Eckel Innovation Timeline
Eckel Manufacturing Company, Inc., was founded in 1958 by Emery L. Eckel. As operating costs-per-foot of drilling ballooned to staggering proportions, so likewise the need for fast, safe, efficient hydraulic power tongs. Emery saw it all coming, he had a particularly good vantage point. During the 1940s and 1950s, he operated tongs through out the U.S. He helped specify and purchase hydraulic tongs for others. Then Emery formed his own service organization, bought his own power tongs, trained his own casing crews, and kept the machinery running.
The hydraulic power tongs of that era left a lot to be desired. For example, they were prone to slip, wobble, and consequently damaged costly pipe. Some power trains were chain-driven, and these chains often snapped or snagged. Torque ratings were diminished by slipping clutches or "fading power" in their motors. While some models simply couldn't deliver the required torque, other power tongs packed enough power to "self destruct" a flimsy tong body if an over-zealous crew member applied full throttle.
Emery Eckel knew power tongs had to be better. In the mid-1950s, he set about improving them. He bought machine-tool time and rented unused corners of various shops around Odessa. He hired good machinist and welders when he could afford them, and learned to do their jobs when he couldn't. And one way or another, he produced tongs--new tongs with new ideas.
His own casing crews provided the ideal proving ground. Deficiencies in his tongs were ironed out, and soon Emery's casing crews were in demand. As more profits came in, Emery reinvested the profits into production facilities. These new hydraulic tongs evolved into a prototype that embodies most the advantages still found in today's Eckel tongs.
Other casing crews began asking for these different tongs, and Eckel produced them. He quit the casing business, vowing never again to compete with the people now buying his product.
Since 1958, the plant has doubled and redoubled in size several times. "Anywhere in the world" aptly describes the market for Eckel tongs today.
|1958||Eckel Manufacturing Co., Inc. was eastabled by Emery L. Eckel|
|1958||9-5/8 Standard (1'st Tong)||Later evolved into 10-3/4 Standard|
|1976||3-1/2 STD||Pivot Head - Upgraded to 4-1/2 STD|
|1977||13-3/8 UHT 5/8 Plates|
|1977||5-1/2 STD - 3/8 Plates|
|1977||UHT 77 Series 5-1/2, 7-5/8, 10-3/4, 13-5/8, 14|
|1980||4-1/2 STD||Slide Head - Upgraded to 4-1/2 UHT|
|1980||Slide Heads||4-1/2 Standard|
|1981||13-3/8 UHT 1" Plates|
|1981||14 UHT||Orginally 13-3/8 UHT|
|1981||8-5/8 UHT||Upgraded with Slide Heads|
|1984||5-1/2 STD - 5/8 Plate|
|1984||Industry First Wrap-Around Dies Introduced|
|1988||5-/2 Hydra-Shift UHT|
|1989||5-1/2 HS LS|
|1989||8-5/8 HS||Upgraded HS to HS HT|
|1990||10" Bucking Unit Techint||Backup Gripping Evovled into Tri-Grip®|
|1990||5-1/2 HS VS|
|1997||7-5/8 Heavy Duty|
|1998||11-3/4 DPT Model E|
|1998||13-5/8 HD Model B|
|1998||8-5/8 HS HT|
|1998||Industry First Grit Dies Tested|
|2000||14 UHT Model B|
|2001||Radial Lock Door|
|2002||14 UHT Model C|
|2004||13-3/8 Model B||Rineer Motors|
|2004||7-5/8 STD Model B|
|2005||10-3/4 STD Model B|
|2005||10-5/8 Top Drive|
|2006||14 HS HT|
|2008||14 UHT Model D|
|2009||13-3/8 Model C||Radial Lock Doors|
|2009||13-5/8 HD Model D|