Volume 11 | Issue 4 | Year 2008

For years, Rigmaster has answered the demands of the oil industry through a constant flow of new and innovative designs. The company’s goal has always been to unite industry needs with the conscionable drive towards environmentally green drilling, by constantly striving to expend less fuel while drilling, trucking, rig ups, etc. This dedication has propelled Rigmaster Machinery Ltd. & Rigmaster Technology Ltd. to the forefront of the drilling manufacturing industry.
Founded 15 years ago, Rigmaster Machinery Ltd. has just completed its 120th drawworks along with a multitude of other drilling equipment. To date, Rigmaster has one of the most extensive libraries of designs in the world. The company designs and builds all aspects of oilfield drilling equipment. (numerous of which were conceptualized on the proverbial napkin-at dinner, the lake, at 2 a.m. and on family holidays, jokes Rigmaster President Gerald Lesko). It is also the only company in North America that has a registered GREEN™ drill bit, emphasizing the company’s commitment to the environment.


Since its inception in 1994, Rigmaster Machinery Ltd. has continuously proven itself as a Canadian leader in drilling rig equipment design and manufacture. Its philosophy is straight forward: build custom, top quality machines while continuously looking for improvements in both design and safety.

At present the pride of the Rigmaster product line is its 15 models of mechanical and electric drawworks ranging from 300hp to 2000hp. Each model has been designed to maximize the efficiency of every individual component. To accomplish this, great care is taken in the selection and installation of third party components such as engines, motors, drive shafts, clutches, air systems, and hydraulic systems. In cases where the right components could not be sourced, or simply did not exist, they were developed in-house.

Products such as gear-boxes, transmissions, brake systems, hydraulic catheads (Cobraheads), and torque sensors, comprise the rest of Rigmaster’s current product line. An unparalleled devotion to component integration and development has resulted in the production of over 130 dependable, specialized drawworks. In North America, these machines have become the preferred choice of drilling contractors and oil companies alike, enabling them to complete drilling programs safely, reliably and profitably. Rigmaster Machinery is also an excellent source for general drilling supplies and parts.

“Approximately one in five of all drawworks delivered in the past decade in the Canadian market and in the international market has been custom designed & built by Rigmaster Machinery Ltd.,” says Lesko. Being recognized as a proto-type producer in technology and design, rather than a mass producer, has positioned Rigmaster as a leader in the oil drilling equipment industry. H&R Drilling, Hemsing Drilling, the Horizon Drilling projects and the grandfather of all Canadian drilling contractors, Jomax Drilling, have all benefitted from Rigmaster’s expertise in building state-of-the-art equipment. “The Horizon Drilling project is, to date, the most significant, most innovative machinery of the Rigmaster fleet,” Lesko explains. “It was the early proving ground for one of the three ways of drilling. This new technology uses Rigmaster’s ‘pick up and lay down’ system, eliminating the derrick man and the roughneck, as well as the need to rack the pipe in the derrick.” Rigmaster’s Automated Drilling System offers a much wider safety margin using the “smart” Floor Robot and Top Drive.

Rigmaster maintains a 15,000-square-foot facility that benefits from a cutting edge manufacturing concept of utilizing “networking technology.” The entire manufacturing community including contractual engineering assists in the manufacture of Rigmaster products. All drawings, assembly and quality control are done in house. Machining, heavy welding and custom water cutting is done off site by exclusive vetted companies, capable of adhering to the stringent demands of producing quality Rigmaster components. These companies have total responsibility to manage their own personnel. Eliminating top heavy management at Rigmaster and the need for large premises is the optimum result.

“Rigmaster drawworks are – pound for pound – the toughest drawworks in the industry, engineered to be lighter in weight, stronger, more compact, less cumbersome to move, and requiring less rig up time,” Lesko says. To date, Rigmaster’s new line of AC drawworks is the lightest in the world. Typically, what the old 40,000-pound units did, Lesko now accomplishes with an 11,000-pound unit. This requirement was driven by the coil tubing drilling industry where excessive weight was an impossibility.

In addition, Rigmaster has a unique Automated Drilling System, referred to as “pick up and lay down,” which looks promising as the newest and most efficient way of drilling oil and gas wells. This system is being used in Alberta by five of Horizon Drilling’s newest rigs.

The Rigmaster product also line includes:
• Light weight AC drawworks, models ranging from 300hp. To 2000hp (patented and patents pending)
• Floor Robotic System (patents pending)
• Unique tilting Top Drive (U.S. & Canadian patented and patents pending)
• Mechanical & electrical conventional drawworks ranging from 300hp to 2000hp including: 400, 500, 750, 850, 1000, 1200, and 1500hp
• Right angle gear drives (patents pending)
• Pipe handling systems (patents pending)
• Top drives (patents pending)
• Pump drive
• Floor robot (patents pending)
• Cobraheads™
• Drilling Rig Floor Drainage System (Canadian patent)

Through these products, Rigmaster continually anticipates the future requirements of drilling contractors through growth that is customer/industry driven. Lesko’s first-hand drilling experience in tropical, off-shore, desert and extreme northern climates has given it an intimate knowledge of geographical design requirements.

The next phase of Rigmaster’s development is to ramp up worldwide and mass produce these now proven and ongoing innovations while maintaining its high standard of quality equipment. Rigmaster Machinery is also an excellent source for general drilling supplies and parts. Above all, Rigmaster’s philosophy has always been to design and build only the best; understand the customer’s equipment requirements so he can achieve total success, and do justice to the environment in the oil industry. And it seems as though Rigmaster Machinery Ltd. & Rigmaster Technology Ltd. has stayed true to that philosophy while helping companies throughout Canada in the pursuit of more oil.

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