McCann Talks Torque – McCann Equipment Ltd. has become synonymous with torque

April 4, 2016

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At the age of five, James McCann emigrated from Glasgow, Scotland to a new land, and a new future. He grew up in Montreal and managed to complete his fifth grade of schooling before heading off to work to support the family. Today, the company he founded celebrated its 40th year in business.

With a sales and service background, notably in the electric power tool industry, at the age of 51 he set out on his own. Having had seven children, this decision did not come by too easily. But a growing confidence, entrepreneurial spirit, passion, and dedication to succeed propelled him to take on this challenge. The first day of business was St. Patrick’s Day in 1975.

Sometime in the early years of McCann Equipment Ltd., quite by accident, an opportunity for a pneumatic-torque wrench was uncovered to satisfy a particular bolting application. That tool was a Pneutorque by Norbar Torque Tools of Banbury, England. To this day, McCann Equipment still proudly represents the complete line of Norbar products exclusively in Canada. Along the way, the company has added several other complementary product lines to enhance its portfolio of torque tools: TorcUP offers hydraulic torque wrenches, pumps, and pneumatic torque wrenches; TONE Tool Co. produces electric torque wrenches; while Skidmore-Wilhelm offers the industry’s prominent tension calibration tester. These leading manufacturers have tools and equipment to address any number of bolting applications that the mining industry (or any other industry for that matter) can throw at it.

Further, the firm offers tensioning tools where threaded fastener stretch is required.

McCann has directed his company to become the leading torque tool specialty distributor in Canada. With six branch operations, each branch is ISO17025 accredited, and can calibrate and certify torque products up to 25,000 pounds per foot.

McCann Equipment has become synonymous with the word “torque”. Torque has proven itself to be a practical means of achieving clamp load in a fastener. And there are plenty of options from which to select the most appropriate torque tool for the job.

Norbar is the pioneer of pneumatic torque tool technology in industry. The notion of mating an air motor to a planetary gear system took form and this combination became known as a “pneutorque” or pneumatic torque wrench. Today, there are many companies offering such a product, each with their own twist on the type of air motor, air consumption, speed of rotation, decibel level of performance, etc.  A broad array of products is available. Their shape and size vary quite significantly, but, in short, if the tool fits and can produce the requisite torque, then it’s a go. Where one type of torque tool won’t fit, another will.

Progress is wonderful. Years ago tools were bigger, heavier, slower, and less safe to operate. Today’s products are lighter, faster, safer and, generally, more user-friendly. An aging workforce can truly appreciate these advancements. The younger workforce simply accepts that this is the norm.

Where there is no available air supply, there are other options to consider. If there is an electrical outlet handy, then consider an electric-operated hydraulic pump to power a hydraulic torque wrench, be it a square drive tool or a low-clearance ratchet link style. Maybe even an electric torque wrench.  There’s always the option of manually using a torque wrench in conjunction with a multiplier. However, this is generally more physically demanding and time-consuming. It’s easier to pull a trigger or toggle a pendant control switch rather than exert strenuous energy using a multiplier. Not that multipliers are bad, quite the contrary. It all depends on how many and how much, i.e., how many fasteners one needs to torque and what the budget will allow. This being said, the chief consideration should be the cost, not the price.

26 - ptm-92-3500_hrReact. Every action results in a corresponding equal and opposite reaction. Power torque tools require a suitable reaction against a stable object to ensure the effectiveness of the gearing that is producing the torque. Although standard reaction arms are provided with torque tools, many different configurations are available. Reaction arms can be customized to suit any given application. Without proper reaction members, no tool can produce the power and torque output to get the job done. Safety is always a major concern. One cannot underestimate the power of these torque tools. Exercise care in the safe operation of these products. Ensure proper training and safe working conditions. It`s never a bad idea to read the operator’s manual.

Five of Jim McCann’s seven kids are engaged in the family business. The firm is honoured to have many long-term key management, sales, and technical staff who have contributed to the growth and success of McCann Equipment.

McCann Equipment can be found on the web at It`s corny, but they proudly state the moniker, “Now You`re Torquing”.

And, yes, James McCann is still going.


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