My love for well drilling came about when I was 3-1/2 years old. New homes were being built behind my house and I watched the wells being drilled. I was fascinated by the operation and spent a lot of time watching what was going on at the job site. I took Cokes to the crew so I could watch up close.
My favorite drill rig is the Ingersoll-Rand T4W. I always wanted a model of the T4W, so I called the toy stores I knew of to see if I could find one, and no one knew what I was talking about. When I turned 5, my wish finally came true. My friend Dean Jones of Gurvis Jones Well Drilling, Bel Air, Md., brought me a model of the T4W. He was the man that was drilling the wells behind my house and knew how much rigs meant to me. He got the model from a store called Toys for Boys in Pennsylvania. It was a very delicate model, and they are now discontinued. I played with my T4W model so much that it finally broke.
Unable to find any more toys like my favorite rig, I started building my own rigs out of different block sets such as Legos, Bristle Blocks and Brios. I then decided to build models out of wood, and my first one was a T4W. After that, I built a little jetting rig out of toothpicks. One day, my dad built a model rig - a 1:16 scale rig out of wood. He used a picture that was in the phone book for the design. When I was 13 years old, I built another T4W model rig out of two separate erector sets. Mark Laibe of Versa-Drill purchased the first complete rig that I had up for sale - a Versa-Sonic.
Recently, I started building rigs out of different truck bodies and attaching wood for the booms. I paint the rigs and sell them. I have made many friends throughout the drilling industry who have purchased my rigs or have discussed their rigs with me. I will call drillers and manufacturers to talk about my favorite subject - rigs. Mike Huber of Cheasapeake Geo Systems, Baltimore, and Mark Laibe are but two of the many people whom I consider my friends. The rigs I build are fairly delicate and shouldn't be used as toys. They look great displayed on a desk or a bookshelf. See my ad under Toys in the Marketplace.
I really like the older model rigs - I think they were built to last. I also collect pictures of rigs and would like to get some older photos of Gardner-Denver, Portadrills and Jazwell drills, and if anyone wants to send me some, I would really appreciate it. I enjoy building rigs as a hobby, but I would rather be out on the job site watching the action. My hobby keeps me out of trouble and busy doing something I really enjoy. Now that I am 16, I would like to work with a drilling crew soon to get some experience, but I need to get my driver's license first. One day I plan on owning a water well drilling company and hiring my brother Chris, who also is interested in drill rigs.
I read all industry magazines that I can get my hands on. I have had a subscription to National Driller for years. I try and subscribe to all the magazines I can so that I can keep up with all the activities in the industry. I attended my first water well tradeshow in February - the Maryland/Delaware show. My friend Dave Kelly of Jones Well Drilling took me. I look forward to attending more trade shows when I can. I love meeting and talking to people in the industry - the stories I hear are really amazing. If anyone would like to talk to me about rigs or send me photos, hats or business cards, please get in touch with me.
Sidebar: He Knows His RigsJeff and I have formed a relationship based on friendship and honesty. Believe me, when something is in National Driller that he doesn't like, he will tell me all about it.
by Pat Dlugasch
Jeff amazes me with his knowledge of rigs; not only is he able to look at a rig and tell you what kind it is, he also can explain the operation of that particular rig, pointing out parts of it that he would improve.
He is one determined young man. I look for him to make his mark in this industry - either with his own well drilling company or as a rig manufacturer/designer. He has very strong love for the industry.
I was taken by surprise by his interest after he told me that no one in his family is in the drilling business. He has collected photos, magazines, advertising and anything else he can get his hands on about this industry.
If you would like to know something about a particular rig, Jeff can usually tell you what you need to know. His enthusiasm is contagious; he has piqued the interest of his brother Chris about the business of well drilling.
I know many of you will find Jeff easy to talk to and a very personable young man. After all, you and what you do fascinate him. I hope many of you take the time to contact him and let him know that there are others out there who love the business of water well drilling.