A new rig refurbishment project for the men in the Cutter family.
In 1975, I purchased a Failing CFD-2 in Texas,
and had it trucked to Tallahassee, Fla. We picked it up in Tallahassee, and
after installing a muffler and doing basic repairs to the brakes, I drove it 75
miles to Adel, Ga. The rig had been sitting for years, so I had to do extensive
work to get it into operation. In 1973, I remounted it on a new Ford F-350. My
sons, Chris (Piglet) and Randy, and I drilled wells with it until 1980 when we
moved back to Enid, Okla., where I went to work for George E. Failing Co. We
took the rig with us; however, a requirement to work for Failing was that I
couldn’t own a rig, so I sold it a year later. However, during that year,
Piglet, at the age of 13, drilled water wells in Enid. I always have regretted
selling the Failing CFD-2.
After more than 30 years of retirement from active drilling, I have again
purchased another Failing 250 rig. I recently located this similar rig in New
Jersey. We purchased it and had it trucked to my son Randy’s in Claremont, N.C.
Currently, Randy is going through it, and rebuilding the mud pump, gear boxes
and swivel, replacing the pull-down chains and sprockets. As the existing truck
is quite old, we will purchase a late-model diesel truck to remount
Once everything is ready, Randy will test it by drilling geothermal loops. When
all of the bugs are out, my son Chris (Piglet) will install new flooring and
side plates, then paint it. Piglet has been rebuilding muscle cars for several
years, and wanted to rebuild the Failing-250. A Failing-250 is the latest
version of the Failing CFD-2 with a retractable table.
It’s not too often that a 76-year-old man gets excited, but I was excited when
I located the Failing-250, and my sons and I wanted restore it. I don’t need a
rig, nor do I plan to drill with it. Some people like old cars, I like old
rigs. Could anything be more fitting than an old rig for an old man? The
difference is that you can rebuild an old rig. Even old men need their
If this rig were manufactured today, it would be the fastest geothermal drill
We may have to solicit funds to rebuild this rig, but our hopes are to have it
rebuilt and on display at the South Atlantic Well Drillers Jubilee in Virginia
Beach, Va., in 2013.