Manual drifting of drill pipes from the derick constitutes a potentially serious risk from dropped objects. When drifting in the derrick, traditionally rig crews manually place the drift in the carrier on the bails and transport it to the Derrickman who will usually be around 90ft above the rig floor. He then has to retrieve it and place it in the drill pipe. When the drill pipe is picked up, the drift falls out of the bottom tool joint and the Roughneck retrieves it to begin the process again.
There is a potential dropped object risk every time for the Derrickman if he mishandles the drift and if it falls toward the rig floor and potentially strikes a member of the rig personnel. This paper will detail the risk of manual drifting in the derick and also present a novel alternative method using a drift catcher sub that eliminates the dropped objects hazard completely – while also saves significant operational time when utilized.