Pipeliners Are Customizing Their Welding Rigs
And they look pretty awesome.
Even though gas prices are down which tends to ding the oil and gas industry, there are still plenty of pipeliners out there and with the recent election results, there may be even more in the near future. Nonetheless, with thousands of miles of pipelines in North America, there’s a demand for those who can lay, maintain and repair them properly.
And where there’s pipelines, there’s welders and where there’s pipeline welders, there’s welding rigs. And like any other pocket of automotive culture, it didn’t take long for people to begin customizing their unique rigs. It makes perfect sense; these trucks are not only the welder’s largest investment outside of their homes but they also spend days, weeks, even months at a time with the them– so why not spruce ‘em up a bit? And not to mention, I’d be willing to bet any additions to a welding rig – no matter what they are - would be tax-deductible.
The customization trend seems to have been initially birthed out of necessity. Having a lifted rig with big tires doesn’t just look badass, it actually assists the pipeliners while working the line because the terrain can actually be more difficult to navigate than many 4x4 trails. For that reason alone, it may not be the best idea to add an expensive paint job but some plus-sized, rugged off-road wheels and tires could serve both form and function.
To clean up the tail end of these rigs, one of the biggest customization options is custom beds. These beds range from generic to a bit outrageous and can cost up to $10,000. There are a fair amount of companies that offer custom bed options such as Advantage Customs, Bob King's Truck Beds and my favorite, E&A Custom Welding Beds.
The hashtag, #WeldingRig has over 13,000 posts on Instagram and dozens of pages dedicated to them. There certainly seems to be quite the community around the industry and the trucks that service them.
And although these rigs are attractive and can handle some serious business, they can have a little fun, too.