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Yantai Rocka Machinery Co., Ltd

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Troubleshooting Issues With Hydraulic Hammers


It doesn’t matter whether you are excavating for a foundation or demolishing a structure, your hydraulic hammer needs to function correctly. If your hammer fails to work, your project will undoubtedly be halted. Not only is it a productivity issue, but it can be a safety hazard as well. We have created a systematic approach to the most common hydraulic hammer problems for all our customers. 

Here, we have the list of things to look for as an operator or owner to avoid major hydraulic breaker repairs: 

Make Sure Shutoff Valves are Open & Quick Fluid Couplers are Fully Engaged:

The most common calls we get are for hydraulic breakers that won’t cycle.  Very frequently, the stoppage of the hammer occurred because one of the shutoff valves were closed or a fluid coupler was not fully engaged.  In addition to not cycling, a closed return valve can cause heat and backpressure issues that will overheat the hoeram seals and cause leaks. Before running a hydraulic breaker, always make sure the shutoff valves on the excavator are fully open, and all quick fluid couplers fully engaged.  

Low Nitrogen in Accumulator or Backhead

Every hydraulic hammer uses nitrogen in a rechargeable chamber which is critical to the breaker’s performance. Steady gas pressure in the accumulator absorbs spikes from the system and makes power in a backhead chamber.  Hydraulic hammer supply hoses that bounce or hop around excessively are common indicators that the nitrogen chamber needs to be recharged. This puts the hammer at risk, lowers impact power and causes hammer supply hoses and tube connections to loosen and leak.  If you see the lines moving excessively and/or notice reduced impact power, call to have your hydraulic breaker recharged, which can often be done in a few hours.  

Broken Tie Bolts or Tie Rods 

Your hydraulic hammer has four tie bolts, also known as side bolts, that hold the hydraulic breaker together.   These can often be seen by looking at top of the breaker just below the top bracket. The operator should get a look at these daily to see if the top nut is missing or if threads can be seen under the head of the nut.  If tie rods or side bolts are loose or broken, the hydraulic breaker’s major components can shift, with the misalignment frequently causing it to leak and do internal damage. Your hydraulic hammer should not be operated with a broken bolt and if it is caught early, you can avoid a complete teardown and damage to the hammer internals.

Excessive Lower Bushing Clearance

Excessive lower bushing clearance is the leading cause of piston and cylinder damage in hydraulic breakers.  The lower bushing in your hydraulic hammer keeps the tool aligned with the strike piston and cylinder. If there is too much clearance, the hammer seals and hydraulic oil cannot act as buffers, resulting in external leaks and excessive piston to cylinder contact that scuffs and scratches critical sealing surfaces. If these scuffs and scratches to the piston and cylinder of your hoeram cannot be polished out, a replacement can cost thousands.

To avoid this costly repair, here are a few tips: 

Check the clearance in your hydraulic breaker between the demolition chisel and lower bushing daily to ensure that it is within the manufacturer’s specifications.   

Make sure that your hydraulic hammer continually has a thick film of chisel paste or hammer lubricant between the lower bushing and the demolition tool. 

CAUTION:  Do not use chassis/bearing grease in a hydraulic hammer! Chassis/bearing grease will melt and fail to protect against the extreme heat, metal to metal scuffing and shock loads endured by a hydraulic hammer.  Use only Gorilla Goo ™Chisel Paste, hydraulic breaker chisel paste, hammer grease or hammer lubricant.     

Hydraulic Hammer Repairs 

Our team of experts at Gorilla Hammers is well-equipped for hydraulic hammer repairs.  We have the necessary equipment and trained technicians to help get your hydraulic breaker or hoeram back on the job quickly.  We also sell remanufactured hydraulic breakers of all makes and models with at least 25 in stock at all times to fit your carrier.  Want to learn more about our services? Get in contact with us today!