Exceptional equipment, service and reliability increases productivity and profits for west Texas boring company

Trent Price, owner of Price Builders, LLC, started his company nearly a decade ago as a construction and steel building operation. Infrastructure regulations and a budding relationship with a local Vermeer Texas-Louisiana branch have contributed to the evolution of his business into the utility installation market.

In 2009, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) implemented the Distribution Integrity Management Program (DIMP) that states utility line owners are responsible for updating 10 percent of their infrastructure each year. As Price explained, “Ten percent sounds like a small number until you consider the size of the state of Texas and all the utility lines required to make it run efficiently. It keeps us busy.”

Starting out as a general construction company, Price sub-contracted most of his drilling work out to other boring companies. However, because utility work literally never stops, he found it increasingly difficult to secure a company to help him complete projects. Additionally, when a company like Price Builders sub-contracts to another business, both entities are required to call 811 before digging. Price explained, “Sometimes, it would be a week out before I could get someone out to start working.”

So, in late 2020, Price decided to purchase a horizontal directional drill and bring all the work in-house. He met with Brody Hooper, sales representative at Vermeer Texas-Louisiana in Amarillo, and eventually purchased a Vermeer D20x22 S3 horizonal directional drill and a DigiTrak Falcon 5+ locator system, manufactured by Digital Control, Inc. (DCI). 

Price Builders truck and Vermeer D20x22

Because Price was new to this segment of the business, he took advantage of Vermeer Texas-Louisiana’s team of product specialists who help companies with start-ups. Doug Schondel, HDD Product Specialist, and a vendor partner from DCI traveled to west Texas to help Price and his team get started with their new equipment. 

Price remarked, “Doug came out and helped with training. DCI did too.” He further explained, “I was a little nervous about the bore business, but I wanted to get my feet wet. Everything and everyone have been really great.”

In addition to the equipment and accessories, Price also purchased an extended warranty – a Confidence Plus Asset Protection Program – to help keep his machine in tip-top shape for the life of the machine. “That Confidence Plus package has worked really well for us.”

Now, Price Builders is the primary contractor as well as the sub-contractor. His drill has provided him the efficiency to complete tasks quickly and with quality, so he has customers calling on him to do their underground power work. “There’s an energy company that does electric and plumbing work. We do all their bores for them. I have to make sure my machine is busy, so it keeps making money for us,” Price said.

In addition to the productivity and profits the Vermeer drill has afforded Price, his relationship with Hooper has also factored into his success. His team was recently working on a six-inch sewer line for an emergency plumbing project. Price soon realized he needed a specific part to keep the machine going. He called Hooper on a Saturday morning. Even though Hooper was on vacation, he worked with the Vermeer Texas-Louisiana branch in Lubbock who had the requisite part in stock. A Lubbock team member met the Price Builder team member at the branch to sell the part on a day when the dealership is normally closed.

“It was a two-hour drive, but well worth it because we were able to finish our job on Sunday morning. We run 24/7, and we work through nights a lot. Brody’s always right there to help us. No matter the time of day,” Price explained.

As his business grows, Price is looking to the future and what his next machine might be. One thing he knows for sure is it will be manufactured by Vermeer. Because Vermeer equipment has consistency in the placement of the controls, it makes it easier to cross-train and operate. “Price remarked, “It’s like muscle memory once you learn it.” He also noted the exceptional customer service he receives at Vermeer Texas-Louisiana.

“Service is a huge deal for us, and the Amarillo guys deserve a pat on the back,” Price concluded.

Price Builders, LLC can be found on Facebook @pricebuilderscontracting.


We are open normal business hours. • As the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation continues to change, stay updated with how we are responding to the pandemic by clicking the button to the right.