It may sound like an oxymoron, but the concept of “clean mud” is at the foundation of MudPuppy Inc.’s successful three-decades-old business. The company’s primary customers are water well drilling contractors, who must create a wall cake out of a mud mixture to keep the hole of a well open during drilling. Dirty mud not only weakens that wall cake, risking a cave-in, but also damages expensive drill rigs, shortening their life.
MudPuppy Inc.’s mud-cleaning systems solve these problems by removing rocks, sand and debris from mud with a single piece of equipment. That’s a big change from the traditional process, which requires hauling multiple machines to a site, digging a large pit, filling it with water and mud, and removing it all when the job is done. “You just bring your drill rig and MudPuppy to a site, and you’re rocking and rolling,” says Craig Henderson, owner of MudPuppy Inc. “That saves on manpower, overheads, jobsite set-up time — it can pay for itself on a single job.”
The company manufactures six MudPuppies today, all powered by Cat® industrial engines, with applications extending to geothermal drilling, mining, slurry wall construction and more. MP255-100 and MP255-400 models, with higher horsepower C7.1 U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final engines, also include a mud pump for even greater drill rig protection. “We put the mud pump where it should be — with the mud-cleaning system. Our equipment takes the beating, so our customers’ drill rigs last longer, and they save money,” Henderson says.
MudPuppy Inc. made the switch to Cat engines several years ago when it was time to transition to U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final models. The company takes pride in offering a quality product at an affordable price, backed by excellent customer service and a strong warranty — and support from the previous engine supplier wasn’t meeting those high expectations. “I need to know my customers will be taken care of,” Henderson says. “I believe 100% that through Caterpillar, they will be. And that means I’m able to sleep at night.”
Made to last. Another point of pride for MudPuppy Inc. is building products that stand up to the challenging conditions of a drilling site. The company makes its pumps out of chrome alloy, for example, because it lasts twice as long as the ductile iron used on other mud-cleaning systems. Adding Cat engines only enhances each MudPuppy’s reputation for reliability. “Guys run our machines day in, day out, in rough environments, because people need water, and they need it now. Our contractors can’t be down,” Henderson says.
Speed and service. When demand for mud-cleaning systems rises, MudPuppy Inc. counts on Cat dealer Holt of California to supply the engines fast. During a recent rush, Holt came through with same-day delivery on a C7.1 engine, enabling a contractor to put his new MudPuppy to work the next morning. “We recognize that demand can ebb and flow, so we keep warehouse space set aside,” says Dave Leinfelder, Industrial Engine Sales Engineer at Holt of California. “We do everything we can to keep them running, so they can keep their customers running.”
Support to keep the water flowing. To keep drillers drilling, fast parts delivery and local service are essential. MudPuppy Inc. knows it gets both with the worldwide Cat dealer network — regardless of the country in which a contractor is working or the remoteness of the location. Even better, the need for support so far has been minimal. “Our customer service calls on Cat engines are next to nothing,” Henderson says.
See what other Cat industrial engine customers have to say about our engines and related products, and the support they receive from the Cat dealer network.