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Drill rig Storage

Drill rig Storage

Drill rig Storage


I might have an opportunity in the near future to buy an old/used/small rig for geotechnical investigation works.

At this time I don't own any company, I just work for a regular company. So thinking ahead, I was planning to store the rig in one of the parking lots of the many storage units that are available in USA. I though about this as I don't own any shop nor big house.

The storage unit representative told me that in order to proceed with this, I need to show her the rig insurance.

Again, since I don't have any company yet, I don't have any rig or commercial insurance.

My plan is buy the rig and store it for about 6 or 7 months, until I get all the pieces together to start running a company. I understand that the cost of the rig is a good opportunity to invest.

Someone told me about a "general liability policy", which might be enough to cover for the insurance of the rig but I have no clue how this works.

I know this is not the first time this happens to someone who wants to run a business in the future, unfortunately all the pieces don't fall in order or sequence to start operating, so I guess whenever an opportunity arises, I guess you need to take advantage of that.

Does anyone has any advice about this?

Please let me know,

RE: Drill rig Storage

General liability insurance covers items like vehicles (your personal car insurance is a type of limited general liability) and real property. You should be able to purchase it from any insurance broker. Be sure to tell them that you are just going to store the drill rig for xx months, that should lower the rate.

Since you don't have a business yet, you may have to purchase this as an individual. Not sure of the implications of doing it that way.

Mike Lambert

RE: Drill rig Storage

If you are very mechanically inclined, have a good stock of tools, Know how to weld, etc., you'd be very lucky to have everything work out. I've seen several companies start into doing test borings, etc. and only those highly experienced have succeeded. Those with no prior drill rigs hands on didn't do well at all, sold the rig and went back to former work. Be prepared for several lean years at best.

RE: Drill rig Storage


Thanks, I will do more research about the General liability insurance coverage being purchase as an individual. Hopefully they will understand that the rig will not be in use for XX months instead of suggesting me to get a "commercial policy" and requiring me to formally set up a business.

oldesguy, thanks for the heads up. Yes, in the parking spot I went to visit, there is enough room to account for the additional drilling tools.

Thanks again,

RE: Drill rig Storage

My remarks have nothing to do with tool storage. It has to do with having themselves properly equipped and knowing how to use them. I've seen those with little previous drilling and mechanical fixing or know how wasting valuable time, hiring mechanical help, etc. I also have seen them in trouble for not having proper driver's license. I'd not get into it if there are any questions. Also, never run a drill rig solo. Accidents can happen. It's a dangerous job. I've seen two guys killed in the business.

RE: Drill rig Storage

Also, you should make sure the drill rig you are planning to purchase can handle the soils/rock in the area you will be practicing. Site accessibility should also be factored in (i.e. track-mounted, truck-mounted, ATV-mounted, trailer-mounted, etc.)

RE: Drill rig Storage

Thanks again for the valuable advise.

RE: Drill rig Storage

As a side issue, owning and maintaining drill rigs is a costly venture and many geotechnical engineers/companies have someone else do the drilling (contract drilling) and just do the logging and sample evaluation in the field. This seems to vary a lot across the US with company owned drill rigs being popular in some areas and not even considered in other areas, especially where test pits are common and backhoes are needed. The problem is that one needs a couple of different drill rigs to handle most sites like jmcc3265 notes above. Many sites cannot be traversed with truck mounted rigs when they are wet or frost is coming out of the ground. Most all-terrain rigs require a truck/trailer to haul them around so this gets expensive also.

Decide if you want to be a driller or a geotechnical engineer as it may not be as nice at it may first seem to do all the work yourself.

RE: Drill rig Storage

OG once more. Ok so you are out there drilling, taking split spoon samples and the power quits with the sampler stuck down there. Or you blow a hydraulic hose with oil all over the place. With an older rig all kinds of things happen. To top it all off the truck is stuck. This reminds of the time I time to one of our drill rigs and there had been rain and the ground was very soft. Rig was stuck. Drillers wanted to csll a wrecker to pull them out, (note two drillers). I said put on the tire chains. They said "We have to be out on dry ground so we can drive on them and then attach." I had good clothes on and was about to show how to do it anyhow. Now how's come those experienced drillers didn't know that simple job?? You don't need a jack but a shovel helps a little. And you might get muddy. With duals it is a little tricky.

RE: Drill rig Storage

As others have noted...drill rigs are a pain in the ass!

If you go this route, insurance is not a big issue. You can get commercial general liability (CGL) as an individual or company. Since the drill rig is not a vehicle, it is classified as equipment so no big deal.

RE: Drill rig Storage

Thanks again,

Yes, to own a drill rig is a big responsibility, I am aware of that. I have seen few family business owing drill rigs and at the beginning is some sort off learning curve, then later, things work as expected.

I was told with the "liability insurance" (for my purposes) is enough. Remember I mentioned my plan is to store the rig at parking spot of a storage unit (maybe a RV parking spot), for few months, until I get everything organized to start officially / legally.

Another insurance company told me if I get a "full coverage" insurance it will be way more expensive (obviously) than the liability insurance. Since the equipment will not be in use for a while, "full coverage" might not me necessary.

RE: Drill rig Storage

If there is risk of vandals, Then fire or other than liability insurance.

RE: Drill rig Storage

I worked for Geocon (Toronto) back in the mid to late 70s. We had our own drill rigs then. But it got to a point that it was much easier to use outside drilling specialists. Didn't give you as much wiggle-room when billing the client - but made life easier.

RE: Drill rig Storage

I was in a company that had our own drill rigs, testing lab, etc. and a single owner. That drilling section of the company never was better than break even. A few of the engineers and my self bought out the owner. We broke off the drilling as another company, separate owners. That worked out very well, using them and passing their cost to the clients.

RE: Drill rig Storage

I agree with Big H and OG. 80 percent of the stress from my job comes from drill rigs. Every morning on my way to work, if I receive a phone call, I pray it is not the drillers calling to tell me they are stuck or something on the rig broke. Then I have to go back to the client and inform them we will be behind schedule. We will also likely lose money on the project due to drill rig repairs and/or paying for a dozer to pull us out. There a lot of headaches when it comes to drill rigs.

I do however, like having at least 1 drill crew.

RE: Drill rig Storage

This thread is dredging up a LOT of memories. Let me share some....
As pointed out above, drilling is seldom a profit-center; it can be a foot-in-the-door to get a contract, and that's good. As a GeoTech Engineer, you have more of an appreciation for the data and the samples than the average driller who only cares about making as much footage ( and therefore, money) as he can, but isn't all that careful about logging in every change in strata.
Drill rigs live a harsh life, and require much maintenance. They even seem to break down when not in use. They will always break down in the most inconvenient location--usually in whatever standing water is on the site.
Drill rigs need to be running to make money. Trying to schedule one for part time use is difficult--you still have to keep your drilling crew profitable, somehow. Now, if that is just you and a tech, and you have other ways to be billable, then it might be OK.
Know the limitations of your equipment and abilities. 10'-15' holes are very different from 150' deep holes. A rig that can spin HSA in clay to 150' is much bigger than one that is best limited to 15' I know the Owners of the companies I worked for always stretched whatever I told them was the capability of the machines we had. If I said " Its a good rig for 15' holes", they'd bid 60' holes. When we got a larger rig that could handle the 60' holes, they immediately bid 100+ holes.
Also remember safety--you are responsible for the safety of yourself and everyone else around the rig. I beat up myself pretty good, but never got anyone else hurt.

Not trying to discourage you at all. It seems like you have an idea of a way to do your job, and serve your Clients better--that is commendable. Just do it with your eyes as wide open as possible.

RE: Drill rig Storage

This old guy with another point. Most jobs cannot afford the luxury of an engineer out there logging, etc. So you have to depend on the guys doing a great job every time. However, minor things can develop and come back to bite you in big ways. The result of "supervising" does not always result in happy workers. Experienced crews can shortcut the work and you will never know it, usually. I won't detail some of them, but they can be ingenious. However, a smart supervisor showing up an inopportune time can help minimize them. So, it's not just equipment problems, but people problems to watch for also.

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