For more than 30 years, Christian & Pugh Well Drilling and Service has provided water well construction and pump service around their Smithfield, Virginia, shop. Matt Cunningham took over the business in 2013 and has grown the company — both in number of employees and new equipment. Running older table-drive rigs, he purchased a 2008 DM450 to better equip his crew. Anticipating their workload would continue to grow, they looked to replace an older table-drive rig.
“With our current workload, our experience with the older model DM450, and the capabilities of the new DM450, it made sense with our line of work and geology,” Cunningham said.
The 2021 DM450's efficiency compared to the 2008 model surprises him. Unlike their other rigs, they opted for the single rod loader on the 2021 DM450. He describes it as “a new luxury we love.”
“It has made our 'day-to-day' easier and life is better for us with the 2021 DM450,” Cunningham said. “We feel like we're on vacation when running the new rig.”
Safety and ease of use also top the list of 2021 DM450 benefits.
“From the driller’s platform to controls, it's safer all around,” he said. “And its ease of use is a world of difference. It’s easier to teach guys to operate.”
With the 2021 DM450 they knock out the water well construction and move on to the next one quickly and safely. He attributes the increased efficiency to the rotary speed and the 5.5X8 mud pump. They also use the smaller jib to set casing quickly.
“The speed of tripping in and out means we’re using it on deeper 600- to 650-foot wells,” he said.
Cunningham also praises the reliability, experiencing fewer problems, as another plus for the 2021 DM450's productivity.
“It’s more efficient, so we’re able to do more wells and increase production,” Cunningham said.
Choosing the DM450 also sets them up to expand their service offerings.
“If we decide to take larger wells on, we’d have the ability to do it,” Cunningham said.
Overall, they couldn’t be happier with their DRILLMAX® experience.
“DRILLMAX® has been awesome. We pick up the phone to get parts for the 2008 DM450 and they’re readily available,” Cunningham said. “DRILLMAX® has been there for us, whether it's parts or information over the phone — we can even talk to an engineer if we’re having trouble. We’ve entered into the DRILLMAX® world and been happy thus far.”
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