts and sell the land with power and water well. Those jobs I can usually complete two to three wells per day.”
The increased efficiency has spurred company growth. They’re up to 10 employees and three rigs running full time. He also feels like having the newer equipment provides a more professional appearance, and when kept clean, serves as great advertising going down the road. He appreciates the DRILLMAX® by Geoprobe® support and engineering system for helping them achieve the efficiency sought from their company’s inception.
“When I had a few issues getting going, they answered the phone anytime and had me whatever I needed at my door the next day,” Neuendorff said. “I gave Donnie a list of what I wanted to see changed to make the DM250 even more efficient for what I was doing, and low and behold everything on my list was on the new DM250 at the National Groundwater Association show in Las Vegas. They listen to feedback and apply it to their product.”
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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