After leaving Georgia Tech, we reformed Cutter and Dad Drilling Company in 1968 in Adel, Ga., and we drilled wells around the area for many years.
In 1980, we closed the company because Georgia local and state politics were making it more difficult day by day to drill wells and make a dollar. We moved lock, stock and barrel back to Enid, Okla., (our home) where I went to work for George E. Failing Co. To work for Failing, you could not be in competition with their customers. So I had to sell my drilling equipment. While I had the equipment for sale, several Failing employees had never seen a well drilled and they wanted a well.
My son Piglet was only 14 years old at the time, but he contracted to drill wells for several Failing employees. The employees wanted to watch him drill their wells. Since he was only 14, he couldn’t legally drive the equipment to the locations. I’d have to move the drill to the jobsite and then Bess would take me back to get the water truck while Piglet got set up to drill the following morning.
For one of these jobs, Piglet thought it was too hot out to drill on that particular day and wanted to wait until the next day. I told him that the time to work was when you had a job. Needless to say, this is Oklahoma where the weather changes quickly. The following day it turned out to be cold and raining so he had to drill anyway. That was one of the many lessons that Piglet soon learned.
All of the Failing employees that Piglet drilled for were impressed and now had experience watching a well drilled with the same equipment that they had been building.
Both of my sons earned their Certified Well Driller and Pump Installer (CWD/PI) designation at a very young age. Piglet was certified at the age of 11. To my knowledge, he’s the youngest to ever be certified. I think today you have to be 21 to even take the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) examinations.
Some months after Piglet’s work for these Failing employees, we sold the equipment and I miss it daily. Now I’m 80 years old, and my sons are restoring a Failing 250 to new condition. Do I need a rig? No. But just as some people like to own muscle cars, I want a restored rig. Am I going to run it? No. However, our goal is to display it one day at the South Atlantic Well Drillers Jubilee.
Cutter Family Updates
My son Randall has moved back from Tennessee to Virginia Beach to be the drilling manager for a local drilling contractor that he worked for several years ago.
Piglet continues consulting and teaching well drilling for our company Drilling Consultants International in the United States and developing countries. In December, he was on a short consulting job in northern Haiti. They are having problems with effluent getting into their well water at an orphanage. He diagnosed the problem and made recommendations. We’re now awaiting their decisions.
Our company, Drilling Consultants International, has jobs pending in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, New Guinea, Baja California and others. Keep up with us on Facebook by liking National Driller or connecting with Chris Cutter.
Bess, the mother, manager and leader of the pack lurks in the background (hopefully), looking for anything that appears to be out of line and guiding it back in line.