Driving onto a jobsite with the equipment is the first image a customer has of your business, and is the first thing that either will impress or discourage. New or nearly new clean, well-maintained equipment, employees wearing neat, clean uniforms, proper work gear and hard hats present the impression of a professional company.

Look at the industry Yellow Pages ads or Web sites. Do they have old junky equipment or dirty unkempt employees on them? No! Everything is or at least looks new.

Now we consider whether it’s wiser to refurbish an older drill or to purchase a new one.

Many contractors get by and make a reasonable living with old trucks and equipment, but usually you’ll see that those with the newest equipment are getting the best and more expensive contracts and dollars. These contractors look more modern, thus more progressive.

An old friend of mine kept his older equipment looking new, clean and impressive; his employees wore neat and clean uniforms. When he met prospective clients, he impressed them with his professional salesmanship. He always told me that he liked to work for doctors, lawyers and those who liked to brag about how impressive a completed job looked. He prided himself on leaving a jobsite as clean and untouched as possible. He said that he liked to leave the smaller, less expensive contracts to his competition to keep them busy. He was a real professional.

Now onto rig refurbishment. Refurbishing an old truck isn’t advisable. Sometimes, however, refurbishing an older rig is acceptable.

First, consider the following: What’s the economy? What does the future look like? What can the contractor afford? Should he refurbish, or should he purchase new equipment?

When clean and properly painted, rebuilt old rigs mounted on new or late model trucks are made to look new. Except for the cost of replacing the truck, rebuilding the rig may or may not be expensive. Depending on the rig’s condition, the cost of the refurbishment can be reasonably small – or, if in poor condition, it can be very expensive.

Much of the cost is in the labor. This cost depends on whether the driller can do the work himself, or if he needs to have it contracted. How much time does the contractor have to rebuild the equipment? Does the contractor have other equipment to use while the refurbishment is being done?

I usually advise contractors that if they have the work lined up and the future work looks great, I strongly recommend purchasing new or late model equipment. It allows the contractor to do what he usually does best – drill and make money.