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Drilling Mechanic Expertise Keeps Fleet in Peak Shape


Drilling mechanic expertise facilitates 3230DT cylinder replacement within confines of barge.

Drilling mechanic expertise facilitates 3230DT cylinder replacement within confines of barge.

Odyssey Environmental Services Inc, a busy environmental drilling and remediation company located in Pennsylvania, completes a plethora of projects around Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, New York, and Ohio. Often traveling with little downtime makes them thankful for their reliable equipment.

“We’re doing the same thing we’ve been doing for 20 years. What has changed is the size and versatility of the Geoprobe® rigs we’re running,” Steven Venios, president, said. “Twenty years ago, all the shallow environmental monitoring wells were drilled with a large, truck-mounted auger rig or a full-size air rotary rig for typical 30- and 40-foot monitoring wells. Now we can accomplish 90% of environmental monitoring wells with our fleet of Geoprobe® rigs.”

Venios has come to rely on the East Coast Service Center (ECSC) in Oxford, Pennsylvania, for standard repairs to emergency repairs.

“We’ve had them perform electrical troubleshooting, hydraulic repairs, and valve and cylinder replacements,” Venios said. “We just had a 7822DT split the frame. They basically tore the thing down, rebuilt it, and returned it in less than two weeks.”

While they still do their maintenance and troubleshooting with the phone support crew in Salina, they find the drilling mechanic team at the ECSC saves time and frustration.

“If we can, we save up minor problems on each rig and have the ECSC take care of them all at once. We coordinate with them and they usually have everything we need to get the rigs back in a couple of days,” Venios said. “We recently purchased a used 3230DT and the first thing we did was send it to the ECSC for a complete run through and checkup. They give us confidence and comfort knowing we have great support just down the road.”

During their 20 years of operation, one of their struggles has been servicing rigs. He considers Dave Harrison and the drilling mechanic team at the ECSC life savers.

“I think of Dave Harrison as part of our team to depend on. We depend on good vendors, accountants, truck mechanics, and Dave to keep Odyssey running,” Venios said. “ECSC knows what they’re doing. We’d take our rigs to a local hydraulic shop and they would have to coordinate and communicate with the Salina engineers to identify the problem. With Dave and the ECSC, it’s like having the engineers and guys who built the machine right down the road.”

He appreciates that Odyssey doesn't typically have to wait on the ECSC when they have an emergency repair.

“Dave is good about squeezing us in. It’s top-notch customer service typical of everyone at Geoprobe®. Our problem becomes their problem, all with a smile,” Venios said. “It usually isn’t a good thing when we have to call the ECSC guys to fix a rig, but it’s always good conversation and we are confident they will have the solution we need.”

Emergency Repair

One particular call came during a multi-month barge project when the probe cylinder on their 3230DT broke, leaving it stuck on the top of the foot. Though the barge was just a few hours south of the ECSC, at the time of the breakdown Harrison was working on another customer’s rig in New York City.

“I talked them through as much of the repair as I could over the phone until I was available,” Harrison said.

Once on scene, Harrison completed a 7-hour probe cylinder replacement within the confines of the barge.

“The ECSC has helped tremendously. Odyssey’s income comes from drilling, not having drillers fixing rigs,” Venios said. “With the ECSC, we can keep our drillers doing what they do best while the rig is getting taken care of.”

He feels better knowing they have a drilling mechanic to depend on when they can’t do something themselves. Venios also confesses that since relying on the ECSC they have less downtime and more productive machines that are kept in better shape.

"ECSC provides professional care we appreciate. I think we’ll get longer life out our machines because the OEM service center is maintaining them,” Venios said. "ECSC gives us confidence to go out, beat these rigs up a little more than we used to, and have reliability in the industry."

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