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Optimal Operating Tips for Hydraulic Hammers



Positioning the Hammer

It’s important to properly position so that it’s perpendicular to the material and 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.


During installation, it is recommended that the Hammer runs in a vertical position at about 250-300 blow per minute for one hour. 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.  If the applied pressure is insufficient, the tool will dance around on the material rather than sending energy into the rock. When this happens, an 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.

Thing to Avoid

Avoid Blank Fire Operations at All Times.  If this happens, the piston will strike the tool shank with full impact, forcing the tool against the retainers and causing premature wear and failure to the tool, tool retainers, piston, chuck housing, tension bolts and the hammer itself. And since there is no material to absorb the energy, the shock waves will bounce back up the tool, meeting other waves coming down the tool in violent collisions. These collisions create a disorganized mass of energy, causing extensive wear and tear to the tool and other hammer components.

Never use a hammer for lifting or prying something, not only this is dangerous, but also it can cause damage to the hammer, tool, and bushings.  It also causes damage to other hammer components as well as reducing productivity. Prying inhibits of the shock wave through the tool and creates heat buildup in the bushing area.

In Cold Weather, always Warm Your Equipment Up Properly Before Operating After the carrier is warmed up, suspend the hammer in the air (with the tool extended) to activate the automatic stop. Activate the control to circulate the oil and warm the hammer. Warm the tool bit by operating at slow speeds for five to ten minutes.

Never Let the Hammer Strike On the same spot for more than 30 Seconds.  Even 30 seconds can be too long for large Hammers. Working in one spot too long causes heat buildup in the tool, resulting in loss of tool strength and wear resistance.

Posted by RJB Hydraulic Hammers