Kraut, who says the plan is to eventually offer customers
a choice of hydraulic rigs in different sizes, notes that
the 7300 machine is being put to the test at a customer’s
“We’re getting performance statistics for it in a daily production
application and this will provide some good feedback
on what the machine can do,” he said.
Kraut believes that this in turn will enable potential buyers
to make a better, more informed decision when choosing
their next hydraulic rig.
Doug emphasizes that the company hasn’t forgotten its roots
and he firmly believes there’s still a place for mechanical drilling
rigs in the construction industry.
“Mechanical machines have more feel and can drill faster
than the hydraulic rigs. In the right conditions, they are the
most productive machines out there,” Kraut said.
“Many companies like to have them for certain types of
work because they know that matching mechanical rigs
to the right jobs enable them to get the job done faster and
make more money as a result.”
Doug says his company remains fully committed to customers
who have purchased mechanical rigs from them in
“There are well over a 1,000 machines out there today, still
operating off of the traditional mechanical design and we feel
supporting those is critical,” he said.
“We understand the importance of service and keeping
parts for rigs that are 30 years old. You’ve got to still have
parts for them sitting on the shelf.”
Watson says being able to build rigs that last that
long relates directly to his company’s motto: Tougher,
“Drilling is one of the most demanding machine applications
out there. Breakdowns are always something you want
to avoid, obviously. We build machines to take the punishment,
day in and day out, and keep operating for decades
rather than years,” said Doug.
“‘Complexity is the enemy of reliability.’ All of our machines
have a simpler design, so they break down less and it’s easier
to get them back up and running when things do go wrong.
“Our machines have been developed to do the job faster.
They set up faster, they swing faster, they drill faster … all
those elements where you can save time during the daily
operation and get in and out of the job more quickly.”
Kraut agreed, “Our drills are made for fast cycle times,
which is the time it takes to bring a load of material from the
bottom of the hole up to the surface, clear the auger and then
start the process again.”
SEE "A FAMILY AFFAIR" ON PAGE 26
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