Gimme a Break
Each morning, visually inspect the breaker and the carrier. Make sure nothing is cracked and that the hoses are intact and properly attached. The most important thing an operator can do, however, is to ensure that the breaker and the tool are greased properly.
“Several times a day the operator should draw the tool up near to him so he can see the tool and the bushing. He doesn’t even need to get out of the cab,” Graham says. “The operator should see wet black grease. If the tool looks grainy or powdery, then it’s very dry and not getting enough grease. If the tool is shiny, it’s not getting any grease at all.”
At this point, the equipment needs to be shut down to determine what is causing the lack of grease, whether it has run out of grease, a grease hose has broken, or the central lube system is malfunctioning.
“Many customers in the field don’t realize how critical it is to lubricate the bushing and the tool, so their operators don’t do it,” Cadnum says. An automatic lubrication system, available on some breakers, prevents damage due to improper lubrication.
A breaker should be lubricated every two hours at a minimum. A breaker cannot be over-greased unless it’s done improperly. Whenever a breaker is being greased, there needs to be down pressure on the tool so that the grease will not be forced up into the impact area of the tool and piston. The grease should travel down the tool to the area where the bushing is and exit the breaker.
Graham says that operators often ask how much grease should be used each day. “Different applications call for different amounts of grease. Longer cycle times mean more grease. If the material is light and it doesn’t take much to break through it, then less grease is needed. It all depends on the material,” he says. “The most important thing to do is to check the tool multiple times a day.”
It’s not just the lubrication process itself that is important, however. It’s using the proper type of lubricant. “Using an off-the-shelf grease won’t work,” Cadnum points out. “You need something specifically made for hydraulic breakers. The stresses are such that the machine is very demanding and its needs (are) very specific. The amount of friction, side loading, and heat on a breaker requires a tough lubricant with a high dropping point, and usually some solids added as well.”
Many manufacturers offer a type of grease with copper particles added to it. When all of the grease is pushed out of the breaker, the copper particles act like miniature ball bearings, providing some lubrication in a binding situation.
MORE FROM Articles
SUBSCRIBE & FOLLOW
- Four major California areas expected to deplete aggregate supply in next 10 years739 Views
- Product of the Week: Cat 988K loader512 Views
- Diesel fuel price report: June 17, 2013129 Views
- Rock quarry owner proposes expansion in Sitka, Alaska118 Views
- Brant City Council approves water report for Dufferin gravel pit117 Views