Using Digital Checklists in Oil Field Services

By Bill Frado

In today’s complex world, capturing data is critical for organizations that want to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace. Digitally capturing data with RIGOR™, a digital checklist system (DCS) from Check-6, allows companies to develop and track defined results, observe execution behaviors and identify important trends.  Captured information, like process completion times and inspection results, tell a story not easily pulled from paper records.  Those stories, now resident in a database, can be interpreted, allowing leadership the ability to quickly modify process and behavior to improve performance, maximize output and mitigate human error.


A major oil field services company was experiencing a high rate of preventable on-road regulatory violations across its trucking fleet, from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Senior leadership recognized the need for a higher level of operational discipline from its team of commercial drivers, to improve compliance.


To break down existing barriers and change the execution mindset, a tailored Check-6 methodology was implemented to:

  • Enable digital process flows that standardize both pre- and post-trip truck inspections
  • Capture in-house DOT inspection results
  • Instill operational discipline throughout the driver group

Over a six-month period of tracking in-house DOT inspection checklists, Check-6 highlighted the top three inspection categories that were causing a 15% failure rate: Brakes, Paperwork and Leaks.  Prior to using RIGOR™, management could not quantitatively identify and measure the failure causes.  Now they have three very specific categories to focus on to trap errors and mitigate risk.


RIGOR™ has the capability to create checklists with high levels of granularity. Checklists can be written in a number of very focused ways, depending upon the information important to the client.  In this case, the failure categories were broken down into specific sub-category discrepancies.  This further highlighted areas needing attention, allowing the company to put systems in place to mitigate the chance of errors recurring.

Additionally, RIGOR™ checklist use allowed Check-6 to identify significant driver non-productive time (NPT) at the trucking yard. The data showed the client they were losing over $300K annually due to daily NPT and drove home the importance of establishing new systems to capture that loss.

Documenting driver behavior is rarely done but after a severe, but non-fatal, on-road accident, where a company truck was hit from behind by an eighteen-wheeler, the client saw the benefit of using a DCS. RIGOR™ history showed consistent driver checklist utilization for pre and post-trip inspections.  The client was able to immediately pull all driver notes and discrepancy pictures, for the past six months.  The data also showed the number of in-house DOT yard inspections, the failures and reasons for the failures, providing insight into truck maintenance history.

Finally, using a digital tool like RIGOR™ demonstrates to customers that you are committed to a higher level of operational discipline. When asked for a random selection of inspection checklists by a customer, our client was able to immediately provide proof that their drivers operated with a higher level of procedural discipline than industry standard.

RIGOR™ is having a substantial impact on operations. It’s helping our client drive the company away from an experience-based operations mindset to a procedurally driven culture.  Digital workflow and data capture tools like RIGOR™ allow companies to turn data opportunities into actionable operations solutions.  In a volatile, uncertain and complex market, Check-6 and RIGOR™ ensure lasting results and help position an organization ahead of the competition.

Bill Frado, Check-6 Inc.