Best mates and brothers, Evan and Wayne Schumacher have been inseparable for their entire lives. With just 18 months between them, they grew up in the small town of Benarkin and have always done everything together. From riding motor bikes, to fixing up their first cars, working their first jobs as farmhands on Clark’s Avocado Farm in Blackbutt, to buying their first property when Evan was just 17, not to mention all of the fun things they love to do such as surfing and fishing, and to this very day drilling together.
Their very first encounter with a drilling rig was when Evan was about 15 and Wayne 17 and they were off siding for a driller who was sinking some bores on the Avocado Farm where they worked. From early days they developed a love for the art of drilling and a passion to learn more. Once the drilling had finished Evan decided to leave the South Burnett and work on a rig in Brisbane, gaining his Driller’s License and travelling all over, often sleeping in the back of his old Toyota Landcruiser and living on cans of chickpeas and tuna.
Many years or should we say bores later, the boys were together at a family barbeque and after a few beers started to talk about buying their own drilling rig. Before there was too much time to seriously think about it, for fear they may change their minds pondering thoughts of ‘what if’ or ‘maybe’ they were sitting in the Bank Manager’s Office signing over everything they owned with the dream of being their own boss.
After months of hard work, long days and even bigger weekends they saved the massive 40% cash deposit needed to purchase the second-hand 1980’s model Fox B40 Multi-Purpose Drill Rig that they had been leasing. Quite a few people in the drilling industry laughed; for starters they were way too young to be drillers, Evan being 25 and Wayne not quite 27 and many thought what are they ever going to achieve with that ‘pile of junk’. Let’s just say they aren’t laughing so much now.
To the boys and their wives, that old girl was their everything – literally! After a couple of years of blood, sweat and many tears followed by those few moments when the bank balance was so low that they just didn’t know what else to do but get out there and work even harder; they slowly built up their fleet to include a brand spanking new Compressor, support trucks and vehicles. In late 2010, they took an extremely brave and maybe a tad crazy idea of rebuilding their rig and made it a reality.
They had told their wives that they were just going to put a new truck under her and do a few modifications. If you ask them, they would tell you, they will never forget the day the dropped in to check on the boys progress only to find they had taken their only machine and pulled it into a million pieces which were scattered all over the yard. Like a massive jig saw they slowly got it back together and the new improved version was ready to show everyone just what this little rig could do!
Since then, it’s been nowhere but up for Schuey Brothers Drilling. They have drilled countless bores all over Queensland, particularly throughout the South Burnett which is known by many drillers for it’s difficult conditions due to basalt sand formations, hydrating clays and a lot of fresh hard granite.
After subcontracting to a larger drill company for many years at the local mine they were awarded with a contract of their own earlier this year to be a part of Stanwell’s recent drill program which they thoroughly enjoyed and still pride themselves on breaking their own personal record of drilling over 500 metres in difficult conditions in a single day.
In January 2013, they brought another Rig that can drill further, faster and has a greater capacity for coring and mineral exploration.
The boys have worked extremely hard over the years to build up their reputation for nothing but quality work, efficiency, safety and above all else getting the job done right at the right price. They are certainly not in the business of ripping people off and will always give their very best to get the best result for their customers. This being the case, they decided rather that run both rigs and risk putting someone on who may tarnish their good name, that they would simply run one rig well and keep the other as a back-up should they have breakdown, meaning that no matter what the circumstances, the drilling doesn’t ever stop.
Perhaps the real truth to their story is just this; they love what they do! To watch them drill together is like watching a dance, it’s so perfectly in time with both of them just knowing what the other one is thinking. Drilling runs through their blood, it’s all they ever think about and it’s all they ever want to do….just ask their wives! It’s more than a job, it’s their dream and they are proof that if you work hard and are willing to put in the efforts dreams really do come true. If you happen to see one of their trucks on the road, be sure to give them a wave as you pass by.