Water Well Journal Q&A


The owner discusses his 15-year-old company with locations and inventory all around the world.

By Mike Price

Tad Ackerman and his wife, Sarita, of Ackerman Drill Bit Services LLC exhibiting for the first time at Groundwater Week 2022.

Ackerman Drill Bit Services LLC is a global supplier of drilling rock bits and downhole tools with more than 25 years of experience.

Founded in 2008, Ackerman Drill Bit Services states on its website that its mission is to maintain at the top in product integrity and customer satisfaction worldwide. The company was a first-time exhibitor at Groundwater Week 2022.

“Our products we provide are new tricone rock bits and new PDC [polycrystalline diamond compact] bits from all the major manufacturers such as Hughes, Smith, Reed/NOV, Halliburton Security, and Varel,” says owner Tad Ackerman, whose main office is in Houston, Texas. “We can also provide foreign-made rock drill bits as well.

“In addition, we have a full PDC repair facility where we can build, rebuild, and repair cutter pockets, gauge wear, hardfacing, and pin connections. We also stock and sell new and used drill pipe, drill collars, and heavyweight drill pipe.”

Ackerman has locations with inventory throughout the world including Louisiana, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Canada, the Middle East, and Europe.

“This allows for a quick delivery if needed,” Ackerman says.

Water Well Journal caught up with Ackerman to find out more about his company.

Water Well Journal: Which drill bit type do you sell most to water well and geothermal contractors? Environmental contractors?
Tad Ackerman: We mostly sell tricone and PDC rock bits to water well, geothermal, and environmental contractors.

WWJ: Can you explain the repair services you offer and your process of repairing bits?
Tad: We completely build and repair PDC bits at our facility in Houston, Texas. We repair our own and customer bits with the latest technology and precise craftsmanship. We have more than 25 years of experience doing this.

Ackerman Drill Bit Services repairs its own and customer bits with the latest technology and precise craftsmanship. The company has more than 25 years of experience doing this. Photos courtesy Ackerman Drill Bit Services in Houston, Texas.

WWJ: With supply chain issues still expected to linger in 2023, what are you telling customers in the United States on lead time for orders?
Tad: Most of the time we plan ahead, and we stock a lot of bits. So, we do not need much lead time as our inventory stays up with demand in the industry. It is rare that we do not have the item in stock that the customer is asking for.

WWJ: Regarding drill bits, what are the most common questions you receive from customers?
Tad: The most questions I receive are mostly about price and quality. Do I have stock? And can I ship immediately and to all parts of the United States and other countries? And we do daily.

WWJ: What does your customer support consist of and what are the details of your warranty programs?
Tad: We are available 24 hours a day every day. We have service on standby for critical shipments. Warranty programs depend on the customer and job they are doing. It is different with each customer and job.

WWJ: Which drill bit designs are you most excited about in 2023?
Tad: Our PDC hole opener.

WWJ: As a first-time exhibitor at Groundwater Week 2022, how was the show and which questions did you receive the most from attendees?
Tad: As a first-time exhibitor, I was very impressed with the show. There were a lot of companies that were actually looking to buy products that they need now. A lot of the questions asked were about price and quality. As I had actual rock bits in my booth, I even sold some right there at the show.

WWJ: How can a contractor know when to send their bit in to be retipped?
Tad: After use they can tell how dull the teeth is on the bit. Then they will decide to get it retipped based on quality of the overall bit. It is less expensive to get it retipped than buy a whole another bit.

WWJ: What kind of shortcuts have you seen from bit repairs?
Tad: To repair and retip bits is not for everyone. It takes years to get good at it. Since we also sell in the oilfield applications, the quality has to be precise. That’s why our quality is superb.

I have seen shortcuts where the teeth were not filled and shaped right and the teeth will break off downhole. The same for repairs for tricone and PDC bits. The PDC bits need to be rebuilt correctly or the cutters will come out while drilling. The quality of cutter is important as well. As I do not want to get into detail for our process in how we do it, the best is to come and see how we repair them in-house.

WWJ: Do you plan on offering any new products or services in 2023?
Tad: Yes, we are always developing and repairing new products monthly. I plan to attend Groundwater Week 2023.

WWJ: Lastly, what is your favorite part of being a supplier of drilling rock bits and downhole tools for the water well drilling industry?
Tad: I think my favorite part about being a supplier in the water well drilling industry is the people and companies I deal with. We have a great rapport with our customers and all the companies I deal with are the same way. I continue to see great potential and market in the water well industry. It is a great resource we will continue to need going into the future.

Mike Price is the senior editor of Water Well Journal. In addition to his WWJ responsibilities, Price contributes to the Association’s scientific publications. He can be reached at mprice@ngwa.org, or at (800) 551-7379, ext. 1541.