Selecting the right directional drilling company
When it comes to dealing with underground construction contractors, many commercial operators would rather crawl on broken glass on their stomach than get multiple quotes from contractors. This is an unfortunate occurrence both for the customer requiring the service and for the industries that provide legitimate, values-based and competent directional drilling services. The simple truth is that there are quite a few bad apples and you need to be very careful to find the right contractual partner for your project.
Often times, when a client requests a quote from a directional drilling contractor, what they are really looking for is a rough estimate so they can determine if it is within their budget. A good contractor will take the time to gather the initial details of the project and provide a good faith estimate. You should only work with contractors who are willing to work with you. If at any time you feel rushed or seem bothered by your applications, find a different contractor right away.
You will be able to get a good idea of how thorough the contractor is by how well the budget is organized, the attention to detail and, in particular, if you list any assumptions that may not have occurred to you early in your planning. Look for a contractor looking for ways to get the job done faster, easier, and at a lower cost for you. However, whatever you do, don’t buy just for the price. Underground construction is not a business to be taken lightly. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it can be complicated, expensive, and, when done incorrectly, deadly.
Request references and take the time to email or call the references provided. Next, Google the contractor’s business and see if he really has an internet presence. A well-established business doesn’t show up overnight with lots of links and referrals. That takes time to develop and can be a very good indicator that this is not a night trade. Often, you can even determine how busy they are, the types of projects they are bidding for, winning, and completing by reviewing your website.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of directional drilling contractors, be sure to request what’s commonly called a “site tour” – don’t accept a quote from the site you haven’t seen. In the end, if the project ends up being more complicated or expensive than the contractor planned, you could find yourself in the driveway with a very awkward conversation or worse, just disappear, leaving you with a mess. It is imperative that the contracting company you are working with takes the time to physically tour the site, take action, and identify and communicate any potential areas of concern or risk to you.