Clay Myers is vice president of KM Drilling Inc., located in Camp Verde, Ariz. The family-owned company goes back four generations and Myers has been a part of it for all 20 years of his drilling career. Myers began helping his dad with rig work when he was as young as 10 years old. “When it came time for me to work, I just did what I already knew,” he says. The company specializes in a wide variety of services including water wells, geothermal boreholes, core drilling, exploration drilling, pump repair, and water testing and treatment. With only 16 hours of daylight, he says his biggest challenge is finishing up before dark, especially when service calls still need to be completed once the well is drilled. He says working with his family isn’t always easy, but that he values the opportunity and looks forward to passing the business on to his son one day.
Q. What do you do and what keeps you coming back every day?
A. I do a little bit of everything. I operate equipment when drilling wells, test wells, contact customers, order supplies, run all service calls, pull pumps, draw up estimates and meet with potential clients, just to name a few of the many things I do. I think enjoying what I do and the customers I get to serve is what keeps me coming back.
Q. What does a typical workday involve?
A. A typical work day involves rising before the sun, heading to the office to draw up estimates, squeeze in a couple of service calls before going out and drilling a well, having lunch with my crew, drilling some more, then heading out to run more service calls.
Q. What does it take to succeed in what you do?
A. It takes hard work, dedication and exceptional customer service. Most nights I do not make it home for dinner with my family. I work in the snow during the winter and the dead of heat during the summer. It is hard and dirty work, but I enjoy it. Being honest and upfront with customers and providing the best customer service is also what it takes to succeed, especially in a small town.
Q. What do you wish you knew when you started?
A. I wish I knew how hard it would be to work for/with family. However, I would not be where I am today without the opportunity to work for the family business and one day getting to pass it down to my son.
Q. What tool can you not imagine working without?
A. This may sound cliché, but it would have to be my cell phone. I use it for everything from Google — to find where I am going on the next service call — to keeping track of how many feet we have drilled, to ordering supplies, to staying in contact with my office staff, to assisting customers. I could not imagine working without it.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. The best advice I have been given is from my dad and granddad and that is to work hard, be honest and serve others. We don’t get every job that we give estimates for, but more often than not we will get a job, not because we were the cheapest, but because we were forthcoming and honest about what to expect and were honest on our estimate. Working hard is something I have learned from my dad and was expected of me growing up. I work hard because I have seen the benefits of it not only on the business side, but also personal side. In a small town, word of mouth travels fast. We are known for working hard and serving others, even if that means going on a service call Christmas morning because someone is out of water.
Q. How would you describe the present state of the industry?
A. I think that there are more and more people and businesses starting well drilling. It is a competitive industry and an industry that will always have a need. I think that with all of the areas that we service, all of the services we provide and the fact that we have been around for many years and provide exceptional customer service and work, it definitely sets us apart from the rest.