A: I started working for Midwest Mole in 2017. I’m an operator — I run the directional drill machine. Directional drilling can be kind of hard to explain. The biggest challenge I typically face is making sure I can get the pipe pulled all the way out to the drill every time we bore out.
Q: What was your work experience before joining Midwest Mole?
A: I’ve been in construction for the last 20 years. I’ve mostly worked as an operator, but I can bounce around between different roles. I was a laborer for a long time, and then I worked my way up to operating directional boring machines. I’ve done deep sewer work, open cut work, you name it. I’ve done a ton of work right around Indianapolis for stuff like that.
Q: What do you enjoy about your current job?
A: Running these big drills is so much fun. I also enjoy getting the opportunity to dig with excavators. I get to run a bunch of different equipment, like skid steers, backhoes, and loaders. I like getting that variety of experience.
Q: Compared to your previous jobs in this industry, what makes your experience with Midwest Mole different?
A: With everybody else, I’ve stayed closer to home. With Midwest Mole, we do longer runs. We get to travel. Some people might not like that, but I really do. I’ve been to D.C., Maryland, Kentucky, Chicago — we get opportunities to see a lot of different places, and to see how everything works.
You get to meet a lot of cool people. At every job we go to, we’re dealing with new people that do different things. Overall, I love how my job isn’t just sitting in an office every day, doing the same old thing.
Q: Are there any projects you’ve worked on that stick out as ones you’re especially proud of?
A: Actually, the project I’m working on right now in Louisville, Kentucky, is a really cool one. It’s a 1,500-foot pull of 18-inch pipe, and we got it in smoothly. A lot of people thought we would struggle with it. When everybody expects you to have difficulties and the job goes smoothly, those are the jobs I take a lot of pride in.
Q: Do you have any insights regarding how the construction industry could attract more young talent?
A: If we could get into vocational programs in high schools, we could let them know that this is an option. I think some young people don’t even get to see that there’s a lot of money to be made in this industry. We need these people to realize that they can get into construction as a laborer and then move on up. Getting that foot in the door is important.
Q: Is there anyone in your life that you consider to be a mentor or role model?
A: I would say my dad. I grew up on a farm, and that’s where I learned my work ethic. You’re not done until the work is done, because we have more stuff to do tomorrow. The time clock has never really been in my vocabulary. My dad taught me that you’re done working when you finish your tasks.
Q: How do you like to spend your free time?
A: I’m married, and I don’t have any kids. My wife is an office manager, so she’s really busy too. We live on a 400-acre farm, and we have a barn right across from the house where we like to hang out. We’ve got a bathroom in it and concrete floors — it’s a great place to spend time with friends.
I also just love to shoot guns. I have a target shooting range where I shoot pistols and bolt-action rifles. My wife and I also enjoy deer hunting.
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