As we approach summer, this is sure to be an active, constructive season. In ramping up for increased activity, now is the time to watch out for common or often overlooked issues with drilling rigs and other foundation equipment. A little expert attention now can help keep your operations from grinding to a halt when your jobsite is just hitting its stride.

We talked with three IDE experts to get their takes on what they consider to be common issues related to service, parts and fabrication that can be addressed by working with the right team before drilling heats up this summer. Joining us were Matt Stump, Andrew Early and Michael Matulia, IDE’s service, parts and fabrication managers, respectively. Together, they represent about a half century of experience in the drilling equipment industry.

Service issue: Delaying routine maintenance

“Due to the atmosphere these machines are in, they take a beating,” Says Matt Stump, IDE Service Manager. “They take a lot of abuse from daily work.”

According to Stump, routine maintenance is vital. While it may be tough to resist the urge to keep drilling and delay maintenance, the risk is simply too great. But having the right service partner is key.

Having worked in the foundation industry before coming to IDE, Stump explains that “when they are down, minutes equal lost dollars and it really adds up quick. Fast and effective service is crucial to getting back up and running as fast as possible.”

Even when service is done on schedule, equipment can break. And when that happens, that service partner relationship can save days of downtime. “We’re available all the time,” says Stump. “If a machine is down, we can have someone from here on their site in 24 hours. Most of our competitors simply do not offer that level of service.”

Parts issue: Misidentifying parts

“What a client calls a specific part and what a manufacturer calls that same part could be different things,” explains Andrew Early, IDE Parts Manager. To avoid mistakes and delays, Early’s team makes it a point of pride to understand exactly what the customer needs. It takes parts experts who know their way around the equipment and the parts manuals, to be sure. The difference is in how well those experts work with customers and manufacturers alike to make sure the order gets filled correctly.

“We almost work as an interpreter,” he continues, “to ensure accuracy first and foremost.”

But speed also plays a big role in avoiding unnecessary downtime. “We’re always moving to get the right parts out quickly and on time,” says Early. “When we succeed, our customers succeed in getting their jobsites back to work.”

Fabrication issue: Not enough time for a factory solution

According to Michael Matulia, IDE Fabrication Manager, the biggest issue he sees customers facing is time. “It’s a huge issue,” he explains, “when a manufacturer can’t make something quick enough.”

Often it’s about creating a custom solution for a specific need on the job, something Matulia knows much about. He worked for a drilling company fabricating custom parts on the jobsite prior to joining IDE in 2013.

Matulia’s team jumps in to design and build what the customer needs. “We can simply make it faster,” he adds. This allows customers to have a custom-made part installed and running in a fraction of the time it would take the factory to get it done.

It also takes pressure off the manufacturer to know that highly skilled fabricators are helping maximize the value of their equipment for the customer. “We believe in and love what we do,” says Matulia. “It feels good to know we’re getting our clients where they want to be.”

Now it’s your turn.

The issues our experts have talked about here probably sound familiar to you. But we know we’ve just scratched the surface. What other issues are your jobsites facing as you get ready for summer? Reach out to our team to ask questions or to talk about what your operation should look for as jobs start ramping up again.