Drilling Rig Maintenance

May. 20, 2022

Crawler Mounted Blasting Borehole Drilling Rig

The main reason for the fire of borehole drilling machinery is its own fire source and combustibles. Fire sources include heating elements and electric sparks. Combustibles include fuel, hydraulic oil, and other combustibles. Rotary drilling rig fire protection runs through the entire process of design, manufacturing, use, maintenance, and repair. The fire protection method of crawler drilling rigs is mainly introduced from the perspective of maintenance.


(1) Frequently check the leakage of fuel and lubrication system. If there is a leak, find the leaking part immediately after troubleshooting, and wipe the leaking fuel or lubricating oil.

(2) Check the damage, short circuit, and looseness of the circuit, and repair the problem in time. Check and confirm that the fuse used complies with the regulations. If the fuse used does not meet the regulations, it should be replaced immediately. If the fuse is open or short-circuited, please find out the cause first, and then replace the fuse after troubleshooting.


(1) When refueling the fuel tank, prevent the fuel leaking from the refueling port from splashing on high-temperature components such as exhaust manifolds and turbochargers. The oil inlet pipe should be kept at a distance of 150mm from the exhaust manifold, turbocharger, and other high-temperature components to ensure that the oil inlet hose, fuel tank, etc. do not touch these high-temperature components.

(2) The interior of the engine room should be inspected frequently. If there are sundries such as dead leaves, paper scraps, etc., they should be cleaned up in time.

(3) When the engine is running, the oil level of the oil dipstick cannot be checked to prevent the operator from being burned.

(4) When filling the fuel tank, avoid oil spills and ensure that there is no fire or smoke nearby.

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Keys to Care

ㆍGreasing: Greasing is the number one maintenance thing that needs to be addressed and everybody should know what a grease gun looks like and how they work. They should be used on a daily basis. One reason you grease a rig is to get all of the dirt out of the bearings and keep them clean. It pumps new fresh grease into them. A lot of times you’ll find different issues of safety or maintenance on a rig that need to be addressed while you’re greasing the rig. Rigs are being run up all of the time and mechanically moving, so without grease, they will wear out and they’ll wear out in a pretty quick fashion if they’re not taken care of.

ㆍCleaning: Rigs should be cleaned on almost a daily basis, but I know that’s not practical in our world just because of what we do and the timeframe. The Kelly bar is a big issue on mechanical rigs. You need to clean all of the grease off of the Kelly bar and then re-grease it at a minimum of once a week as well as all of the slide bases and everything. The reason is because all the dirt that flies in the air, sand and everything else will get onto these surfaces and it’s basically like sandpaper on the bearings. They will not last if they’re not completely cleaned and re-greased.

ㆍPaint chips: I’ve just looked at a rig today from the South by the coast and the paint’s been chipped off of it and it didn’t get repainted. Now what happens is it rusts and the rust goes right through and ends up ruining the frame and structure of the rig by not repainting it over. What happens is the salt gets on the [chipped spot] and ruins the metal. So it needs to be repainted and touched up when you’ve got scratches.

ㆍHydraulic fluid: [The rig] manual will have a lubrication chart in it and it goes into telling you what kinds of oils you should use. If you use the wrong hydraulic fluid, you’ll eventually have seals going out, also pumps going out and that gets really costly. If you put the wrong oil in it, it can really burn a pump up really quick and that’s when you’re down for a long time.

ㆍClosed loop versus open loop: There’s an open loop system and a closed loop. On a closed loop system, where it flows, all of the pumps and everything run through it. If you happen to have a mechanical breakdown that comes through as far as burning the pump up or whatever, those metals on a closed loop system are going to flow all the way through the whole system and, potentially, if you don’t clean the whole system out and get fresh oil in it, you end up burning the motors out of them.

ㆍElectric versus hydraulic: This is a big topic — electric versus hydraulic. A lot of the newer rigs are electric and if you don’t have some kind of background with electric, you need to learn it. Know your electronic system on your rig because all the way from throttle linkages to hydraulic linkages are all electrical now. You need to make sure that when you do a repair on any electronics that they are put back to factory, if not better. Also seal them up good with some type of silicon or something to keep moisture from getting into them.

ㆍNew versus used rigs: Really there’s no difference. They both take the same amount of maintenance if done properly on a daily, weekly, monthly, annual basis. Some of the older rigs you’re going to need to keep a [closer] eye on, but even new rigs, you have to keep an eye on leaks because when a brand new rig comes out there always seems to be leaks on them  when they get up to temperature.

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