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Encyclopedia > Derrick

A derrick is a lifting device composed of one mast or pole which is hinged freely at the bottom. It is controlled by (usually 4) lines powered by some such means as man-hauling or motors, so that the pole can move in all 4 directions. A line runs up it and over its top with a hook on the end, like with a crane. It was commonly used in docks. A tower crane with a pivoted main boom Cranes on the Sheksna River, Cherepovets, Russia A worker telecommanding a crane from the ground A crane is a machine equipped with hoists, wire ropes and sheaves that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. ... A dock is an area of water between two piers or alongside a pier, forming a chamber used for building or repairing one ship. ...

The device was named after Thomas Derrick, an English executioner from the Elizabethan era because of its resemblance of the frame from which a hangman's noose hangs. Thomas Derrick was a notable English executioner from the Elizabethan era. ... Motto: (French for God and my right) Anthem: God Save the King/Queen Capital London Largest city London Official language(s) English (de facto) Unification    - by Athelstan AD 927  Area    - Total 130,395 km² (1st in UK)   50,346 sq mi  Population    - 2006 est. ... Death Penalty World Map Color Key: Blue: Abolished for all crimes Green: Abolished for crimes not committed in exceptional circumstances (such as crimes committed in time of war) Orange: Abolished in Practice Red: Legal Form of Punishment Execution of a soldier of the 8th Infantry at Prescott, Arizona, 1877 Execution... Elizabeth ushers in Peace and Plenty. ... Hangmans knot The hangmans knot or hangmans noose (also known as a collar during Elizabethan times) is a well-known knot most often associated with its use in hanging. ...


Oil derrick

Main article: Drilling rig

Another kind of derrick is used over oil wells and other drilled holes. This is generally called an oil derrick and is a complex set of machines specifically designed for optimum efficiency, safety and low cost. A drilling rig is a structure housing equipment used to drill into underground reservoirs for water, oil, or natural gas, or into sub-surface mineral deposits. ... An oil well is a term for any perforation through the Earths surface designed to find and release both petroleum oil and gas hydrocarbons. ...

The centerpiece is the archetypical derrick tower, used for lifting and positioning the drilling bit and piping above the well head, and containing the machinery for turning the drilling bit around in hole. As the drill goes deeper into the underlying soil or rock, new piping has to be added to the top of drill to keep both the connection between drill bit and turning machinery intact, to create a filler to keep the hole from caving in somewhere halfway between the drill bit and the surface, and to create a conduit for the drilling mud, which is needed to cool down the drill and used for pumping out rock debris created by the drilling. For this purpose the piping sections, usually each about 10 meters (30 feet) long, have threaded ends, so they can be screwed or bolted together. The piping is hollow to allow for the mud to be pumped down into the drilling hole, where it flushes out near the drilling bit. This cools the drilling bit down, and blows rock debris clear from the drill bit and the bottom of the well. The mud then proceeds upwards towards the surface on the outside of the piping, carrying the debris with it. Well head is a term used in the oil and gas industry to describe the equipment located at the top of a well. ... A conduit is a general term for a means of conveying something from one location to another or between persons. ... Drilling mud, also called drilling fluid, is a lubricant used while drilling oil and natural gas wells. ...

At the same time the derrick is used to control the pressure on the drilling bit, because the drill bit works at an optimum rate only when it is pushed at an exact amount of pressure on the rock beneath it. Too high a pressure can break the drilling bit, and too low a pressure will at least increase costs by prolonging drilling time. Because the weight of the pipes above the drill bit will increase the pressure on it the deeper it goes, and because when starting drilling at the surface there will be hardly any weight on the drill at all, the derrick has to push the drill at the start of drilling, then ease up pressure when piping sections are added, and eventually lift the entire drill-and-piping complex to prevent too high a pressure as the well goes deeper.

Because of all these different requirements, done under high cost and time pressures, in almost any climate and virtually any place in the world, combined with the fact that the purpose is to find flammable or explosive fossil fuels, oil drilling is a complex and dangerous business.

The people who do this hard and dirty work do so under dangerous circumstances and often in considerable isolation, especially when on an offshore drilling platform. Offshore has two principal meanings: Physical - in the sea away from the shore; not on the shoreline but out to sea. ... A drilling rig is a structure housing equipment used to drill into underground reservoirs for water, oil, or natural gas, or into sub-surface mineral deposits. ...

Derrick is also a male name

Patent Derrick Systems

Hallen Derrick

The boom is connected with the belower part of the mast which is shaped like a “Y” or a bipod and therefore it is a single swinging derrick. On the cross trees, two guys are fastened using swivel outriggers which are stayed vertically and horizontally. In order to maintain a good controlling angle between guys and derrick, the outriggers cannot pass the inboard parallel of the centerline. Looking at the illustration, one can easily see that the right outrigger stays in the centerline and the left outrigger has moved outboard. This derrick will lower or heave cargo as both guys are veered or hauled. Three winches, controlled by joystick, are necessary to operate the Hallen Derrick; two for the guys and one for the purchase. To avoid an over-topping or over-swinging limit-switches are used. However, the limits can be modified if a different working range or a special vertical stowage is required. The safe working load (SWL) of the Hallen is between 10 and 80 tonnes. In a Hallen Universal derrick, which has no Hallen D-Frame, the halyard has an extended length since it runs through further blocks on the centerline. The Universal Hallen derrick, replacing the D-Frame option, is a kind of traditional topping lift. The Hallen D-Frame is a steel bracket welded on the mast in the centerline. For an observer standing abeam, the frame has a “D”-shape. The D-Frame supersedes the outriggers and provides a good controlling angle on the guys. The Hallen derrick has a good purpose for e.g. containers, logs, steel rail, sawn timber and heavy lifts and doesn't lend itself for small, general cargo. It keeps the deck clear of guy ropes and preventors. Only one winchman is needed and within a few minutes the Hallen is brought into use. It is less expensive than a crane. A disadvantage is the low working range of the Hallen Derrick, it is able to swing 75° from the centerline and can work against a list of up to 15°.

Velle Derrick

The Velle derrick is quite similar to the Hallen but without use of outriggers. On top of the boom is a T-shaped yoke assembled. Also here, the guys serve for topping and lowering the boom but they are fastened on the yoke with four short, steel-wire hanger-ropes. The ends of the topping and lowering ends of the halyard are secured to half-barrels on one winch. In this way the boom moves in the same speed as the winch veers the topping end of the halyard and hauls the lowering end of the halyard, and vice versa. The slewing ends are also wound on to another half-barrel. For hoisting the cargo, there is a third winch to hoist to cargo on the yoke. Runners decrease swing and rotation of the cargo. A joystick duplex controller steers the Velle derrick.

Stülcken Derrick

The patent Stülcken derrick is used for very heavy cargo. It stems from the German shipyard Blohm + Voss GmbH. This derrick can handle up to 300 tonnes. The Stülcken can be made ready in few minutes, which is a lot faster than a traditional heavy derrick, doesn't require lots of space and is operated by four winches. Between two v-shaped, unstayed Samson-posts is the Stülcken secured. This makes it possible to let the derrick swing through the posts to reach another hatch. For each post is a hoisting winch, a span winch and a lever that is run by one man only. Bearings, swivels, sheaves and the gooseneck can be unattended for up to four years and create only a friction of about 2%. The span tackles are independent and the halyard is endless. With the revolving suspension heads on the posts it takes ten minutes to swing all the way through. In the double-pendulum block type, half of the cargo tackle can be anchored to the base of the boom. In order to double the hook speed, the halyard passes through the purchases since one end is secured which reduces the SWL to its half. Typical dimensions of a 275 tonne Stülcken are: 25.5 m length, 0.97 m diameter, 1.5 m to 3.4 m diameter of posts, 18 m apart the posts (upper end) and 8.4 m apart the posts (lower end). The hook of a full-loaded 275 tonne Stülcken can move 2.3 m per minute. If only one purchase is secured and the derrick is loaded with 137 tonnes the hook gains velocity to 4.6 m per min. Even more speed can be gained when the winch ratios are reduced to 100 tonnes (triple speed) and 68 tonnes (quadruple speed). Detaching the union table the double-pendulum block type of Stülcken is able to swing through which allows the lower blocks to swing freely to each side of the boom. In this way the derrick reaches a vertical position. A bullrope easily pulls the derrick to the other side until the weight of the cargo tips the derrick over. The span tackles now have the weight on the other side. The union table is fixed again and the derrick can start its work on the other side. There are also Stülcken with single-pendulum blocks. At this type the cargo hook is detached and the lower and upper cargo block are hauled into the center of the Stülcken. To tip the derrick over the gravity is here used again. A tonne (also called metric ton) is a non-SI unit of mass, accepted for use with SI, defined as: 1 tonne = 103 kg (= 106 g). ...


  • Danton, G. The Theory and Practice of Seamanship, Routlegde, London.

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