Demolition can be a brutal environment, yet attachments that are properly maintained can have a service life measured in decades.
“If you want anything to run at peak performance, you need to constantly maintain and stay on top of it,” says Tom Schwind, business line manager, Epiroc. “Everybody wants to treat their attachment like a bucket. They don’t want to do any maintenance to it.
“The most important thing is to keep up with your preventive maintenance,” he continues. “Be aware of your environment and treat the attachment like it’s a piece of equipment, not just an ancillary bucket or something that you’re going to destroy. The environment for demolition tools and hydraulic breakers is a very tough environment. We don’t need to make it harder.”
Preventive maintenance programs have a proven track record. “I have a customer in Philadelphia that has hammers that go back to the Krupp name in the ’90s,” Schwind notes. “They’re still running every single day. They have an excellent maintenance program.”
Understand Maintenance Demands of Specific Tools
It all starts with following the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals. The type of service required depends on the specific attachment. For instance, crushing and concrete pulverizing attachments need periodic inspections for cracks.
“When you’re using any kind of muncher, cracker or shear, a crack presents a real problem. There’s a lot of tertiary forces. You can find a crack, detect it, air arc it out, re-weld it and you’ll be fine,” says Schwind. “You let that go and that little crack becomes the proverbial huge crack. I’ve seen lots of demolition tools literally split in half.” Steel can be worn away quickly in crushing applications.
Read more: Prevent Demolition Attachment Breakdown