How to Properly Operate a Hydraulic Hammer

HydroRam HK380S Hydraulic Hammer on Excavator









1) Proper Positioning

The hammer must be positioned perpendicular to the material. It is especially important to follow this rule when using the hydraulic hammer so that it can correctly test the hardness of the material. If it is improperly aligned, it could respond as though it was working in light material and remain in a high frequency, low impact mode. When it is properly aligned, it selects the best frequency impact combination for maximum performance with that material at that particular time. When installing a new Hammer, it is recommended that the Hammer is run in a vertical position at about 250~300 blow per minute for one hour. Also after 10 minutes, a working start is recommended.  During that time avoid Hammering in inclined condition. If the frequency is fast, the impact is low. If the frequency is slow, the impact is high.

2) Applied Pressure

All hammers must have sufficient pressure against the tool to allow the transmission of energy or the shock wave to flow through the tool to the material being broken. As the tool moves through the material, the applied pressure is continuously adjusted by using a combination of the boom, dipper and attachment controls so that the hammer follows the tool.  Applied Pressure Must be Correct If applied pressure is insufficient, the tool will dance around on the material rather than sending energy into the rock.  When this happens, the impact created by the piston is not transmitted to the rock as a shock wave but is absorbed by the hammer and excavator causing abnormal structural fatigue.  Applied pressure should not lift the carrier high off the ground. As the hammer breaks through the material, the excavator will drop suddenly and harmful shock loads will be transmitted to the tool, power cell, and excavator.  If the hammer is too heavy for the carrier, the resulting damage will be worse.  So it is important to the proper size of the hammer to the carrier.

3) Secondary Breakage of Boulders

” Short Bursts = Better Production = Long Tool Life “ When breaking large rocks, do not attempt to break them from the center.  It is more efficient if breaking is done from the edge.  Take small bites and don’t work on one spot for more than 30 seconds.  This method will increase your productivity and cause less wear and tear on the equipment.

4) Surface Rock Demolition

Do not try to break too much at one time. It is wiser to start from the edge and work towards the center.  Stop immediately when the Hydraulic Hoses Jerk Violently.  Abnormal surging means the nitrogen accumulator is empty.  Stop the hammer immediately and repair the accumulator.  If the visible length of the tool does not change, it usually means the tool has seized in the bushing. Remove the tool and check the bushing. If obvious signs of seizing are present, remove the marks from the tool and bushing or replace it as necessary.  Then clean and lubricate the shank for installation of the tool.   If the tension bolt is “Loose Or Broken”, tighten it properly or replace it.  You can tell if it is broken or loose by tapping on the bolt and listening for a distinctive high pitched sound.

Posted by RJB Hydraulic Hammers