The World's Leading Manufacturer of Hydraulic Power Tongs

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are frequently asked questions and operational tips to help you on your next job.


Securing the tong:

The tong should be secured for both make-up or break-out operation, by utilizing the snub line. If this is not done, the tong may be thrown against operator causing physical harm.

Be sure hydraulic connections are tight:

To be sure connectors are completely tight, first tighten them until trave lis restricted and the end of the thread travel appears to be reached. Then try to tighten the connector further to be sure first restriction was not a false tightness. Then continue to tighten the fitting until connection is tight.

Keep tong throat area clean:

Be sure no part of the body or clothing is in tong head area and be sure no cables or equipment other than tubing are enclosed in the throat.

Mechanical shifting versus hydraulic shifting:

When using the mechanical shift lever to change speeds, the power tong must first come to a complete stop before shifting. When using tongs hydraulic shift two-speed motor to change speeds, the tong may be shifted "On the Run."

Why are Eckel tongs the best tong on the market?

Eckel tongs have proven to basically to last forever with minimal maintenance as all they are manufactured with the highest quality of steel. Using Eckel equipment tells your customer that you have the highest quality equipment on the market.

What size of tong do I need?

Tong size is determined by range of tubulars you will run. For example a 5-1/2 Hydra-Shift® is capable of running tubulars 5-1/2-inches and smaller while the 14 UHT is capable of running tubulars 14-inches and smaller. It is important not to use a large range of sizes with just one tong. If you have a 10-3/4 Standard and you regularly run 4-1/2-inch tubing with this tong, you might consider using a smaller tong.

What torque range tong do I need?

Determine the maximum torque that will be required to break-out the tubular you are running. There are many influences that figure in to break out torque. In some instances it requires up to 2-1/2 times the makeup torque to break out a connection.

What is the advantage of wrap-around dies verses rig or contour dies?

Wrap-Around dies offer a much larger surface contact on the tubular. This distributes the force uniformly around the tubular reducing needless pipe damage due to point loading.

What are the effects of PSI pressure?

PSI pressure determines the maximum torque the tong will safely be able to reach. Eckel rates all their tongs at the industry standard 2500 PSI. A competitor with a similar size tong may show more or the same torque as an Eckel tong due to a higher PSI from the power unit (which is in fine print) in an effort to fool you, thinking there tong is equal to the industry standard (Eckel tong.)

What are the effects of Gallons Per Minute (GPM) ?

Gallons Per Minute determines the rotational speed of the tong. A low GPM will cause the tong to operate at a lower speed while a high GPM will result in the tong to rotate at a higher speed. Eckel offers an RPM (Revolutions per minute) Control which is a flow divider to decrease the amount of hydraulic fluid that reaches the tong if needed, the remaining fluid is returned to the power unit reservoir. By decreasing the amount of fluid reaching the tong the operator is able to control the maximum RPM of the tong.

We have never used hydraulic oil coolers why should I purchase a power unit with a hydraulic oil cooler?

  • Industry Experts indicate hydraulic oil performs best between 130 and 150 degrees.
  • Field tests have shown depending on several factors most power units used in above 32 degrees Fahrenheit conditions no matter if your hydraulic oil tank holds 200 gallons of oil, will exceed 150 degrees during a short 8 hour job. Most power units without hydraulic oil coolers exceed 170 degrees which is way past the recommended guide lines.
  • Hydraulic oil will last longer and perform better.
  • Cost savings in not replacing hydraulic hoses as often.
  • Seals in the tong control valves will last many times longer.
  • Tong motor seals will last much longer.
  • Tong operators will notice the improved tong performance & a quicker trip times.
  • Personnel safety will improve greatly.

Cross threaded pipe:

The backing pin may be left out of the backing pin hole during make-up operation to allow for quick tong reversal due to cross-threaded joints. It must be replaced, however, after each joint completion in order to align the door openings so the tong can be removed from the tubular.

Heads are not biting:

If the heads fail to bite, the brake bands probably need adjustment. Refer to your opeation manual for brake band adjustments.

How does a door interlock work?

The door interlock is a safety device that Eckel offers. The door interlock blocks hydraulic fluid from reaching the motor preventing tong operation anytime the door is open. Most customers prefer a series door interlock that only shuts down the tong motor allowing other hydraulic functions to continue to operate such as the lift cylinder and backup.

Why is it important for the backup to be able to adjust as close as possible to the tong?

This is particularly important with drill pipe where short tool joints may be encountered. Close spacing is also is beneficial to reduce the possibility of bending the tubular between the tong and backup when running small size tubulars.

What is the purpose of a snub line?

Without a snub line a tong with no backup would not be able to rotate the pipe but instead the tong would rotate around the pipe which is a very dangerous situation. For safety purposes Eckel recommends the tong to have two snub lines one in each direction at a 90 degree angle. A tension load cell can also be mounted on the pulling side of the tong which will provide accurate torque measurement. For safety purposes Eckel recommends the use of snub lines on tongs with backups as well.

What determines the handle length of a tong?

The handle length is determined by measuring from the tong center of pipe to the line pull cylinder mounts on the rear of the tong (when using a tong with no backup.) If a backup is mounted underneath the tong the handle length will change and will be the distance from the center of the pipe to the center of the compression torque gauge load cell.

How does a door interlock work?

The door interlock is a safety device that Eckel offers. The door interlock blocks hydraulic fluid from reaching the tong preventing every tong operation anytime the door is open. Most customers prefer when running a tong with a backup, the (series) door interlock that only shuts down the tong motor (tong rotary gear from turning) allowing other hydraulic functions to continue to operate such as the lift cylinder and backup.

How does a radial lock door work?

There are two super strong radial cut keys attached to the tong case that mate with key slots made into door that interlock when the door is closed. It uses no moving parts, which makes it stronger and easier to open and close as well as easier to maintain.

Can I on my older Eckel tong replace my old style hammer latch door with the newer style radial lock door?

Yes, in most cases - if the current tong model being sold features radial door lock.

Can I order rig style dies, contoured rig style dies, wrap around dies and grit dies for running chrome with any Eckel tong?