How To: Maintaining Your Anchor Tools

Like most mechanical devices, anchor tools require periodic safety checks and maintenance to ensure you’re getting the best possible performance. In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common ways to maintain your anchor tools.

Torque Indicator

With a shear-pin torque limiter, you should rotate the shear halves of the tool independently from each other with a smooth turning action. If this rotation cannot be completed by hand or otherwise feels challenging, you may need to disassemble the torque indicator in order to check the washers, thrust bearing and/or pin for wear and tear.

If the halves are dull, they may need sharpening via surface grinding. Most local machine shops will be able to perform this for you. When reassembling the torque indicator, you should coat the washers, pin and shear surface with lubricating grease.

Locking-Dog Assembly

This is another mechanical anchor installer which requires periodic inspection. When your locking dog assembly is positioned correctly and in perfect working order, it should move smoothly, ensuring complete capture of the wrench drive tube and anchor rod.

When the locking dogs don’t rotate correctly, wrench and rod capture could end up being incorrect. Under these circumstances, you may need to order new dogs. When inspecting a locking-dog assembly, you should make sure that the set screws which hold each assembly are in their correct positions.

Kelly Bar Adapter

If you require tooling for a brand-new truck, you should measure the Kelly bar across the flats. This will help you to establish the correct size between the Kelly bar of the truck and the Kelly bar adapter. It can be easy to confuse Kelly bar adapters (which have a 2-5/8-inch hex inside diameter) with other similar adapters. If the incorrect adapter is used, this can result in the Kelly bar rounding out the hex socket. Eventually, this will lead to a split-out from the top of the Kelly bar adapter.

Retaining Pin

The retaining pin is designed to loosely hold the Kelly bar adapter to the Kelly bar. This loose fit ensures the retaining pin does not take up any load.

The pin is made up of a klik-pin and a bent arm. This provides a positive connection at each end of the pin, which protects operators from potential pin ejection due to the torsional forces of the drive train.

Before anchor installation of any type, you should check output bolts to ensure they are tight. Lost and damaged bolts can result in failure above/below the anchor torque rating and could cause damage elsewhere across the output string. You should check all tools and parts for damage or signs of wear and replace them when you consider it necessary to do so.


You should maintain adequate down pressure during anchor installations and keep the anchor drive wench aligned with the anchor. This will help prevent uneven wear or tool damage. Misalignment can put incredibly high levels of stress on the wrench end where it fits over the anchor, and this could cause the drive tube to split.

When regularly checked and used properly, your anchor tools should provide you with excellent service time and time again, with minimum service requirements.