From Matt Vass, Acker Drill Company
Sometimes great things happen by chance.
Back in March 2020, I received a call from Chris Gay of Wellborn Cabinet in Ashland, Alabama. As my company, Acker Drill Company is a manufacturer of drill rigs, my interest was piqued. Quickly into the conversation, I learned that the Wellborn Cabinet has a mining division, Wellborn Mining Company, and they were interested in acquiring a new track-mounted core drill. Based on their requirements, it quickly became clear that our track-mounted Renegade drill rig was a fit.
The Renegade, which was first developed back in 2008, has evolved into one of the most versatile drill rigs on the market. In addition to its bulletproof, high-speed (1,000 RPM) drill head, it also offers huge torque, long-stroke, and an array of options for efficient slope and angle drilling. For companies that strictly core drill, we offer a drill head capable of 1,400 RPM. Needless to say, the Renegade is hugely popular in both the geotechnical and mineral exploration industries all over the world.
Ok – now back to the story. While discussing the details of the rig, Mr. Paul Wellborn, the owner and founder of Wellborn Cabinet and Wellborn Mining Company, joined the call. As we learned later, Mr. Wellborn personally dug the footer to the first Wellborn Cabinet building back in 1961, and grew the company into a hugely successful American cabinet company. After cordial greetings, Mr. Wellborn made it clear to me that he would only purchase an American-made product, and toward the end of the conversation, he quipped that if we would offer a special USA red, white, and blue, color package for the rig, that may seal the deal…and this is where the idea of the Acker “Patriot Edition” rig series was born!
As our drill manufacturing friends know, custom paint jobs, especially with three separate colors, add considerable cost to a drill. I respectfully told Mr. Wellborn that I would need to get back to him on the color scheme, and discuss their request with Acker Vice President Michael DiCindio. While many companies may have brushed this request aside, or worried about the added expense for a custom paint job, Mr. DiCindio enthusiastically agreed to his request without hesitation. Like Wellborn Cabinet, Acker Drill Company is proud to be an American company, as we buy only American steel, with most rig components made in USA. For over 100 years, we’ve been employing skilled workers from Northeast Pennsylvania.
Six months later, the Track-Mounted Acker Renegade “Patriot Edition” was complete. In addition to a red, white, and blue, color scheme, it also adorns American flags, custom “Patriot Edition” badges, and decals which state of “Made in USA” and “God Bless America”. For a customer to order a “Patriot Edition” rig, we have one requirement – it must include “God Bless America” on the rig, as this series was created to promote God and country. For the commissioning of the rig, Acker VP Michael DiCindio and Service Technician Joe Winans joined Wellborn Mining Company on their site in Ashland, Alabama. To our pleasure, Mr. Wellborn and his crew were very pleased with the USA color scheme and personal touches on the rig. And to top it off, they were extremely pleased with the performance and features of the rig.
We thank Mr. Wellborn, Mr. Gay, and the rest of the Wellborn crew, for the inspiration to create the “Patriot Edition” package. And in addition, we thank Mr. Wellborn, as he has consulted with President Donald J Trump and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro to promote and support all American businesses. A true American Patriot.