A visit with Somerset Well Drilling, Westover, Md.

Recently, Piglet and I presented a continuing education class at Somerset Well Drilling near Westover, Md., where we had 11 people in attendance.

We were making sales calls in the area for Cycle Stop Valves, and arrived for the class a day early, so we made use of the time to visit one of Somerset Well’s geothermal job sites in Ocean City, Md.

When we arrived, the crew was drilling its first hole. Everything went like clockwork; each employee had a job to do. The job site was in the customer’s driveway next to the highway. The power lines were close, and space was limited, so the crew was using its Versa-Drill track rig. The job site was clean to the point that you could walk anywhere without stepping in drilling mud. The reason for this is that Somerset has a large combination water supply/vacuum truck that kept all muds sucked up. That piece of equipment probably costs more than most companies’ drills. When the guys grouted the loops, the vacuum truck sucked up all muds coming from the hole. After a hole was drilled, they sucked up the drilling mud from the mud pan, moved the drill and mud pan to the next hole and set up, while the remaining crew ran the loop, and mixed and pumped grout.

Piglet and I watched the complete drilling installation of one loop – from setting up, drilling the hole, moving the drill to the next hole, dropping in the loop, and grouting. These guys are real professionals – they even wore hard hats – and their clothes were clean. They remove their gloves before getting into any equipment, and all of the equipment was clean inside and out. We were advised that employees come in on weekends to clean up and service all the equipment used that week.

They have a nine-bay, insulated building where all of the equipment is stored inside. Two of these bays are part of the building but separate; they are used for servicing, maintenance and repair of the equipment. The company has a vehicle lift that will lift its largest Versa-Drill rig and truck for undercarriage maintenance; we were told that the lift is the largest in the state. Somerset has an attractive office, smaller shop, supply and other buildings across the street as well.

We didn’t ask how many drills they have, but our guess is seven. Even the older drills are on late-model trucks, and look like they are new; in fact, all of their equipment looks and is in like-new condition.

The employees appear to enjoy their work; they all are professionals and do their jobs with pride – and get along great. This shows in the fantastic management of the owners, Tom Hall (father) and Michael Hall (son).

In my travels around the world, I have never seen a more professional drilling business.