Hydraulic Breaker Maintenance
Expert advice on how to make sure your breaker performs its best
A breaker can be one of the most valuable tools in a construction or quarry company’s equipment fleet because it allows you to break up hard materials for excavation, perform demolition of buildings and roads, and break large rocks into manageable sizes for a crusher to handle.
If you are purchasing a new excavator and you think that you will use it with a breaker, consider having the machine set up at the factory with the necessary plumbing to run the attachment. If you are adding a breaker later, have a distributor/dealer technician perform the work because they have the skills to properly set the flows and pressures, and ensure lines are the right size to handle them.
Grease is the lifeblood
Operators or service personnel should be vigilant about grease. Using the proper amount of high-quality grease and putting it on correctly reduces friction wear on the tool and the bushings. Breaker tools become extremely hot, so the grease you use should be rated to work at temperatures of at least 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a good grease with, at minimum, a No. 2 lithium base containing 3% molybdenum. Molybdenum is crucial because it helps the grease stick to the tool and not run off.
An automatic lubrication system set to automatically grease during operation can help ensure the breaker remains greased. When purging the lube system a hand grease pump is best. Pump grease into the grease line until a steady stream of grease appears inside the hammer’s upper and lower bushing lube holes. Remove the handpump and reattach the grease hose to the breaker lube line.
Inspect consistently, replace worn components immediately
Inspections are an essential part of keeping your breaker in proper working order. A daily walkaround performed before operation, and periodically throughout the day, should be part of an operator’s routine as they check for leaks, cracks or loose hardware. A more comprehensive inspection should be done at least every 40 hours of operation and sometimes at shorter intervals, depending on the material you are working with. It’s also recommended that you take the breaker in annually for a rebuild to have wear components replaced and the unit resealed.
“If you take care of your breaker, it can take care of you,” emphasized Greg Clinton, attachment product support manager, Komatsu. “Once you and your distributor have determined which one is right for your operations, make sure it’s properly installed, then inspected and maintained regularly. If you do that, you can help increase profitability and your return