Gimme a Break
With correct operating techniques and routine hydraulic breaker maintenance, you can plan your downtime.
by Christina Fisher
When it comes to hydraulic breaker maintenance, proper equipment operation is as important as routine preventive maintenance. These two factors work simultaneously to keep a breaker operating at peak efficiency with minimal downtime.
Operator training: back to basics
“When I conduct a seminar, I really stress operator training,” says Jeff Graham, technical support representative for Atlas Copco Construction Equipment. “Improper operation can really destroy a breaker just as much as a lack of maintenance.”
1. From the outside to the inside. Don’t start breaking in the middle of the material. The breaker may not be able to break the rock very quickly. The working tool could get lodged in the material or overheat. It’s like eating a sandwich. You don’t start in the center; you start at the outside and work your way in, taking small bites to work your way into the material. Starting in the middle will increase the likelihood of extended cycle times.
2. 90 degrees, please. Always work 90 degrees to the work surface. (This is not the same as 90 degrees to the ground!) When an operator works at an angle, the tool is put under stress and can break.
“This is why we put breakers on excavators,” Graham says. “The excavator can angle the breaker in different directions so that you can obtain that 90 degrees to the work surface of the material you’re working on.”
3. They’re breakers, not drills. Never place the breaker straight down into the material like a drill, which can cause the tool to get wedged into the material. Instead, slightly rock the breaker 5 degrees in either direction. This allows the dust and debris to come out of the hole in order to easily remove the tool when you are ready to move.
“You rock the breaker to find the sweet spot,” Graham says. “It’s like playing golf. There’s a certain spot on your golf club that you want to make sure you hit to get the most power and the farthest drive out of your hit. It’s the same thing with a breaker. By finding the sweet spot, it reduces the amount of wear on the bushings and allows the breaker to work more efficiently.”
MORE FROM Equipment Focus
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- Four major California areas expected to deplete aggregate supply in next 10 years746 Views
- Product of the Week: Cat 988K loader512 Views
- California firefighters respond to quarry blaze132 Views
- Diesel fuel price report: June 17, 2013131 Views
- Rock quarry owner proposes expansion in Sitka, Alaska117 Views