Demolition equipment maintenance figures large in the life of any demolition contractor. Portland offers its own challenges for taking care of equipment. In an earlier post, we discussed general tips for demolition equipment maintenance. Today our focus is narrower: How to extend the life of hydraulic breakers. In addition to regular maintenance we offer 3 specific tips that demolition contractors can follow.
First, it’s key to remember that when taking care of any large piece of equipment, regular maintenance is crucial. A thorough maintenance program should include keeping an inventory of spare parts; using maintenance calendars to keep up with oil changes and other adjustments; arranging frequent inspections; and keeping accurate equipment histories.
By their nature, hydraulic breaker attachments are subject to rough conditions. Think of a breaker as an enormous hammer. Contractors use breakers to demolish concrete structures and rocks. As such, breakers must endure endless vibration, heat, and dust. These elements can quickly take their toll. Despite outward appearances, a hydraulic breaker is a precise instrument, in which a strike piston moves up and down in an enclosed cylinder. Even the smallest amount of contamination can have serious consequences, so care must be taken to keep sensitive areas free from dust and other contaminants.
3 Tips to Extend the Lifespan of a Demolition Hydraulic Breaker
1. Choose the right tool, and use it at the right settings. Select the best hammer for the job, and avoid over-speeding it. Hoses should be properly capped to prevent contamination of hydraulic oil. Check the flow and pressure if you share an attachment between two carriers. Correctly matching the hammer size to the breaker is a surefire way to improve the utility of your breaker.
2. Use the proper grease. Using the correct grease in the correct amount is paramount to maximizing the life of your breaker. Use the owner’s manual to select the right grease for your specific piece of equipment. There is no single grease that works well on all equipment. In some cases, chisel paste is also recommended, and there are high quality lubricants that include graphite and copper solids. Standard grease is not recommended, as it will not be up the task. Also, make sure to use proper amounts of grease, and that you are following the manual’s instructions for the proper application technique.
3. Proper inspection. Inspections help prevent catastrophic failures. You should inspect hydraulic breakers daily for signs of worn or damaged parts, and for hydraulic oil leaks. The tool’s steel retaining pins should be checked for wear, as should fasteners. Weekly inspection should be completed on all parts. Be sure to use the tools suggested by the manufacturer for sharpening and cleaning parts.
These three tips will extend the usefulness of a hydraulic breaker. In turn, long-lasting equipment can save demo contractors big bucks down the road, through increased productivity, a reduction in unexpected breakages, and through safer, and more efficient operation overall.
[Photo by Highways Agency via CC License]