WWJ Closeup, July 2019

DARIN CAHOY
CEO
Cahoy Pump Service Inc.
Sumner, Iowa

THE BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED?
“You’ll never go broke paying good people what they’re worth.” I remember my grandfather saying this when I was young. Unfortunately, I tested this theory early in my career and boy was my grandfather right! Paying poor help $8.50 per hour costs you more than paying good help $25 to $35 an hour.

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL SELF?
In a word: Relax. I still, to this day, find myself future tripping over things I cannot control and about things that may or may not happen. Provide good, honest service and everything works itself out in the end.

MOST SATISFYING PART OF YOUR JOB?
First, solving an unusual problem for a client is very satisfying—whether it’s a sand pumping well or a mechanical issue. Second is getting positive feedback from clients—whether it’s a compliment on a clean jobsite or one addressing the professionalism of our field crew. The compliment tells me we have good people who are trained correctly and care about the client and the job at hand.

WELL REHABILITATION IS ONE OF YOUR COMPANY’S SPECIALTIES. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED MOST FROM DOING IT?
In the upper Midwest there are two main rules to live by: First, initial development on a new well is largely overlooked, so consider this when designing a rehabilitation program. Secondly, there is no single procedure that addresses all aspects of declining well capacity—do not take anything for granted.

HOW DO YOU STAY UP TO SPEED ON THE LATEST WELL REHABILITATION TECHNIQUES?
Attending various state CEU courses and information our key personnel receive by attending Groundwater Week. If a new method or technology presents itself, we discuss it, research it, and then utilize it on a job.

YOU PURCHASED THE COMPANY FROM YOUR FATHER, DUANE, IN 2002. FAVORITE PART OF LEADING IT?
Being able to fully pursue my vision of growth. For decades we were a successful five-man outfit. I wanted to tackle the challenge of leading us forward in the municipal/industrial market, which my father was dead set against. I think most family-owned businesses go through a difference of opinions.

GREATEST CHALLENGE FACING WATER WELL CONTRACTORS?
Pricing. Water well contractors do not provide themselves adequate margins. When analyzing the investment and the risk we take daily, we are continually selling ourselves short.