Tyler Felder and Randy Eddings use the 7822DT to rock core deep in the woods near Reidsville, NC.
Elite Techniques, in Camden, SC, has experienced substantial growth since it was launched in early 2013 by Dearal Rodgers and his wife, April. Today, the Women Owned Small Business has a dozen employees and is the proud owner of three Geoprobe® 7822DT’s.
Known for his drilling and fishing accomplishments, Dearal believes the versatility of the 7822DT is a key component to the company’s success.
Over the last few years, Elite Techniques has put the machine to the test. A few of the many jobs that have been successfully completed include; augering 4.25-in. hollow stem augers to 120 feet, auger and mud rotary SPT holes to 100 feet, installing 4-in. water wells with mud and air rotary to 100 feet, and two “unforgettable” rock coring locations through granite that reached 220 feet. “We have asked a lot from our 7822DTs,” Dearal said, “and each time, they’ve exceeded us and our client’s expectations.”
Training and the Right Equipment
As a relatively small company, Dearal has been asked why not stick with environmental OR geotechnical drilling? Why both?
Dearal Rodgers, Co-Owner of Elite Techniques, won the 2010 FLW Tour Forrest Wood Cup.
He found the answer fishing!
Most of Dearal’s clients know that he likes to tournament bass fish. It’s something that he’s always enjoyed and, “I have been blessed to compete nationally, at fishing’s highest level,” he said. “When I first started competing in the early 2000’s, I learned pretty quickly that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did about bass fishing! Where I grew up, we almost always used a plastic worm!”
Versatility Leads to Success
As he climbed the ladder in the sport and continued to compete against the best bass anglers in the world, Dearal learned how to use spinnerbaits, crankbaits, swimbaits, frogs, topwater, buzzbaits, and hundreds of other techniques. “I made an effort to learn it all,” he said, “and it worked! Versatility was the key.” (Dearal won the 2009 FLW Tour CoAngler of the year award, and the 2010 FLW Tour Forrest Wood Cup.)
Elite’s clients can confirm that Dearal knows a thing or two about drilling as well. Similar to fishing, he’s tried to learn as much as possible about the capabilities of the 7822DT and also how to complete each drilling technique professionally.
“These 78 rigs are extremely versatile. They can probe, mud rotary, auger, air rotary, SPT, CPT, inject, and so much more,” he explained. “Drilling, to me, is a lot like fishing. You’re working with a lure or drill rod that you can’t see the business end of because it’s in the water or in the ground. You have to make the right adjustments to achieve success. It’s very rewarding when success comes because of the decisions you made. It’s what I strive for, to learn as many techniques as I can and to be the best, whether I am fishing or drilling. It’s also where I got the idea for our business name, Elite Techniques.”
A 7822DT was lifted by a crane to complete a dam project in Aiken, SC.
Finding Your Niche
He admits that it takes a larger investment to acquire the tooling and training for all the things their company does, but, according to Dearal, it has been worth every penny!
“The market changes and you have to be ready for whatever happens,” he said, “and the 7822DT definitely has prepared us for that. Last year, the flooding in South Carolina created a lot of geotechnical work for ATV type rigs. We were fortunate and had three 7822DTs ready to go. It’s really pretty simple; the more techniques a machine can do and that we, as drillers, know how to do, the more work there is for us. For every technique I’ve learned in drilling, there has been a market for it.”
Kyle King, Driller for Elite Techniques, and a 7822DT are soil sampling on the South Carolina State House lawn.
Grow Your Capabilities
Being versatile has been the key to the company avoiding down time. He and his crew plan to push the 7822DT to new heights (or depths!), drilling longer, in tighter places, deeper, and in harder material than has ever been done before. According to Dearal, “When the phone rings and the client asks, ‘Can you do it?’ I’ll say what I always say ... YES, WE CAN!”
Elite Technique’s crews are currently working at numerous high profile sites throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.