Environmental/Geotechnical drilling is a challenging profession that demands adaptation to unpredictable situations. This job plays a critical role in environmental research and remediation. Yet, several phrases fill drillers with dread during their fieldwork. Here are six things environmental drillers loathe hearing on the job.

"One More Hole..."

 Environmental drillers often hear this phrase after completing the day's required wells. Just when they expect to wrap up, someone says, "My boss wants one more hole." It seems like there's always an extra hole to drill, but never one less. By this point, equipment is packed and fatigue sets in. The idea of unpacking and drilling another hole is far from appealing for drillers.

“Don't Worry, You Have Full Access to the Site"

This phrase often comes from engineers who haven't set foot on the site. They rely on aerial imagery and computer models for planning, but on arrival, drillers discover impassable access roads and site conditions that are vastly different from initial descriptions. Drillers then face the daunting task of overcoming these challenges, turning a straightforward job into a logistical nightmare.

"Google Earth Says..."

Drillers regularly encounter this line from engineers or project managers, who often use Google Earth to assess site conditions. They assume it provides accurate information; however, drillers often find disparities between satellite imagery and reality. Whether it's a dense forest instead of a clear path, or a steeper slope necessitating extensive winching, relying solely on Google Earth can lead to unexpected complications.

“You Have Hand Augers in Your Truck?”

One of the most frustrating scenarios for drillers is being compelled to use hand augers to clear a hole, only to face auger refusal. Even more concerning is being told to use a metal bar to break up obstructions. Safety concerns arise as drillers must consider potential hazards, such as buried pipes or electric lines. The lack of safety consideration frustrates drillers who are committed to safe practices.

"Are You Okay with This?"

Drillers often encounter disbelief when asked if they are okay with executing a particular job. This question typically arises after a driller has already completed a task that may have posed safety risks or obstructed traffic. For instance, lifting the mast in the middle of the road without proper cones or signage is a hazardous situation that should have been addressed before drilling commenced. Drillers shouldn't be put in such precarious positions.

"The Field Appears Dry..."

Arguably, the most infamous phrase in environmental drilling is, "The field appears dry; I drove my pickup truck all over it, no problem." Experienced drillers often meet this assurance with skepticism. Upon arriving at the site, they may encounter mud and muck, contradicting the notion of a dry field. Sometimes, their drilling rig becomes stuck, and they face the challenge of extracting it from the mire.

Environmental drilling necessitates adaptability and a strong commitment to safety.

In conclusion, environmental drilling necessitates adaptability and a strong commitment to safety. These six phrases highlight the common frustrations and challenges faced by drillers in the field. Effective communication and collaboration between drillers, engineers, and project managers are crucial to ensure smooth and safe drilling projects. Understanding and addressing these concerns can foster a more efficient and productive work environment for environmental drillers.