As you spend more and more time on a drill site, you start to recognize certain similar behaviours in fellow drillers. You can start to see types of drillers that are different from each other. I was asked the other day, what type of driller am I, and that got me thinking about how to describe the different types of drillers that I spend time with and have been. Here’s what I came up with.
Young speedsters are often new to drilling and feel they have a lot to prove. Being very eager they sometimes try too hard. Despite the lack of experience they are often very confident. This guy wants to prove he’s good. This confidence results in the newbie drilling going really fast but lacking some finesse. Some newbies may have gathered some experience but in limited regions or in limited types of ground conditions. Problems may arise when he encounters tough and challenging conditions or extreme changes in ground conditions as he then realizes there may be a lot he has not yet seen or drilled in. Sometimes newbies are helpers with drilling experience. Oftentimes, they are territorial and do not appreciate outsiders coming in what they consider their territory. As a result they are not receptive to outside help from technical support teams. They tend to be stubborn in their thinking. A newbie knows what he is doing but not enough to know he should be listening more.
Everyone knows a high-baller. He is super competitive and wants to be known as the guy who puts more rock in the box than everyone else. He is a legend in his own mind. His goal is to always drill the most meters possible on every shift and to make sure everyone knows about it. Because he needs to get the most out of each bit, he will test different kinds of bits, always looking for an extra bit of life. Oftentimes he just wants to try the newest bit. The high-baller rarely takes time off and hates to sit around when he could be drilling. This breed exists in other types of drilling as well and was made popular on youtube.
It’s just my job driller
There are those drillers who are on the opposite spectrum than the high-ballers. They will do what is expected and are satisfied with that. If his boss is expecting him to drill between X and Y meters per day, then that is what he will deliver. He’ll go down the hole with a bit or two, and get the expected meters from each bit. He will use the same kind of bit since it does the job – why fix it if it ain’t broke? This driller is not always a good sharer.
Too much experience for his own good driller
Usually this guy has seen himself in most of the other types listed above. He’s a “been there, done that” kind of guy and has been drilling for a long time, in many different regions and types of ground. There isn’t much he hasn’t seen, so he can at times, be a little jaded. Since he may be a little older he may be considering moving into operations. He tends to be calm and nice and does not get excited when crap hits the fan. This guy is open to suggestions and new ideas, new methods and technologies. They can be hard to spot on a drill site since they usually move up the chain quickly.
The All Pro driller
This guy can be a rare breed, but they do exist. He’s the guy who is very sure of himself, enough that he does not have much to prove, and has what seems like endless patience. This is someone who does not rush through things, takes his time and never makes rash decisions under pressure. He is a great teacher and can be a new helper’s best friend. A good sharer! This is the guy who owns his mistakes however rare and sets his cross shift up for success by leaving a clean drill site, clean bore hole, clean core barrel with a short note outlining any issues and ending with those 3 sweet letters every new shift hopes to see. RTD!
All the different types of driller do share certain characteristics. There is a shared mentality that if you’re the guy on the machine, you are responsible for what happens. As a result, most drillers don’t make mistakes…ever. The nightmare that exists when they arrive on their shift is ALWAYS the fault of their cross shift. Maybe 1% of the drillers I have known will own up to a mistake. So what type of driller am I? A little bit of most of the above, depending on where I was in my life, but probably falling into the last type. Do you see another type of driller that I haven’t mentioned? Let us know.