Pipe tongs are claw-like implements attached to cranes, pipelayers, or sidebooms. They grip or attach to the diameter of a pipe for easy handling. By employing pipe tongs, fewer workers are required to undertake the potentially dangerous and difficult task of lowering pipes into their designated trenches.
Pipe tongs can appear in their most basic form, comprising steel-clad, claw-like grippers, but due to the booming nature of the oil industry in which they are used, manufacturers are constantly clamoring to produce the latest equipment with high-tech features. One notable example is the Rogers HTP-4 drill pipe tong. This development is a high-torque tong with a mechanical gripping bite that is operated automatically.
Aside from pipeline construction, tongs can be used for other applications. One type of tong is the box tong, used for handling boxes and crates. Box tongs consist of pressurized hooks that clamp over the edge of a box. Another type, the drum tong, handles drums typically 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 cm) in diameter. Drum tongs grip the entire drum in one grip.