The History of Drag'N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection

Drag'N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection Applied to a Pipeline on site

Before trenchless boring, open cutting was the primary way of laying pipelines in the ground. Digging from the surface of the ground down into the earth, open cutting was highly time-consuming and disruptive to the environment and surrounding ecosystems. Not to mention, it was challenging to cut through rugged terrain. 


The first boring machine was brought to Drayton Valley, Alberta, back in 1991. This was a new chapter for the oil and gas industry in Canada. Trenchless boring was an option that would eliminate open cuts in many areas and enable the preservation of the environment and wildlife habitats. Trenchless boring has its advantages, but it also comes with its problems.

The Need For Coating Protection

Darrel Jarvis is the inventor of Drag’N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection. He is a pipeline consultant who has been present for many pipeline bores throughout his career. There was one particular day during the cold winter in 2003 when a situation with a bore caused him to think about a long-term solution for protecting the coating of pipe amid a gruelling bore. In this case, the pipeline was essential to deliver much-needed utilities within a tight time frame. The crew began the bore, and when the pipe came out on the other side, the coating had been badly scarred. The solution was to pull the pipe back out, prime and tape the scarred areas, and send it back through. The crew repeated this process three times, and the pipe would come through with more damage each time.

Darrel Jarvis and Team on a job installing Drag'N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection
Darrel Jarvis (far right) with his team on site, preparing for a bore.

At this point, Jarvis knew they had to call in the coating protection specialists. The specialists would be able to apply a plastic sleeve over the pipe to protect it. Not only did this process require specialists, but it was also tedious and inconvenient. The plastic was solid and inflexible, and it only came in 40-foot lengths. The specialists needed to come out, apply all the required lengths, and fuse each joint. Moreover, what made the situation even worse was that these trenchless specialists could not come to the site until three weeks later, far beyond the time frame in which the job needed to be completed.

Drag'N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection
Jarvis was able to create a firehose-type product that is flexible and convenient to apply.

The Conception of Drag'N Skin

Frustrated, Jarvis went into his truck and, being a man of faith, asked God for a solution because he knew there had to be a more efficient way. The Holy Spirit reminded him of a time in the summer when Jarvis had used firehose to water the lawn at his property, where a wedding was to take place. The summer had been hot and dry, and he needed the means to water all the grass on his farm. It was there that the idea for Drag’N Skin was conceived. A firehose-type product would be the perfect solution for protecting the coating of the pipe during a bore, and the pipeline contractors themselves could easily apply it. From that point on, Jarvis got to work creating Drag’N Skin. He wanted the product to be excellent, so he cut no corners in the development process. 

The Development of Drag'N Skin

Drag’N Skin is designed to be a sacrificial sleeve, a barrier between the coating of the pipe and the subsurface material that causes damaging abrasion to the coating’s surface. To achieve the durability required for trenchless boring, Jarvis went with a circular woven polyester fabric. The fabric is designed with a weft and a weave, fibres that run 90 degrees to each other. This creates a strong material that will not run when snagged. It also has a protective end-cap coating, strengthening the fabric further. Another benefit is that Drag’N Skin is a porous material, so if any moisture gets inside the sleeve during the bore, it can escape through the material, preventing corrosion. Moreover, the sleeve is manufactured in long lengths, meaning less time spent fusing the joints.

Drag'N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection
Drag'N Skin applied to a pipe, without the need to fuse several joints.

Drag'N Skin: The Proactive Approach

Along with the fabric sleeve, a proprietary sleeve ring, pull-head, and coupler were designed as part of Drag’N Skin’s application. The sleeve ring is a highly convenient tool pipeline contractors can use to apply Drag’N Skin over the pipe, hence the term “drag” in Drag’N Skin. The pull-head is placed on the end of the pipe with the sleeve over top. The coupler is then placed overtop the sleeve and the pull-head to secure everything in place.


Drag’N Skin has also undergone rigorous testing and many field tests to ensure its optimal performance. It was tested at the University of Alberta’s Strengths of Materials Lab and had a tensile strength of up to 18,750 pounds per square inch (PSI). 


There are 42 claims on Drag’N Skin’s patent, ranging from the physical items such as the sleeve, sleeve ring, and pull-head to the application process of Drag’N Skin onto a pipe. Overall, no other product can compete with Drag’N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection, and it has become an essential tool for trenchless boring applications. 


Drag’N Skin is a proactive approach to protecting pipeline coating. Instead of repairing scars in the coating after a boring attempt, Drag’N Skin is applied once before the bore happens, significantly reducing the need to remove the pipe, repair it, and attempt again. The cost savings and efficiency Drag’N Skin creates are unparalleled, making it an absolute necessity.

Drag'N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection Pull-Head and Coupler
With the Drag'N Skin pull-head in place, the coupler is placed overtop the fabric sleeve to secure everything in place.
Drag'N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection proprietary sleeve ring
The proprietary sleeve ring being used to pull Drag'N Skin over a pipe.

Contact Us

If you want to know more about Drag’N Skin Pipeline Coating Protection or if you would like to order, please contact us. You can email or call (587) 570-7009. You can also visit our Contact Page and submit a form. 

We look forward to working with you!