Water Well Journal

January 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/617280

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Page 31 of 67

Drawing from the Well is a new column by Gary Shawver, MGWC. He is president of Shawver Well Co. Inc., an employee stock ownership plan company in Fredericksburg, Iowa. Shawver has been in the water well industry for 40 years, is a Master Groundwater Contractor, and has served on the National Ground Water Association's Board of Direc- tors. His column will focus on aspects of water well drilling. P lanning and efficiency are two keywords that should be a basic part of any water well contractor's vocabulary. These two words and actions are vital to the success of any water well contractor and can make a big difference in the bottom line. I heard Les Evjen, founder of Flatwater Fleet Inc., give a presentation in 1983 on drilling efficiencies and how it related to the bottom line of any water well contractor's financial statement. He made a statement in that presentation which has stayed with me forever: Our industry spends 30% of its time turning to the right and 70% of our time doing everything else related to the construc- tion of a water well. Just think if you could increase that by just 10% what effect it would have on your bottom line. Since hearing that, I have continually focused my energies on exploring ways to improve upon our efficiencies at my company—which, by the way, is always ongoing. Making a Plan Given we have so many variables in what we do every day, it is vital that we plan every job. Putting together a written job plan—regardless of whether you plan on doing the well your- self or handing it off to someone else in your company— makes you think your way through the construction of the well and reminds you of what all you need to do that job. Forgetting something when you get to the job and having to go back and get it not only loses you the footage you may have drilled in that time, but frankly may double that. Why? You must realize it's not only the revenue that is lost in that timeframe, it is now the money you don't have to spend some- where else! Are you really saying you don't have time to write the job plan, but you have the time to run back and get what you for- got? Come on! When you write a job plan, make a list of all the tools and supplies you're going to need. Most contractors may have most or all of the tooling they need on board and ready to go, but materials and supplies typically aren't. And many jobs vary from job to job as to what materials and even tooling are needed. If you have crews do the work, a written job plan is even more vital. My job plan always covers the following topics: • Why we are drilling the well (replacement, new home, etc.). If a replacement, what the problem was with the existing well and what we plan on doing when we drill the new well (estimated depths, etc.). • Well logs of the closest two or three wells to the customer we are drilling for. • Outline estimated depths casing will be set, the materials needed, etc. • If there are any geological anomalies or other peculiarities to the geology in this area, outline them. • Outline any specifics about the site or any specifics the customer has requested. • Last, outline the best and safest route to take to get to the job in case there may be embargoed bridges, etc. Maps are part of our job packet as well. Advance planning goes right to the bottom line. Remember the old quote from Ben Franklin—"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail." Looking for Efficiency As with any business, the old adage "Time is money" is true in the drilling industry. One of the biggest costs we have is "rate per hour." What that includes is: • The cost of the labor for the job • The cost per hour for fuel to operate the drill and any support equipment • The cost per hour to simply operate the drill as all drills need repair after time and eventually need to be replaced. In short, this is "wear and tear." A FOCUS ON PLANNING AND EFFICIENCY Profits are being squeezed, so it is critical planning and efficiency are a part of everything you do. DRAWING FROM THE WELL 30 January 2016 WWJ waterwelljournal.com GARY SHAWVER, MGWC Ask yourself, "Is there something we can do to shorten this process without sacrificing the quality construction that goes into the well?"

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