Manufacturing Feature – Osceola’s SIMCO Reaches Worldwide

For more than 45 years, SIMCO Drilling Equipment has been designing and manufacturing top of the line hydraulic drill rigs in the heart of Clarke County.

Founder Thayne Croston was born in Hazard, Nebraska in 1917. He owned and operated Metalcraft Engineering in Lincoln Nebraska, manufacturing metal shelving and other metal products. Around 1960, he developed some new ideas for building drilling rigs and sold his business to Iowa Southern Utilities and moved the entire operation to Osceola, Iowa in 1969.

SIMCO drilling equipment osceola iowa

With the help of the Southern Iowa Clarke County Development Board, Croston incorporated a new company named Southern Iowa Manufacturing Company (SIMCO). They moved into a 25,000 sq. ft. factory in the then new industrial park on Furnas Drive which was then named Metalcraft Drive. The first hydraulic drill rigs rolled out the doors in the summer of 1971. Early on, SIMCO would perform custom fabrication for other firms, but since the late 1970s has focused solely on engineering and building their own line of drilling equipment.

Today, SIMCO equipment is manufactured and sold for worksites on virtually every content on the planet. From drilling water wells, geothermal wells, helping transportation departments with road coring and construction organizations in specialty drilling scenarios, as well as drilling for geotechnical research and more, SIMCO drilling rigs and equipment are considered top-of-the-line in many industries.

“SIMCO, as part of our manufacturing community, has been a great leader within the community,” said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the Clarke County Development Corporation. “Their ongoing presence shows stability and the promise of a great future here.”

Pulling half of their workforce from Clarke County alone, SIMCO’s employees are the heart and soul of the company. They take great pride in being part of the community and helping to improve the quality of life in Osceola. As part of the Industrial Arts Advisory Board, employees are able to mentor students from Clarke Schools and provide real-world experience for those interested in the industrial arts. Manufacturing and industrial arts are an essential part of Osceola and Clarke County with a bright, growing future.

“We have seen a big difference in our economy this year and have many new things on our horizon,” said Darren Swolley, SIMCO General Manager. “We expect a lot of growth in our industry and are planning for that future.”

SIMCO Drilling Equipment, Inc. is proud of their long Osceola heritage. Through superior customer service and unmatched quality, they have grown strong roots in the community and look forward to continued success well into the future.

To learn more about working with SIMCO or about the SIMCO line of products, call 800-338-9925 or reach out through the CONTACT page and a SIMCO representative will respond as soon as possible.

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