The Backpacker Single Joint Compensator


The Backpacker Single Joint Compensator (PATENTED) is designed to create a fully controlled environment when running and pulling tubing and casing.  In conventional running and pulling operations, the driller has to position and lower the pin into the box or pull the pin out of the box using the draw-works.  As the draw-works are designed to handle very large loads, it is difficult to perform these motions in a delicate way.  The Backpacker system is capable of balancing the small loads of a single joint and move it into position in a very delicate manner.  The Backpacker decreases the loads that the connection will see during rotation.  The decrease in thread loading allows all connections to be made up with little chance of galling or damage to the seal areas.


Advantages to using The Backpacker are

•             Elimination of seal damage due to rough handling by driller,

•             Elimination of thread damage due to rotation under load,

•             Elimination of torque anomalies,

•             Elimination of jump out and re-entry when pulling, and

•             Ability to make up connections by hand due to reduction of vertical (weight) loads.


The driller picks up a joint with the single joint elevator, positions the pin with about 4 inches clearance over the box and applies the brakes. 

The Backpacker system now automatically weighs the joint. When the unit is shifted to its run mode, the joint will begin to move downward into makeup position.  The joint will continue to move downward in a controlled manner until the pin contacts the box.  The Backpacker system will sense the reduction in weight and hold the joint stationary.  The joint may then be turned by hand or with a power tong and the Backpacker system will compensate for the downward motion while supporting the majority of the joint weight, thereby protecting the threads from being loaded during makeup.


When pulling pipe, the system works in a similar way to protect the threads from being loaded during rotation.  After latching the single joint elevator around the pipe, the Backpacker is set into position below the collar/coupling by the driller.  The Backpacker then raises the single joint elevator to contact the load shoulder and loads the elevator with a load slightly greater than the anticipated weight of the first joint.  A power tong then begins to back the joint and break the connection. The Backpacker raises the joint to follow the joint’s upward motion.  The power tong is removed and the joint is turned by hand. When the threads clear, the joint will continue to rise out of the box and can be safely moved to a storage area.  The weight value of the joint is automatically stored by the control console and used to raise the next joint.


The Backpacker consists of a control console and a special double-ended cylinder assembly.  There are 4 cylinder options which determine the capacity of the system.


Control Console:

Size: 20” x 24” x 50” tall (510 x 600 x 1260 mm. tall)

Weight: 310lb (140kg)

Air Supply: Pressure 90-140psi (6.5-10 Bar) of adequate flow

Hydraulic Oil: Fina Hydran TS-10 (10 wt mineral oil)

Lubricator Oil: Air Tool Oil


Cylinder assembly: 

Model Length Weight Stroke
1.5 Ton 59” (1.50m)  255lb (115 kg) 20” (.50m)
5.0 Ton 59” (1.50m) 375lb (145 kg) 20” (.50m)
8.5 Ton      
10.5 Ton      



Hose assembly:

Length: 120ft (36m)

Lines: 4 total; 1 – Cylinder Extension, 2 – Cylinder Retract, 3 – Weight, 4 – Accumulator


Extension Hose Assembly:

Length: 60ft (20m)

Lines: 4 total.



Required information

# Cylinder capacity