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Safety Procedures and Operating Instructions


This tool will enable a simpler and safer undoing of drill pipe joints, allowing you to maximise your time more efficiently.

The Rapspan spanner has been tested in conjunction with Monash University to provide you with a quality controlled, work safe system that will allow you to break pipe joints safely and quickly. Never before has a spanner been designed and manufactured that can relieve the frustration of using cumbersome tools that slip and are unable to do the job required. You will find using the Rapspan spanner the job of breaking pipe joints can be done with ease thus enabling less ‘down time’ and increased productivity.

Rock drillers have tried and tested the Rapspan System and highly recommend the tool as a ‘must have’ in this industry. Joints that have not been broken for several years were undone in a matter of minutes by the Rapspan System.

Safety Precautions

  1. The Rapspan spanner must be stored in a secure dust free, dry environment to ensure optimum operation at all times. Lubricate pins regularly.
  2. Whilst undoing joints all Rapspan tools must be operated by competent drill operators wearing appropriate safety wear such as safety glasses, gloves etc for personal protection.
  3. Spanners are, by their nature, very dangerous and when operating them extreme caution must be used. When operating the tool utilising hydraulics, stand well back from the unit and never stand in a position in line with the hydraulic cylinder no matter how far away.
  4. Never stand in a position that could result in bodily injury from the action of the spanner or any of its mechanical attachments.
  5. Use appropriate safety wear such as safety boots, glasses and protective clothing including gloves during the operation. It is the responsibility of the drilling supervisor to ensure all precautions are taken appropriate to the job.
  6. Check all hydraulic connections and hoses if being used before operating the equipment. Should hydraulic fluid be present, check and replace or repair connections as necessary.

In summary

  • Always wear appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) when using the tool.
  • Always select the appropriate tool for the job.
  • Maintain tools in good condition and if damaged repair immediately.
  • Use tool correctly and if in doubt get assistance from a competent operator.
  • Keep tools in a safe place where they will not pose a hazard within the working environment (i.e. do not place them overhead unless fully constrained).


The spanner consists of top and bottom jaw, handle, 2 pins and circlips, 2 sets of jaws and keeper plates complete with machine screws.

Operating Instructions

Step 1 – Remove the spanner from the packaging and ensure the pins are adequately lubricated.

Step 2 – Inspect the jaws and make sure they are suitable for the job intended. Ensure that the jaws are fitted in the correct orientation. When viewing the spanner with the handle on the left, the jaws (i.e. the pointy bit in the teeth inserts) should all be facing counter clockwise.

Step 3 – Loosen the adjusting screw sufficiently to allow you to swing the top and bottom jaws apart and disengaged from the hook in the handle.

Step 4 – Using the handle on both jaws fit the spanner around the joint to be loosened and close on the pipe collar. Nip up the adjusting nut as required holding the spanner on the pipe. It does not have to be tight but sufficient to minimise spanner movement and stop it from falling off the pipe.

Step 5 – Secure the other side of the joint either locking in a breakout bench, gripping with a drill brake or any other safe method that will prevent the pipe from rotating.

Step 6 – Apply a force to the handle either by hand or using a 75mm hydraulic ram maximum with a maximum pressure of 15500 Kpa. (2250Psi). The resultant applied torque is 30,000 Nm (22,000 Ft lbs) and this represents the absolute maximum torque that should be applied to the spanner.

Step 7 – Should the joint not crack after the application of this pressure then release the pressure and approach the assembly from the side and tap the joint firmly with a hammer and then reapply the pressure. Tapping the pipe within 3 or 4 metres from the joint is also successful, especially when the pressure is being applied. It may be necessary to repeat this procedure to release the joint as corrosion may have partly welded the threads.


Note: To maintain reliability the Rapspan R Series spanners should be cleaned and lubricated (teeth and locking bolt) and then be placed in a tool box and kept dry and dust free.

Use only Rapspan genuine parts when replacing worn components.

If a joint needs to be tightened lock one side of the joint and turn the spanners around and apply sufficient pressure to adequately tighten the joint to suit the purpose.

Should you experience problems with the grip, say on a hammer, use a grinder to roughen the surface longitudinally thus giving the teeth an initial bite. The ground surface does not need to be large but rather rough and just sufficient for the teeth to catch an edge. Ensure you are wearing PPE when carrying out this process.

Should you be in doubt about any of these instructions or require any further information please contact us.

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