Welding is a precise skill. Minor defects in a weld can cause major issues down the road. For this reason oil companies will sometimes inspect welds with x-ray machines to make sure that the welds are strong enough to hold up to the pressures of a pipeline. If a weld were to fail, the oil company could be looking at a major spill. Spills waste oil, cost oil companies money, and cause problems for the environment. Oil companies are not the only ones who have to worry about the integrity of welds. Some jobs don’t require a super precise weld, but a nice wild is always easier on the eyes than a messy weld. For this reason, many welders prefer to work in the controlled conditions of a welding shop. On the other hand, there are welders who prefer on site welding, and there are times when all welders can be required to go where they are needed rather than require people to bring their jobs to the welding shop.
When a huge piece of machinery breaks down, welding might just be part of the repairs required to get the piece of machinery up and running again. Towing or even hauling a huge piece of farm or construction equipment to a welding shop is a proposition that is riddles with challenges. It is just easier for the farmer or for the construction company to have large pieces of equipment repaired on site. Welders need to be able to leave their welding shop to perform such repairs.
There are also jobs like piecing together the pieces of a pipeline or putting together the frame of a building that require on site welding. You can’t exactly weld a pipeline together in a welding shop and then move it to where it is needed. Obviously, pipelines have to be constructed on site. In some cases, welding must be done underwater. Although, it would be much easier to weld in a welding shop than underwater, it is not always possible to weld in a shop and than move what was welded to where it is needed. Here again, we see the need for on site welding.
A welder that only is prepared to weld in his welding shop is missing out on a percentage of the jobs that he could have. Thus, it makes good business sense for a welder to be prepared to take his show on the road and go where he is needed. Welders will use a welding truck to take the equipment and materials he need to wherever he will be welding. In shop, a welder might have different welding machines to work with different metals. There is only a limited amount of space on the back of a welding truck, so the welder will need to find one machine that he can use to work with different materials. He will also want to use a system of truck boxes, cabinets, shelves, and racks to organize and protect the various tools and equipment he will need on a job.
By building and stocking a welding truck, a welder can prepare for most on site welding jobs. If a welder wants to work on an oil field, he will have to apply for and earn a license. Oil fields like to make sure that the welders who work for them are prepared to do their best work. Oil fields have a need for strict standards; they don’t want an environmental disaster on their hands, but other entities might also require a welder to prove his merit before they will allow him to work for them. On site welding is as much a matter of pursuing the right licensing as making the right preparations.