Steering Hand

Published: July 29, 2017 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Steering Hand Mean?

The steering hand is a generalist position on a directional drilling project. Duties may include providing accurate drilling bit/bottom hole assembly (BHA) information to the driller, maintaining the drilling logs during directional drilling operations and may assist with potholing and other site surveys. The steering hand also assists the superintendent/tool pusher by setting up the site’s facilities and utilities including electrical and water services. The steering hand may also be required to know a number of drilling formulas and may act as a clerk.

May also be referred to as the navigator.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Steering Hand

The steering hand, also known as a navigator, is important in maintaining the efficient flow of work on a directional drilling site. Expected to have a broad range of knowledge, the steering hand keeps the directional drilling process going in the “right direction” both literally and metaphorically. Tasks such as giving the driller information on the drill’s performance by maintaining the full set of drilling logs and keeping an eye on the BHA’s performance, as well as ensuring the presence of the right number of portable sanitary facilities for the drilling crew and the right electrical permits, effectively acting as the rig’s — or tool pusher’s — clerk, are all elements of the steering hand’s duties.

The steering hand must also have a reasonable familiarity with the software required to maintain documents, logs and records. He or she must have an understanding of the appropriate drilling formulas, such as buoyancy float calculations, to determine how much drilling fluid is present down-hole and how it affects the performance of the drill string.




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