At what point is a hydraulic breaker no longer usable? In the construction industry, a hydraulic breaker can have a lifespan that lasts years if it is cared for properly. According to the article “How to Avoid Breaking Your Breakers” by Curt Bennink on ForConstructionPros.com, the average hydraulic hammer tool accumulates 500 hours of run time a year. That’s considered a heck of a lot for a piece of machinery that can attack surfaces up to 1,000 times or more per minute. As the tool is used throughout the years, wear and tear is inevitable. However, being aware of the causes that can take a toll on the demolition tool can help you determine an effective strategy for keeping it in good condition. For starters, you definitely need to have a good preventative maintenance plan.
The life of your hydraulic breaker depends on multiple factors regarding demolition tools. By assessing these hydraulic hammer aspects, you may be able to avoid the increased cost of maintenance and excessive downtime that occur as a result of aging. Here are four issues to watch out for.
1. The Level of Workmanship
If the hydraulic breaker is operated accurately, the tool is saved from becoming quickly damaged. Stress to the bushings, retainers and tool can cause the machinery to malfunction. The type of work certainly matters when it comes to the condition of a hammer because different applications may be more detrimental than others. For example, concrete without rebar is less harmful to a breaker than reinforced concrete.
2. The Type of Material
What kind of material are you demolishing with the hydraulic hammer? Some types of rock can wear down the tool much faster than others, depending on how abrasive they are. Some rock materials turn into powder when broken up by the hammer, which could potentially cause the tool to overheat. Furthermore, cushioned impact from the turning of solid to powder can make the tool mushroom.
3. Blank Firing
Although blank firing is pretty much unavoidable, it should be kept to a minimum as much as possible. Blank firing happens when the hammer is in operation while being suspended in the air. This occurrence is to blame for internal damages, as it can cause the piston to fire inside the housing of the breaker. It is vital that your operators are trained in the proper technique for operating a hydraulic breaker.
4. The Amount of Lubrication
The hydraulic hammer will deteriorate slowly if it is not regularly lubricated. A lack of grease will increase the temperature in the tool shank and bushings, resulting in corrosion of the components. Always make sure the breaker is routinely lubricated.
Not all hydraulic hammers will last forever, so taking preventative measures to ensure its longevity is worthwhile. Even when the hydraulic breaker does come to a point where it isn’t holding up like it used to, you can then have it updated. Using quality parts, the tool can be reconstructed like new as a used hydraulic breaker to get the construction project back on track.