A story popped up in my news feed today that I’d like to share, but first I have a question. What’s the name of your rig?
Don’t be bashful about it. We name boats from dinghies up to aircraft carriers. Why not rigs?
Think about it. Your rig cost perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars (or euros or pesos or renminbi, depending on where you are). Your rig is a valued, hard-working member of your drilling crew — perhaps the hardest working. Your company wouldn’t be working in foundations, geotechnical, geothermal or HDD without that rig. It earns its keep in productivity on the jobsite each day. Its depreciation may well be your company’s biggest tax deduction.
So don’t tell me you haven’t given it a name.
The story I wanted to share appears in the Construction Equipment Guide. I’ll let you read it (and encourage you to click through), and not steal too much of the writer’s thunder. But the gist of it is a company’s fleet director saw to it that two new rigs were named to honor soldiers who died for their country.
How completely and utterly awesome is that? And it got me wondering about what other drilling crews do. Here’s where a couple of companies may feel like I’m picking on them. Take, for example, two new rigs that we did write-ups on: the Sandvik Commando DC130Ri and the Liebherr LRB 355. Companies are, of course, welcome to brand their rigs as they see fit. I’m not poking fun at the model names any more than I would for, say, the Ford F150. I’m just saying that, in normal conversation, none of those really roll off the tongue.
“Hey, Jimmy, move that DC130Ri a little forward. I think we’re off the mark for this hole.” Sounds a little stilted and awkward, doesn’t it? “Hey, Jimmy, nudge Bertha a little forward, we’re off the mark.” Doesn’t that sound a little more natural?
“Now that we have the LRB 355, we can bid out that huge piling job.” The thing is, “LRB 355” has a lot of syllables. Who has time for that? “Tim has let us bid on bigger piling jobs.” OK, maybe “Tim” isn’t a great name for a 105-ton rotary rig, but you get the idea. Maybe something weightier, like Zeus or Thor.
Does your company have a policy — formal or informal — on names for the equipment you use? Is it up to the fleet manager, or do the guys working in the field just come up with something? Is it straight-faced and serious, like using the names of fallen comrades or presidents? Or is it more of a running gag, where each new rig gets named after a Looney Toons character or a superhero?
“Iron Man has certainly opened up the types of jobs we bid.”
Or maybe they get named after the owner’s kids. One way or another, I want to hear about it. What’s the name of the rig you work on? What’s the story behind the name?
Tell me about it. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe out there, drillers.