Among the many machines and equipment used to extract oil from the earth, pump jacks remain widely used by industry professionals. Also referred to as a horsehead pump or a thirsty bird, pump jacks vary in size and can acquire up to 40 liters of oil during each production cycle.
Before a solution was created, operating a pump jack was a highly dangerous trade. To stop the movement of a pump jack, workers had to enter the fenced-in area the machine occupied and climb onto the back of the unit. Once inside, the person had to use their body to physically stop the counterweights from moving. With counterweights weighing nearly 20,000 pounds, the machine could easily crush the human body.
However, advancements in technology have created a safer environment for pump jack operators. The machine now operates using an electric motor or a prime mover to create the bobbing action that has become the iconic symbol of the oil industry. Additionally, engineers have developed a cost efficient tool that attaches to the machinery to serve as an additional brake, which eliminates the need for employees to use their bodies.