As ASSOCIATED DRILLING adapts to new ownership, they’re also adapting to the smaller DM250. Calvin Piper now oversees technical work — pumps, water lines, out of water calls — while Kyler Erickson oversees drilling. This includes drilling for water well, geothermal, rock coring, monitoring wells, gas probes, post holes, electrical substations, and irrigation wells. The past few years the Kansas company has experienced an increase in water well and geothermal work.
“Many are tired of rural water bills going up and more people are wanting to be off the grid with their own source of water,” Erickson said. “We have the DM250 running five days a week from one geothermal job to the next.”
Their geothermal jobs are in Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas, with houses stacked on top of each other, small yards, and established trees.
“We needed a rig sized to drill those residential geothermal systems. Jobs don’t adapt to the equipment in the industry, the equipment has to adapt to the jobs,” Erickson said. “We had to invest in a machine that could do the work and get into the jobs. We don’t have problems getting into jobs with the DM250. Bonus is that it keeps right up with our bigger rigs.”
• SIZE — “It fits everywhere we go.”
• SPEED — “I thought it would be slower than bigger rigs, but we haven’t seen much change at all.”
• MAINTENANCE — “Bigger rigs have more, bigger, more expensive parts. The DM250 maintenance has been simple and not much of it.”
• SIMPLICITY — “It’s easier to set up and be drilling in no time, which has increased our efficiency. We can back in and be up and drilling in less than 10 minutes.”
• FUEL EFFICIENCY — “The DM250 saves us significantly on fuel consumption both traveling to the job site and while drilling compared to our larger rigs.”
Typically they would use their bigger rigs on commercial geothermal jobs due to the required hole depth, but he recently put the DM250 on a commercial site drilling 75 percent of the 96 holes to 400 feet.
“It did great,” Erickson said. “The speed of drilling 400-foot holes and tripping pipe meant it was taking maybe two hours per hole.”
Since adding the DM250 to their fleet, word-of-mouth business on the geothermal side has increased with heating and air conditioning contractors calling them to come drill jobs.
“It helps them to sell a job when they can explain to a client that something just bigger than a dually truck will be doing the work,” Erickson said. “So we’ve been getting more phone calls from different contractors and even the ones we’ve worked with for 20 years ask for the DM250 because it makes less mess and leaves less ruts.”
The DM250 also makes their work smooth with no major breakdowns. When they have needed parts or service, the overall organization and efficiency of the Geoprobe®/DRILLMAX® Factory Service Center in Kansas has minimized downtime.
“The parts availability means I can get them the next day, there’s no waiting two to three weeks for parts,” Erickson said. “I scheduled the rig with service, drove it down, got it in, and headed home the next day."
Erickson also appreciates the open ears exhibited by the team of engineers, who he says are willing to pick up the phone.
“Engineering and service are always open to our suggestions. Some places see it as an insult when you offer a suggestion. It’s not that way at DRILLMAX®,” Erickson said. “They’re always wanting to do better and want to know what they can improve on.”
When other companies ask Erickson how their DM250 is doing, he lets them know it’s a game changer on the geothermal side of the company.
“It gets into jobs much easier, is quicker to set up, and drills fast,” Erickson said. “The DM250 can definitely compete with the larger rigs in the geothermal and shallow water well market.”
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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