A Water Well Drilling Business

In the late 1970s a couple enterprising Nex Mexico tinkerers developed a rig that enabled them to offer water well drilling services at a fraction of the cost of large operators, and still profit handsomely.

| July/August 1980

  • 064 well drilling business - ditches and mud pump
    [PHOTO 2] Two shallow ditches and settling holes are dug and a mud pump set in place before the drilling of a new well is begun.
  • 064 well drilling business - skip piper
    [PHOTO 4] Skip Piper, the co-inventor of the Explorer 2000.
  • 064 well drilling business - piper hydro truck
    [PHOTO 1] Piper Hydro's Explorer 2000 water well drilling apparatus mounted on a pickup truck.
  • 064 well drilling business - drilling in progress
    [PHOTO 3] A continuous stream of water is pumped through the drill bit. Note the innovative wiper paddle just above the earth-cutting bit.
  • 064 well drilling business - panels 5, 6
    [PHOTO 5] Roy Proctor, Skip's partner, watches as a trainee connects two drill stems. [PHOTO 6] A close-up of the Explorer 2000's hydraulic system and rotary table. The red hose carries circulating water from the mud pump to the drill stem.
  • 064 well drilling business - explorer 2000 demo
    [PHOTO 7] Skip demonstrates the abilities of the Explorer 2000 while a 3000 (foreground) sits idly by.

  • 064 well drilling business - ditches and mud pump
  • 064 well drilling business - skip piper
  • 064 well drilling business - piper hydro truck
  • 064 well drilling business - drilling in progress
  • 064 well drilling business - panels 5, 6
  • 064 well drilling business - explorer 2000 demo

Folks, if you've been waiting for us to come up with the perfect, rural-based, "be your own boss" business—one that might be right up your alley—be sure you give this article a darn good looking over ... because we've discovered an inexpensive way to get into a one-person water well drilling business that may just be one of the best home enterprises ever!

Now, anyone who has ever seen a conventional drilling machine will probably feel it's unlikely that an individual could set him- or herself up in this business for a reasonable investment ... and there's good reason for such skepticism! After all, the rigs most well drillers use are massive ten-wheeled trucks-loaded with 30-foot towers, giant engines, and heavy equipment-that can cost as much as $300,000!

But suppose (just suppose) that you could purchase a completely functional, hydraulic-powered, domestic water well drilling rig that would fit on a small trailer or the back of a pickup truck, be capable of boring a hole eight inches in diameter and 600 feet deep ... and yet cost a relatively affordable $7,500? Furthermore, suppose that the fellows who made such a miracle earth piercer were willing to provide a two-day training course in using the device (even if you weren't at all sure that you wanted to buy it)?

Sounds pretty good, huh? Especially when you consider that owning an inexpensive well drilling machine would enable you to charge less for your services than the "big boys" do (thus giving your customers a money-saving break) ... yet still clear more profit-and get more customers-than does the competition!

Well, it's all true! A couple of tool-happy New Mexicans named Gailard "Skip" Piper and Roy Proctor have—entirely on their own—invented the Piper Hydro EXPLORER 2000, a unique well drilling machine that actually accomplishes everything described above! And MOTHER EARTH NEWS can assure you that the small but hardy rig does, indeed, do the job ... because we've seen it perform!  

How Well Drilling Works

Before we can describe the specific functional virtues of the EXPLORER 1200, we'll have to explain a bit about well drilling in general. To begin with, there are two principal techniques used for boring domestic water holes: cable and rotary drilling. Cable (or "pounder") rigs hammer out a hole by repeatedly dropping a 1,500-pound "tool string" onto an earth-cutting bit. Any driller using such a rig must stop every few feet and—with water and a long bailing bucket—clean out the bottom of the hole. You might imagine that all the required pounding and bailing would make for some pretty slow progress ... and, in fact, cable rigs can take up to two weeks to drill a household well. 

2/12/2015 9:44:35 AM

Wow, I am a bit of an business person myself, and this seems pretty low risk and low investment. Essentially $7,500 to buy the drill, hire an employee or two to drill and find clients and set them loose. I like your point about being able to charge less than some of the other companies. It seems like a good way to get jobs. http://www.hullwellandpumpfl.com/services.html

4/25/2014 9:26:09 PM

HuanYu Drilling Machinery Co., Ltd Drill water wells,Price concessions! hydrillrig.com

Gloria _1
1/5/2009 7:34:38 PM

How deep does this machine drill? Does it need special accessories to get the water or would I be able to purchase equipment from other sources to make water wells. Do I have to purchase special accessories from your company each time I use this machine to drill?



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