Best Practices for Selecting Hydraulic Hammers and Breakers

Hydraulic hammers are a great way to do more with your excavator, but not all hammers or breakers fit all excavators. It’s essential you select the right hydraulic hammer or breaker for your excavator. Not only does a poor fit reduce your team’s efficiency and productivity, it can wreak havoc on your machine, leading to costly repairs or even complete failure. Keep yourself and your machine moving with these simple best practices for picking hydraulic hammers and breakers.

Size It Up—The first question to ask is about size, and the first answer may be from your manufacturer: check your owner’s manual for any recommendations. If you don’t have that, be sure to consider the following:

The attachment’s weight — will it be too heavy for your machine?

The hydraulic and pressure requirements — is it too much or too little? Note that all

Kobelco models come with 10 preset hydraulic flow and pressure settings, as well as 10 more for bidirectional flow for shearers or thumbs.

Too Small, Too Weak—Having a hammer or breaker that’s too small for your excavator can lead to a host of problems. First, it won’t work efficiently, meaning you get less done in more time, which is a terrible combination. More than that though, the overload can damage the breaker or, even worse, it can become over oiled and possibly contaminate the entire hydraulic system, which is extremely expensive.

Too Big, Too Strong—Most hydraulic breakers or hammers require one hydraulic pump. If the one you’re considering needs two, walk away. This, and any hydraulic attachment that’s too big, will lead to overheating of the machine, can throw off your stability leading you to tip, and can lead to structural issues. Plus, as with the “too small,” it’s inefficient.

Specialty Accessories—Super versatile hydraulic breakers and hammers aren’t always used above ground. Here are some extra tools to adapt to any conditions.

Under Water— In addition to adding special seals to keep water from infiltrating the breaker, you can buy compressed air systems that keep you working without worry.

Pressurized Water Dust Removal System— Spraying a simple mist on your machines keeps dust from spreading around the site into machines or your team.

Grease Retention and Dust Exclusion Combo— A special attachment keeps grease in and dust out, which can be a life saver — or at least a machine saver — for tunnel or underground crews.

Automatic or Centralized Greasing Systems— Greasing hydraulic breakers or hammers is vital to keeping them healthy. It can be made easy with automatic greasing systems that do the job for you. Note that some manufacturers recommend optimized grease. Check your user’s guide for details.