To complete primarily environmental, geothermal and cathodic drilling, EWI’s Springfield office started with two Geoprobe® 6620s. As business grew, they added a 7822DT.
“The 7822DT has 25 percent more power, yet it still fits into our gas station sites and goes under canopies without issues,” Yoakum said. “The oscillating mast is great for uneven surfaces and I’ve got the pull-back power to pull 50 to 60 feet of dual tube.”
The bulk of EWI Springfield’s drilling business revolves around environmental sampling and installing monitoring wells for contaminated gas stations. They also work on old industrial sites and on pipeline projects determining depth of contamination, identifying extent of soil and water infiltration, and cleaning up contamination.
With the addition of a Version 3 7822DT, their four Geoprobe® combination rigs are sometimes out working seven days a week.
The 7822DT V3 offers additional advantages.
“We can track longer without overheating the hydraulics, which is really important when working on pipeline projects in 90-degree weather,” Yoakum said. “Sliding the center of gravity up and not needing the tool rack to balance helps a lot in swampy environments.”
Yoakum appreciates Geoprobe® customer service and headquarters being close to home.
“We like to use HPT to cross section sites, but in southeast Missouri we don’t have ideal geography to do Direct Image®. Dan [Pipp] and Ben [Jester] are always finding new ways to get the results we were originally going after. Essentially we break it and they find a way to make it better,” Yoakum said.
Geoprobe® Sonic Enhances EWI Growth
While attending a Geoprobe® Open House, Yoakum excitedly witnessed the Geoprobe® rotary sonic quickly and efficiently drilling and installing a well. He had wanted one since. So this spring he embraced the EWI entrepreneurial culture and made the case to include sonic services.
“Clients in the Midwest don’t have a lot of options for sonic work and dislike the cost of mobilizing sonic machines from other states. So I convinced the company we could make a name for ourselves in sonic drilling,” Yoakum said. “We have three months of work lined up for the sonic. It took two months to do that.”
Recently Yoakum returned to a site where mud, air, and auger had all been troublesome. The geology goes back and forth from dolomite, sandstone, clay, mud, and so on for about 150 to 165 feet to where competent rock exists.
“The sonic method cut like butter. Traditionally to get to 120 feet and build a well at this site was a two-day process. With the sonic we were able to get the well drilled and installed in 12 hours, with zero issues,” Yoakum said. “This ended up saving our client several thousand dollars while keeping waste cost to a minimum.”
Born to be a Driller
Yoakum’s entrepreneurial spirit sparked during his youth. Cutoff fatigues and tank tops were his uniform of choice working summers for his father’s “accidental” drilling company.
“I always had marks on my arms from slinging rods,” Yoakum said. “Drilling is in my blood.”
His father installed a gas well to heat his shop. Then the neighbor wanted a well, and then their neighbor wanted a well. Eventually Yoakum’s father sold his excavating business to focus on wells.
“To this day, my favorite thing to do is put in a water well – I like to see water coming out of the ground,” Yoakum said.
And while Yoakum has been working to expand EWI’s drilling services business, that hasn’t been the only thing growing.
“Now I have my own little boy, Wyatt, and I hope he’s a driller too,” Yoakum said.
Guest blog by Lori Livengood, Marketing & Promotion Specialist at Geoprobe Systems