How Often Should I Service My Drilling Rig to Avoid Downtime?

One of RPI Equipment’s CZM EK65SM Drilling Rig rentals on a job site.

When you own your drilling rig one of the most critical – and often overlooked – components is regular maintenance to keep your machinery operating at maximum efficiency.

Conducting preventative maintenance on the manufacturer’s recommended schedule will keep you ahead of breakdowns. If you do not proactively follow the recommended preventative maintenance schedule, it will likely cause costly downtime and affect your job schedule. As a result, it ultimately hurts your bottom line.

Drilling rigs perform repetitive work with a great deal of force, so maintenance service and repairs for drilling rigs must be factored into the cost when you purchase or begin shopping for this type of equipment. It is also important to note that different types of drill rigs require different maintenance. So, if you’re unfamiliar with which type is best for your needs, consult with a trusted dealer who also specializes in repair and service for drilling rigs, as they know the ins and outs of every kind of rig.

Regularly scheduled maintenance is the number one way you’ll be ready when the phone rings for your next project.

An RPI service and repair truck for drilling rigs that need reconstruction on certain parts or require a replacement drilling rig.

Let’s explore some of the most effective maintenance solutions for drill rigs:

Create a checklist based on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual schedule.

Owners and operators of drilling rigs understand the wear and tear occurs when completing a drilling project.

Preventative maintenance can help keep equipment functioning up to standard by creating and implementing a series of checks, ensuring their machinery doesn’t break down and cause delays.

Because breakdowns in machinery are often unexpected, it’s essential to know what to look for when creating these lists. Reference your machine’s manual and consult with a construction equipment service technician to develop a precise checklist to complete before and after each use of the equipment. Also, be sure to reference OSHA guidelines for additional information related to ongoing safety requirements to make sure you comply with all local, state, and federal protocols.

By having a roadmap and concrete checklist for what to look for after a week’s use, a month’s use, and a yearly overall evaluation by a service professional in the foundation drilling industry, you can have that peace of mind that your equipment will be ready when you need it, and the equipment won’t break down during a drilling job.

An F550 Drilling Rig Service Truck and RPI’s experienced and highly-trained professionals ready to go out for road service.

Evaluate site-specific conditions to avoid unnecessary maintenance.

If your drilling project is being performed in saltwater or during the winter months, it’s essential to evaluate the mechanical components of your equipment. This is because salt tends to cause significant wear.

If this is the case, increase the frequency of your inspections and be sure to keep your machinery well lubricated. You should also clean the equipment to avoid salt build-ups that cause mechanical breakdowns and lead to lengthy repair times. Also, you should have a field maintenance plan in place that is ready to be implemented in order to avoid further transportation costs and delays.

Understand the difference between repair and maintenance.

Remember that maintenance and repair services for drilling rigs are two different things.

Maintenance allows you to avoid repairs. Repairs are more expensive, time-consuming, and detrimental to a project than regular maintenance.

While it can seem like you’ll save money by cutting maintenance costs, it’s actually the exact opposite. A small investment in regular equipment maintenance helps owners and operators avoid expensive repairs when a malfunction occurs.

Another important consideration is that repairs focus on one specific breakdown, while maintenance provides comprehensive coverage for every system. A big mistake is deferring scheduled maintenance because a drill rig has had recent repairs done. Technicians can overlook other systems when conducting a repair — potentially missing a critical quick fix that will cost you down the line.

One of RPI Equipment’s F550 drilling rig service and repair trucks.

The Bottom Line

While some drilling rig owners and operators believe in running every component to failure, a preventative maintenance program keeps your drill rig running as long as possible by avoiding downtime caused by repairs.

There are two goals when it comes to conducting a drilling rig evaluation:

  • Identifying wear and tear or damage
  • Having a plan in place for repairs

Partner with a local drill rig dealer to find a service technician who can inspect your equipment and develop a timeline for their evaluations based on the initial wear and tear.

A piece of equipment that is only used a few times a month is going to have different requirements than one that is being used 24 hours a day, seven days a week on a large commercial or civil project.

When a drilling rig breaks down and requires repairs, you lose time and money. However, with a comprehensive preventative plan, you can keep your project on time and on budget.

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