WWJ Closeup, September 2019

MARCUS X. LAIBE
President
Versa-Drill by Laibe Corp.
Indianapolis, Indiana

THE BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED?
My father, Mark A. Laibe, said: “If you want to learn more about our industry or how to better our product, listen to well drillers. They are a wealth of knowledge and are willing to talk if you listen.”

IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOUR PROFESSIONAL SELF?
More field time. I grew up working in the shop every summer. If I could have worked a few summers on a drilling rig, I think I would have had a faster learning curve for future sales and development. At least I would have had more street credibility with customers!

MOST SATISFYING PART OF YOUR JOB?
When a skeptical first-time Versa-Drill owner tells me how our product changed their life for the better. Often customers grew up on a piece of equipment that has always put food on their table. They worry a different drilling rig will talk to them differently and they’ll be blind drilling.

WHAT NEW DRILLING TECHNOLOGY ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT?
The newest addition to our product line, the Versa-Drill model V-12, debuted at the 2019 South Atlantic Jubilee and focuses on modern day well driller issues we hear from our customers. It’s compact and still powerful, and eliminates the need for a CDL license, special weight permits, or emissions compliance.

MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR JOB?
In 2018, it was keeping up with demands. With the economy booming comes side effects like vendors not keeping up with our orders due to material shortages. The best way I can describe it’s a good problem to have, but still frustrating when customers are ready to pull the trigger.

WHAT ARE YOU HEARING MOST FROM CUSTOMERS?
In 2018, I heard the most positive feedback about the drilling market in the United States in my career. The work is out there. Also, I hear customers talking about expanding their drilling capabilities from just one field to multiple such as water well, geothermal, cathodic protection, and more.

FAVORITE PART OF TALKING WITH ATTENDEES AT GROUNDWATER WEEK OR STATE SHOWS?
Learning how to better our drilling rigs or what direction the marketing is turning. Just as I mentioned, customers are the leading innovators in this industry, as long as we listen to them and what the field demands.