A match for their mettle

Any rig that can keep up with this team of drillers is rig with moxie. This year, Hayden Water Wells celebrates 75 years of determination and know-how.

Pictured: the Hayden Water Wells team, out on a job with a new Mark70  combination air and mud drilling rig

Pictured: the Hayden Water Wells team, out on a job with a new Mark70 combination air and mud drilling rig


Headquartered in Southern Ontario, about halfway between Detroit and Toronto, Hayden Water Wells fills an important niche in some of the richest farmland in Canada. Jay Hayden and his team focus most of their work around irrigation for vegetable and livestock operations, but they also provide domestic water supply for rural residents.

Hayden drillers have a wide range of experience with different drilling techniques, and their wells generally fall into four categories. In areas where water is difficult to reach, they use a boring machine to drill 30-inch diameter fiberglass wells. This type of well can make use of a thin layer of sand and stores a lot of water inside the casing, which is ideal for servicing many of the local, rural townships in their area. But most of the well jobs completed by Hayden Water Wells are 6-8 inch wells that fall into the other three categories: 1) sand-packed screen wells, 2) naturally-developed screen wells, or 3) rock wells.

The company was started by Jay’s grandfather, and this year it’s celebrating its 75th anniversary. “I get a lot of business cards from conventions,” he says, “And going through those it always amazes me how many businesses come and go—so it’s really cool that we’ve made it this far.”

When Jay Hayden was 23, he talked his father into purchasing his first drill rig from Mark Laibe, now the president of Versa-Drill. The machine was a 1986 “Gus Petch” rotary rig, and neither Jay or his father had ever used one like it. “Who’s going to teach you how to run it? We don’t know anything about rotary drilling!” his father had countered—to which Jay responded—“I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to figure it out one way or another, and there is no time like the present.”

Since then, Hayden Water Wells has purchased three more rigs from the Versa-Drill team. They’ve never looked back.

“Our current rig is very similar to the last one we bought from Versa-Drill. It’s a good, sturdy machine, and the Peterbilt truck has a lot of power. The control panel is seamless, the automatic rod handling is seamless, and we’ve had very little trouble getting it in and out of job sites.”

-Jay Hayden, Owner

The Hayden team uses their Versa-Drill for a wide range of jobs: from 50-foot sand wells to 500- and 600-foot irrigation wells and everything in between. “It’s a really versatile, powerful machine,” says Jay. “ That’s why I like it and why I’d recommend it to anybody else.”

Many of the customers Hayden drillers work with have just moved from the city and have never been on well water before. So it makes sense that they’re a little bit nervous when they call Jay’s team up for a job.

“I remember when we had our first little Gus Pech rig; it was painted over, but everybody knew it wasn’t necessarily new. Now, when we wheel in with our new water truck and our new Versa-Drill and have a 15 minute walk around with our customer—as soon as they see that equipment, it’s like they let their guard down.”

-Jay Hayden, Owner

Maddy Pimentel