It sounds like a dumb question. But I ask in all earnestness. I want to know what makes a driller a driller.

Let me explain. I trained in college as a journalist. I worked in newspapers for much of my professional life. So, what makes an editor an editor? Part of it boils down to personality. Finding misspellings on signs and restaurant menus gives me a selfish, self-congratulatory thrill. I have a natural aptitude for grammar and spelling. Part of it comes from training: organization, a drive for accuracy and consistency, a passion for meeting deadline to get the magazine in your hands. I enjoy storytelling through words. These traits make me an editor.

What, then, is a driller?

I'm the first to admit that I don't have calloused hands. I don't work tools for a living. I wear sneakers to the office, not work boots to protect me from the elements (and the occasional dropped tool). I don't need a hardhat to type this. The contractor, work-a-day life allows me to do what I do—I thank you for that—in the same way a soldier's life makes both of ours possible. At the same time, the contractor's life sits in the background. I don't see it. I don't think a lot of people do, unless they need a well drilled or some fiber optic cable tucked under a street.

I assume a lot, but I want to know. I see contractors as honest, kind of burly people who know their trade like the back of their rough hands. They pull on jeans, a t-shirt and work boots in the morning and get the jobs done that I'm too busy or soft and pasty to do. I see that drillers worry about their equipment: how long their rig will last, how much the darn thing cost in the first place and how to get the most jobs done during its useful life. I think many independent drillers worry about getting customers and growing business. I believe many drillers and company owners want to know more about new products that make their lives easier, or save them money or time.

But I don't know for sure. I hear from a lot of drillers, but I haven't heard from you. What's important to you? Why? What problems do you solve every day? How can I write stories or conduct expert interviews so that I can help you solve those problems?

That's what I mean when I ask, what is a driller?

Part of it, just like for me, comes from natural aptitude. Maybe you have biceps like a large primate. I certainly don't. Maybe you have the engineering mind that says, "This safest way to drill this foundation is to go to x depth for a y diameter drilled piling." I don't think that way. Part of it, just like me, comes from training. Maybe you grew up learning how to run a rig from your dad (or even your mom). Maybe you took a trade course to learn about proper pump installation techniques.

These things make you a driller and I want to hear about them in your words. Send me an email at or leave a comment below. Your perspective is important: It guides coverage in National Driller, and in our eNewsletters and on our website. Knowing what you like to read, what you need to know to do your job better, makes National Driller a better, more useful magazine to drilling professionals. And it makes my life easier—a win-win deal.

Stay safe out there, drillers.