Top Drive Inspections on a Fixed Offshore Platform

Does anyone who has drilling/deckhand/roughneck experience know if it is industry’s best practice to inspect a top drive (after jarring) closer to the drill floor? Or is is ok to hoist a roughneck up in the air to do so? My thoughts are the former is safer but genuinely curious.

First question is what qualifies a roughneck to make the inspection?

Perhaps he’s not. I’m looking for the best person/procedure to do it.

Geezus christ on a skateboard where do you trolls come from?

What? Man, I’m looking for some actual help.

What person aboard the rig would know what he’s looking at with regards to the Top Drive? Seems to me it would be the Tool pusher?

Yea or the toolpusher. Not the main point of my question.

The question is, where should that inspection be done.

Once you decide who will do the inspection the question should fall on them on how they want to do it. With regards to what they want to see it boils down to what are they comfortable doing and where. Whether it is up in the air or on the drill floor the discussion should be with the one doing the inspection (assuming they have the expertise to know what they are looking at).

If you’re talking about an equipment inspection after jarring I would suggest the Chief Mechanic and an AD. TPs make decisions, not inspections.

As for location, if the TD is near the crown and you are concerned about potential drops, as you should be after jarring, you can send up a basket (or someone in an ass-wagon if still permitted) for a drops inspection before clearing the floor and bringing the TD down to the floor for a more thorough inspection for loose gear and broken tie-wires.

If you’re that concerned with how violent the jarring was you’d probably want to reverify alignment with well center, though if you’re concerned about time you could just wait and see if you’re rubbing on the rotary.

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I cannot imagine why anyone responsible for a top drive is asking such a question on this forum.

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I’m suppose someone responsible for a top drive would also know that Floorhands work up there, not Deckhands.

Why do the responses keep focusing on “who”?

Nobody cares who was doing the top Drive inspection. Not my question and not really the point.

The question is: is it SAFER, to lower a top drive to inspect it after it got stuck or…man hoist anyone…doesn’t matter who….above the money platform? Basically pros and cons of both.

What is industry practice?

What would folks advise?

If you don’t have something helpful to add, response probably not needed. If you are an “it depends” responder, save it unless you are willing to provide some detail.


Perhaps the commentary is related to the fact that you posed a questions with enough inaccuracies as to have people wonder why you are asking a detailed question about a topic you don’t seem to know much about generally.

But I digress…

The answer is it depends. On several things. Not the least of which are operator and lessee specific operating procedures, and operator safety policies. Any reputable company will have a post-jarring inspection procedure, written specifically so your question doesn’t have to be asked. Safety policies will certainly be based on best practices, which have adapted over the last several years.

Of course it is safer to inspect something at drill floor as it has the lowest drops potential on the calculator. However if there is reason to believe that the action of lowering the TD to the drill floor has the potential to cause a dropped object then hoisting someone up to do a preliminary inspection may be the chosen course. BUT, some operators have banned man-riding (the hoisting of a individual in what is essentially a bosun’s chair). And to be honest it’s hard to do an inspection from the ass-wagon. If the TD is stopped within reach of a basket or man-lift, then that’s a good alternative.

Realistically, after discussion between the TP, OIM, and Company Man, I’d suspect the course of action would be to see what can be seen from the closest point on the derrick/monkey board (not “money platform”)/crown, or from camera. Rigs I worked on had HD derrick cameras with amazing zoom. After that, clear the floor, and come down slow to the floor for a thorough inspection.

The decision has to based on the severity of the jarring and, in the event of a drop while lowering the equipment to the floor, the tolerance for taking the hit on a regulatory near-miss drops incident report and maybe losing a safety bonus. (Obviously the safety bonus is never factored into any decision…officially). But in all seriousness, if the jarring didn’t cause a drop in and of itself, its unlikely slowly lowering the TD to the floor will cause one.

Also, the way most companies drops potential calculators work now reduces the severity significantly if there are intentionally no people present who could have been hit. Which adds to the case to just get it lowered and then inspect.


Why do you keep asking? How many more times do you need before realizing any answer you get will be totally deficient in credibility? You’re seriously considering advice you get here?

Thanks @jdcavo. Yes, One is actually, just not from thee.

Also, Ones pronouns are “One/Oneself” not “You.” Please respect that.

Perhaps one should submit one’s inquiry to a Shakespearean actor in order to elicit an acceptable response.


Methinks the Company Man doth protest too much


My thoughts are the OP is in no position of authority on a drilling rig and has no input on the final decision of how to inspect a top drive. If the OP is actually employed on a drill rig he could get the answers he seeks from those with experience that he reports to… Most drilling companies have well thought out written procedures for top drive inspection based on years of experience and if the OP is in a position to need to know this information in the performance of his job they will have already shared such information.

One loves tengineer1s ego. You need to brush up on your CFRs big dog.

Operators are like milkmen. They just want to pay for milk so they can sell it and don’t really care how it comes out. The more teet that gets squeezed, the more cheese for his bees. He doesn’t care how it gets squeezed, I mean, you know safe, but not safest.

let’s make that the operators job, or within the same analogy, the milk maid. F the operators who get a daily rate and safety bonus. Just get that oil out of the ground!!!