BJ Sucker Rod Tongs.

Mark IV and Mark V




Copies of the BJ Sucker Rod Tong have been made under the following designations.

TP:98 Mark IV and Mark V




M75 (high torque)

Many others.


BJ Style Sucker Rod Tongs are only available in hydraulic Models. At one time they were available in Air-Powered.  Air Powered BJ Rod tongs are no longer manufactured due to their low power output.


These tongs provide fast, uniform make-up and break-out of sucker rods without damage to thread couplings while delivering up to 1850 ft/lbs of torque (Mark 5).


The BJ style power tong has a clean, functional design for balanced weight distributions and easy handling by one worker. A single master control handles both speed and direction of rotation. Tandem control feature allows operation from the right side, left side or front.


A swinging door gate eliminated hand latching and single unitized jaw assemblies fit sizes ranging from 1/2" to 1 1/8".  The Tong is equipped with a torque gauge to help uniform make up.


Inner Ring Assemblies


27899-2 : 1/2"  

27899     : 5/8", 3/4" and 7/8"

27899-3: 7/8"

27899-4: 1"

27899-1: 1 1/8"


Power Requirements - Hydraulic Models Mark IV and V.


Pump Size.  A hydraulic oil pump that will deliver 20 to 30 gallons per minute and 2,000 psi maximum pressure is recommended. However, a dual pump and unloading valve that will return one half the hydraulic oil flow to the tank when the pressure exceeds 1,000 psi may be used.





Oil Tank. A 50 gallon oil tank containing at least 35 gallons of specified hydraulic oil should be used. An important part of the hydraulic system, the oil tank must be properly designed to dissipate heat, prevent foaming and deliver clean oil to the pump suction without undue friction loss caused by an inadequate oil filter.


Power Fluid Specifications:

Viscosity Range : 150 to 300 S.S.U @ 100° F.

Viscosity Index   : 80+


Hoses:  Both power and return should be 1"



Getting Ready to Run Rods


Hang the tong so it will be convenient for the working area. Make sure the backup safety hanger cable is in place before operation.  Check the inner ring jaw assembly for correct size and rotation. (Make or Break will be cast into the inner ring,  Jaw sizes are cast directly onto the jaws inside the inner ring)

Check your backup wrench size.  One backup fits both 3/4" and 7/8" rods.  All other backup wrenches fit only one specific rod size.

Inner ring installation and removal instructions are will detailed later in this article.


Hang the backup wrench so that it hangs on the backup wrench support spring.  Make sure the load cell piston of the torque indicator protrudes enough to hold thAe backup wrench away from the case at least 3/8". If needed, add oil to the system (detailed later). 


Connect the hoses with the power hose on the right as viewed from the back of the tong. With the tong on the rod, adjust the leveling screw at the top of the hanger so the tong hangs perfectly level while threading rods. Adjust the height of the tong so the jaws in the inner ring are the same height as the top square of the rods.


Operating the Tong


The tong can be operated from eight the left or right side or from the front. It is ordinarily operated form the front. All functions of the tong  are controlled by the operator through the tandem throttle handle. The "swinging door" safety gates open and close automatically by sucker rod contact when the tong is swung on or off the rod string


 With the jaws open, guide the ton onto the rod so the backup wrench easily slides onto the bottom square. This may require lifting the tong slightly at the front to get the backup wrench over the lower rod elevator. Turning the tong to one side may be required. If the tong is hung at the correct height the jaws in the inner ring will automatically position themselves to the top square.


Setting the Relief Valve.


When breaking out rods, the relief valve setting on the hydraulic power unit is not critical. Set it high enough to break the rods but not more than 2000psi.

The relief valve setting is critical when starting in the hole.  To avoid over torqued          

rods before the setting is obtained, back off on the relief valve until the pressure is low enough to slowly turn the tong.  Then make up the rod and adjust the pressure upward until the correct torque setting is obtained.  API Recommended torque values are marked on the torque gauge.


Rotating torque is 15% to  20%  higher than the stalled torque.  This is due to the inherent characteristics of the hydraulic motor.   It is suggested that the relief valve be reduced this amount before rotating a rod at full speed.


Calculating Preload Values for Sucker Rod Pin and Coupling Joint.


For optimum performance, the sucker rod pin and coupling joint must be made up to achieve the desired preload. Because of the many variables such as machine asperities, differences in materials, variations in lubricants, cleanliness of connections and power tong connection etc...  torque does not provide an accurate measurement of preload value in sucker rod pin joints.


Calculations and test data show that a more accurate measurement is provided by the angular or circumferential displacement of a coupling and pin after shouldering from a hand-tight position. This method is preferred in the field to achieve the desired preload in a sucker rod pin and coupling joint. It is also a method of calibrating power sucker rod tongs.


Oil Temperature:

When using hydraulic power rod tongs, it is recommended that the hydraulic power oil system be circulated until a normal operating temperature is reached. This temperature should be maintained within a reasonable level through tong calibration and installation of rods.

Joint Condition:

To achieve satisfactory preload results for sucker rod joints, the joint must be perfectly clean, undamaged, well lubricated and have a free running fit to shoulder contact. Applied displacement will then efficiently preload the joint to prevent shoulder-face separation during pumping. 

Calibration of Power Tong:

The rod tong must be calibrated to prroduce the recommended ciurcumferential displacemennt make-up values shown in Table I. Afeter intial calibration check the power tong calibration each 1000 feet and recalibrtae for each change in rod size.



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