Power Tong Operators control the power tongs that thread sections of drill casing together to form the pipe being placed hundreds of metres into the ground. With the right amount of strength, dexterity and experience, they’re the ones who get things connected.

What a typical day looks like:

Power Tong Operators don’t always know the crew they’ll be working with, but they’re instantly an integral part of the team. With the help of the crew, they set up the equipment, which includes tasks like hydraulic testing and changing hydraulic lines and hoses. And then it’s time to begin.

Power Tong Operators ensure giant pipe segments with their drill casings are aligned while running the power tong. The power tong turns the drilling pipe connections into each other, based on various sizes and weights and the resulting different drilling torque specs.

As the Power Tong Operator works the power tongs, the crew helps to do some of the heavy lifting. They help latch the elevators into the casing, pull and replace the slips and fill the inside of the pipe with drilling fluids and muds.

Typically employed by the oil and gas services sub-sector of the industry, Power Tong Operators are typically on-call and work in rotating shifts in remote locations.

The kinds of problems Power Tong Operators solve at work:

It’s a tough job that requires applying health and safety principles in variety of weather conditions, as well as dust, dirt and fumes. A Power Tong Operator also needs to know how to work with the chemicals associated with rotating equipment.

Skills used most on the job:

Power Tong Operators need to bring strength and stamina to the job. And because they generally don’t know their crew, they need solid communication skills to work with others to get the job done.

Because for a Power Tong Operator, connecting the pipe segments right on every site visit involves a team effort.

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