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Get a Leg Up from Your Drilling Contractor

As geologists and engineers, your main objective is to gather as much data from the dirt below your feet. To access the data, you need a driller and a drill rig. Choosing the right drilling contractor will get you the data you require. All while staying safe, on schedule and (fingers crossed) under budget. All this means happy clients and repeat business.

Getting the data is not always cheap or easy. If you don’t get results, your project can go under just as fast as a cell phone down a well.

Safety First

Drilling is a dangerous profession. Heavy machinery mixed with treacherous conditions, means safety needs to be the highest priority. If a company does not invest in Safety and/or train their employees, then they are more liable to have accidents at the job site. Having an accident -especially serious ones- can lead to time-consuming investigations, legal ramifications and a lack of trust from your client.

Check to see if your driller has a safety training program and a dedicated Health and Safety Officer. Ask to see the last three years of OSHA logs to evaluate the safety of a workplace. A firm with over 10 employees is required to keep a record of serious work-related injuries and illnesses. Request a firm’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) numbers. The lower the TRIR, the better a company's safety performance. Reviewing this information can easily tell you whether or not they are a safe company or if they have any safety violations.

Strength In Numbers

In this industry, when a project scope is approved, it means go time! Research drilling firms with a high number of drill rigs to increase your odds of availability. Especially for those last-minute projects. A firm with a large drill fleet will have a rig available to get your project completed.

A drilling contractor with a large fleet is also a great insurance policy. Costly equipment delays and dissatisfied clients because of it, don’t have to be a part of your project. Seek out a firm with extra equipment, tooling and manpower to keep your project moving on schedule, regardless of breakdowns.

Diversity and Depth

There is a reason why people choose places that are “one-stop-shops.” More than ever, convenience and efficiency are key. Juggling a few less emails, calls and contracts could be the key to a job coming in below budget or ahead of schedule.

Choose wisely when it comes to a drilling contractor. Research their divisions of drilling. Typically drilling services are classified by geotechnical, environmental and clean water. Within those sectors are different drill rigs. Including, but not limited to: sonic, auger/mud rotary, cable tool, direct push, probe and dual rotary. A firm that covers all these sectors -in addition to operating a diverse rig fleet-provides an un-matched insight into what rig will work best for a specific project.

Remember to pay close attention and ask about “other services” when narrowing down your search. Go with a diverse drilling firm to give you access to the widest selection of drilling techniques and equipment within a single company. Projects tend to run smoother with less cooks in the kitchen. Increase your project efficiency by choosing a one-stop-shop drilling contractor.


Keeping an open line of communication before, during and after a drilling project is key. As it will help with the accuracy of your results. Don’t steer away from asking each other questions that might seem outside of a job description. Each side brings a unique skillset to the project.

In drilling, a large percentage of all development knowledge comes from field experience. A qualified drilling firm has seen it all and will be happy to help answer any questions.

The field representative(s) and driller(s) have different roles on a project, but ultimately the same objective. The field representative is thinking about accurately classifying lithology, screening samples for potential impacts, collecting, handling and shipping samples in an over-all effort to carry out the specific work plan. A driller’s attention is focused on the rig and all of its components, crew safety, materials, surroundings and job scope. Having a mutual understanding of each other’s job duties, impacts the success of the project.

For questions or comments contact Stephen Rasmussen at

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