Reliability & Service Are “Keyes” to 66-Year Client

December 2022

In 1956, Schramm, Inc. sold its first rotary drilling rig. The client was Thomas G. Keyes, Inc., a Pennsylvania based water well company. Sixty-six years, a dozen rigs, and thousands of wells later, Keyes remains a faithful Schramm customer.

“We’ve always used Schramm rigs because of their reliability, their simplicity to operate, and the quality service Schramm provides,” says Thomas P. Keyes, who owns and operates the company with his siblings.

“Schramm has always been honest and fair with us.”

Thomas Keyes

Keeping Rigs Running

Schramm is deeply committed to the success of its customers, offering an extensive line of aftermarket products and end-to-end customer support that provides customers with the tools and knowledge necessary to keep their rigs in top condition. The Thomas G. Keyes, Inc. flagship rig is a 2008 Schramm T450WS. After fourteen years and hundreds of wells, the rig is still in the field. The most crucial ingredient in its longevity? Regular maintenance with Schramm service technicians.

“We want to help our clients get the most out of their rigs,” says Product Support Manager Jeff Roten. “Regular inspection and maintenance, proper replacement of worn components, and optional upgrades can greatly extend the life and efficiency of your rig.”

Schramm’s aftermarket products include hammers and bits, OEM components, maintenance kits, and replacement components. Even more, the company offers field service, engineered upgrades such as automated pipe handling and breakout systems, and even complete refurbishments.

2022 Refurbishment

Over the summer, the Keyes T450WS underwent a refurbishment complete with engineered upgrades at the Schramm West Chester facility. The Keyes family worked directly with Jeff Roten and his team of engineers and technicians to maximize the performance of the rig.The team rebuilt the top drive, mast, pipe carousel, chassis, and hydraulic system. Next, they installed electronic displays, Schramm Air-Control, and topped it all off with a new coat paint.

“Refurbishing an older rig is an excellent way to get the performance benefits of a new rig with a much smaller price tag,” says Products Manager Curtis Mulhaul. “Additionally, older rigs aren’t subject to Tier IV emissions requirements, which makes compliance easier and cheaper for those customers.”

A Shared History

Thomas G. Keyes [Sr.] founded his namesake company in 1945, when he exchanged his trucking business for a cable tool drilling rig. He spent the next decade drilling wells and mastering the wide variety of ground conditions in the area, experimenting with different drilling techniques. After ten years of laboring with a rickety cable rig, Keyes enlisted the help of Schramm, Inc. to design a rig that would drill faster, deeper, and more reliably. Thomas acquired a surplus military truck chassis and worked with Schramm engineers to design a rig to mount to it—a propane powered PTO rig with a single cylinder pipe mast, belt drive, air compressor, and hydraulic pump. The design was a success, and Schramm and Keyes would spend the next half century refining and building upon the basic design. Later designs, such as the Schramm T42 and TMDR38, featured all-wheel drive, diesel-powered deck engines, and the ability to drill five inch bore holes.

Thomas G. Keyes operating the first Schramm rig
The first Schramm rig in the field

66 Years of Working Together

Second generation driller Thomas P. Keyes and his siblings now own and operate the company their father founded. Tom has worked at the business for his entire life, spending time after school and on weekends refueling gas and water tanks on rigs, many of which were Schramm manufactured. Today, Thomas G Keyes, Inc. provides residential and commercial water well drilling, geothermal loop drilling, water treatment, and pump maintenance. Like Schramm, Keyes has a reputation for doing the job right, being forthright with customers, and providing unrivaled technical expertise on the job.

“We’ve been drilling in this area for 75 years,” Tom says. “Our knowledge of the geology, soil, and rock conditions inform our drilling techniques and save our clients time and money.”

Over the years, Schramm and Keyes have fostered a mutual trust and respect that has benefitted both companies. Schramm has tested new components on Keyes’ rigs and sent observers and trainees to watch Keyes’ rigs perform in the field.

Keyes appreciates the open communication and willingness to help that are hallmarks of the Schramm business philosophy, and their continued patronage demonstrates their belief in the quality of the Schramm product and its aftermarket services.

“Whenever I’ve needed a part, I’ve just gone to their facility and asked for it,” Tom says.

It is precisely these kinds of close-knit relationships with customers that distinguish Schramm from larger manufacturers, many of which are impersonal and less concerned with successful outcomes after rig purchases.

Keep your rig operating at peak performance by purchasing our maintenance kits, and browse our entire line of aftermarket products. If your rig is in need of service or refurbishment, contact us to discuss what we can do for you and your business.