During spring break-up in Canada many rig hands are off while waiting for road bans to be lifted and land to dry out. For Jason Hurtubise, however, it is busy season. He is a Heavy-Duty Mechanic and the Lead Hand in Trinidad’s mechanical shop. Hurtubise and his team take advantage of the short time the rigs are racked to perform maintenance on Trinidad’s Canadian fleet.
“We are always quite busy at this time of year with all the recerts (recertifications) and repairs for the up-coming drilling season,” said Hurtubise.
The “recerts” Hurtubise was referring to are internal recertifications Trinidad performs on its rigs after they have been drilling a set number of days. During a “recert,” the rig is dismantled and “all the wear components of the rig will be either replaced or repaired,” explained Hurtubise.
This process is instrumental to the safety of our teams in the field as it ensures the equipment they are working with is in top condition.
What does a day at work look like for a rig Mechanic?
On any given day, Hurtubise could be rebuilding an engine or working on loaders, generators, crowns, blocks, swivels, rotary tables, pipe, kelly spinners . . . you name the equipment, Hurtubise has rebuilt or repaired it.
Trinidad’s Mechanics may be busy in the shop right now, but during drilling season they are always ready to hit the road and head out to the field to keep our rigs performing at their absolute best.
Hurtubise explained that his team travels anywhere from Manitoba to northern B.C.
High-performance vs. conventional rigs
High-performance rigs, with features like advanced drilling controls, make up 80 per cent of Trinidad’s fleet. This modern iron is safer for our crews and improves rig performance, and it also gives our Mechanics the opportunity to work on the most advanced equipment.
For example, Hurtubise gets to maintain new and more powerful engines in his shop. Rigs, he explained, have started to utilize traction motors, an electric motor which you will find in trains.
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“The people here at Trinidad are what keep me coming in every day,” Hurtubise said, while adding that there is never a dull moment at work.
Read more about how rigs work: