When I was a drilling contractor in South Georgia, most of my competitors were good friends as well. If we needed information or something the other had, we would assist each other. We still competed for contracts. If one contractor was more qualified than the other for a certain job, we would refer our customer to our friend and competitor. These competitors were valued friends and remain so to this day.

Recently while in New Mexico I had the opportunity to attend a New Mexico Water Well Association meeting. I met many drillers and was impressed with them and their association.

I encouraged the drillers to visit and know their competition, whether friend or foe.

Many times drillers know their competition and their qualifications only by what their customers have told them. This information isn't always accurate.

In a recent case I met one of the New Mexico drillers on his drill site and asked his advice about drill location and he was very helpful.

The next day he and his associate visited us at our site to observe our drilling equipment and operation.

Later, knowing this New Mexico driller's qualifications in a certain geographical area, we referred a client to him as his equipment was set up to do the potential client's well better than ourselves at the time. Several days later this driller called my driller friend to see if he would drill a well that my friend was set up to do better than himself.

Both contractors are well qualified professionals and now communicate with one another more often. This is as it should be. . . drillers shouldn't be enemies, they are competitors. Competitors can be competitive and still be friends. Other businesses are often competitors, associates, such as attorneys, bankers, well suppliers, and manufacturers and friends as well. They all make a reasonable living.

Many drillers in Virginia Beach, VA are competitors and friends. Occasionally they will assist each other to drill wells. This may be a bit much, but it works for them.

If I have a problem or need assistance when traveling, I look up a driller in the area. They have always been more than willing to assist me in any way they can.

Generally, drillers are nice people all over the world.