Published On: Wednesday, 20 February 2019
Grassroots Drilling Goes Where No Drill Has Gone Before
COWICHAN BAY - Grassroots Drilling are Vancouver Island’s ‘extreme access drilling’ specialists.
Coined by owner Todd Mabbott, the term ‘extreme access drilling’ describes a drilling service that can meet some of the region’s most difficult demands. In addition to extreme access situations, they are many contractors’ go-to company for limited access and every day drilling projects.
With two full time crews and four drill rigs, Grassroots offers Solid Stem, Hollow Stem, ODEX, Concrete Coring, Vapour Probes, eSPT , SPT, DCPT, and Test Pitting services to clients throughout the Island.
The team built its first customized limited access rig with a company in Campbell River, which opened up new possibilities for hard-to-reach drilling projects. These machines can be freestanding or fit on a bobcat or excavator, making them the most versatile rigs in the province.
“When we put these machines on an excavator, you can literally go anywhere with them,” says Mabbott. “Most tracked rigs are limited to the truck that carries them, but you can get these into some of the most hard-to-reach places.”
In addition to meeting unique drilling needs on the Island, Mabbott keeps customer service as a foundational part of his company’s operations.
“I’m involved on the ground every day, talking to clients while we’re working on-site,” he says. “If they need anything, we’re all over it. A high level of customer service is a big part of our business.”
Mabbott has been a self-employed tradesman for about 15 years. After meeting the previous owner of Grassroots, he was given an opportunity to come on as a partner and eventually bought the entire company. Today, he is the brains behind the operation, coordinating his teams, researching new technology and trends, and liaising with clients and trades.
“Since coming into the business, it’s been a significant learning curve,” he says. “I have some incredible experienced crews, and my head guys have 30 plus years of experience each, so I’ve learned a lot about the industry from them.
“I do a lot of research, looking up new tech and trends, talking to suppliers, learning how each new machine works. To this day, every other day has a few hours of dedicated research time so I can offer clients the best possible solutions.”
The company is currently in the process of purchasing a new sonic rig. These machines are extremely compact (smaller than a pickup truck), and pack a powerful punch. This allows Grassroots to retrieve high-quality samples in even the tightest spaces.
With limited competition on the Island, Grassroots’ services are in high demand.
“There’s so much work in the industry right now, and drilling companies on the Island and Lower Mainland almost can’t keep up with it,” says Mabbott. “Because our rigs are so compact and maneuverable, we are able to do all kinds of jobs that others can’t. We do a lot of drilling in parking lots, inside buildings, or in tight spaces.”
Already, contacts in the Okanagan are reaching out to Grassroots to work on some jobs in the region.
“We’re looking at expanding into the Interior, possibly as early as next year,” he says. “The more we grow, the more we see a need for a company like ours.”