A third-generation company begun by her grandfather Andy Kuka 60 years ago, Danielle Gambrel took over from her father Vince Kuka when he became ill. Completing residential wells and service in Florida as SPRING HILL WELL DRILLING for the last 45 years, their fleet consists of three drill rigs and two service trucks.
“We began the business using cable tool rigs. We got our first rotary drill 20 to 25 years ago,” Gambrel said.
When it came time to add another rig, their success with a legacy DM250, along with ability to get parts next day, pushed them toward another DRILLMAX®.
“We liked the DM250 we already had and knew that answers to any questions or problems we had were readily available,” Gambrel said. “We got the carousel on this one to make it easier for our older driller to run. It’s cost efficient on fuel and easier for our guys to work with while service is right here.”
As owner, she appreciates the fuel efficiency of the new DM250, completing three wells on half a tank of fuel compared to their legacy DM250 which uses up to a half a tank per well. As operator, Tony Eilers appreciates the ease and drilling speed of the new DM250.
“I’ve run other rigs and this is my favorite machine so far. It’s easy, quick. I’ve been in the industry 25 years — 20 in Florida — and it’s the best rig I’ve ever run,” Eilers said. “It’s so fast and quick thanks to the top head speed, winch line speed, and carousel, which is a lot faster than the rod loader. For Florida drilling, going in and out of the hole is quicker and a lot less intense labor. You can basically run the machine yourself while the helper naps in the truck cab.”
With the carousel adding to the ease and drilling speed of operation, they’ve established a goal of three wells per day.
“My nickname is ‘Two-fer Tony’ because I get two wells done per day. We’re working toward getting three done,” Eilers said. “I’ve drilled 250-feet without any issues. I’ve only drilled with air compressor or foam. Not sure how deep I could go with the mud pump.”
Gambrel believes they can achieve the goal of three wells per day.
“We can definitely accomplish more,” she said. “We can schedule more work and get more done in a faster amount of time.”
They also appreciate having support from the Geoprobe®/DRILLMAX® Southeast Service Center to help them meet their goals.
“We can lean on Donnie, and the guys at the Southeast Service Center have been awesome — even if we have questions or need something for a competitor’s rig,” Gambrel said. “They’re accommodating, on top of it, and get to it as soon as possible. We’ve had some work done on a rig, and they came to the job site to make sure everything was working correctly and we had everything we needed.”
An active member of the Water Well Guys Facebook group, Eilers is often called to share his thoughts on the DM250.
“I tell them these machines are built right; you don’t need a CDL. It’s hard to find someone with a CDL today, but with the DM250 the helper can drive while I drive the service truck,” Eilers said. “I’ve had no problems with the rig; it’s been good to me.”
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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