(OSCEOLA, IA – September 15, 2022)

SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. has been a well-established member of the Osceola manufacturing community. In 1960 Thayne Croston conceived new ideas to build a drilling rig. He owned Metalcraft Engineering in Lincoln, Nebraska. At the same time, Clarke County Development was searching for new businesses to come to their new industrial park they had just created. Croston created a new company to come to Osceola which he called SIMCO (Southern Iowa Manufacturing Company) in 1969. The first rigs rolled off the assembly line in the summer of 1971. SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. is a cornerstone in the drilling rig industry. They began with designing and building all-hydraulic, long stroke, top head drive drilling rigs. They have been tucked away in Osceola’s business park for years, but their impact has been felt world-wide. Today the SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. drilling rigs and water well equipment are being used on every continent in a variety of different uses.

In 2021, SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. celebrated their 50th anniversary. They were the first manufacturer to go into the first business park owned by Clarke County Development Corp in Osceola, Iowa. The rigs manufactured by SIMCO are now used for water well drilling, geo thermal well drilling, environmental drilling, mineral exploration, construction and utility work as well as other diverse applications. At SIMCO, customers can expect a top -of –the -line dependable rig that does what it was bought for.
Bill Trickey, Executive Director of CCDC states,

“CCDC is proud to have had a part in bringing SIMCO to Clarke County. They are a valuable part of our local manufacturing industry”.

Darren Swolley is the current plant manager for SIMCO Drilling Company. Swolley has been at SIMCO Drilling Company for 20 years and has been the plant manager for the last 5 years. They currently employ 22 people in Osceola. Jobs range from engineering, welding, mechanic/assemblers, painters, office work and sales. Nationwide, SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. has less than a dozen competitors manufacturing drilling rigs. Of those, even less have the functionality that the SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. brand offers. They are known to be the best in the industry. They have been featured in the magazine Water Well Journal several times. They have been at the forefront of drilling technology for years. Swolley says,

” SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. is a hidden industry in Osceola that has a worldwide impact. The drilling rigs produced in Osceola do everything from drilling water wells to providing soil samples”.

SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. typically averages 20-30 units produced per year in various sizes and functions. While water well drilling rigs are their biggest seller, soil sampling rigs are their second most produced product. But the capabilities of the drilling rigs produced locally go far beyond these two applications. Several years ago, SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. produced 50 drilling devices that were used by the Canadian military for the destruction of roads during wartime efforts. In Antarctica, rigs are being used to take soil samples from glaciers for scientific research. Several drills are purchased annually for pavement core drilling. This application is used by the Department of Transportation nationwide to determine when a road needs to be replaced. Currently SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. Rigs are used in over thirty states nationwide. The United States Air Force also uses SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. rigs to test the usability of their airplane runways across the globe.

The future for SIMCO Drilling Equipment Inc. is looking bright. Throughout the pandemic they were able to maintain their productivity and persevere to meet the needs of their customers. With a well- established history of success, they are poised to meet the challenges the future brings.

If you have a story idea you would like considered for ClarkeCountyLife.com, please contact Elizabeth Simpson, Program Manager of the Clarke County Development Corporation, 115 E Washington St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone:6413422944, or email: [email protected]

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