What’s In My Truck? The Essentials for an Independent Contractor in the Field
In the oil and gas industry, almost all professionals working on a rig or wellsite are expected to drive a truck (or similar vehicle)—usually due to poor lease road conditions. Now, a field professional with their long shifts and remote locations would be lost without a well-packed truck. When headed on location for a hitch, an independent oil and gas contractor must carry the following four necessities:
- Fire-resistant clothing and steel-toed boots
- Groceries and cleaning supplies
- Office supplies
- Knowledge and experience
Fire-resistant clothing and steel-toed boots
These are required on every location and in most refineries. Fire-resistant clothing (FR’s) and steel-toed boots protect those working near chemicals, oil, flame, heavy equipment, and more. CJ Goode, an HSE consultant working for XTO, stresses the importance of these safety measures, insisting that “each individual keeps their PPE (personal protective equipment) on at all times.” Each and every person on a site must arrive prepared with these items or safety men like Goode will have to intervene.
Groceries and cleaning supplies
Because rigs and wellsites tend to be in remote locations, field professionals staying on or near location must show up prepared with groceries and cleaning supplies. Sometimes they have the chance to go to a grocery store (though they are often far away) during lulls in operations, but they should be stocked for a few days at least. According to Randy Whiting, a completions consultant currently working for Sanchez Oil and Gas, this means bringing everything from “bread and coffee to trash bags, dishwasher soap, and laundry detergent.” After all, if you remembered your FR’s but forgot laundry detergent, your coworkers may not appreciate you.
“You need your office supplies like calculators, laptops, dry erase markers, thumb tacks, and manila folders. These are the key, I found out. You need organization, or you can’t get the job done,” Whiting says. Very few independent contractors have positions that don’t require paperwork and organization. Trailers often don’t come stocked with these materials, so Whiting adds these to his packing list before every hitch.
Knowledge and experience
When asked what he brings on location, Bill Kirkconnell, a drilling superintendent currently working for Parsley Energy, immediately replies, “Well, knowledge and experience is first.” Of course, knowledge and experience means first-hand work with managing equipment, overcoming challenges, and practicing procedures. Experience is highly valued in the oil and gas industry. Beyond that, however, knowledge and experience could mean cultural norms, according to Kirkconnell. When traveling to new locations, it’s imperative contractors become familiar with the customs and cultural expectations of those working and living on location.
Every position on a rig or wellsite requires specific knowledge and supplies, but these are the few essentials you should find in every single truck driving down the lease roads. For more information about becoming an independent oil and gas contractor with Workrise, click here.
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