Of all the heavy machinery available, hydraulic hammers are some of the least understood. But then, when the correct machine is used for the right job, then they can work wonders. They aren’t cheap though, and can also rack up hefty maintenance bills if not used correctly. This means you need to ask the right questions and get the best model for the job you’re working on, if you’re planning to invest.
The first thing to do when looking to buy a new hydraulic hammer is to start asking around. Get in touch with any work friends you know that have one, and ask them for the positives and negatives they’ve found with their machine. You’ll probably learn some useful lessons straight away, and potentially save yourself from making the same mistakes they did.
If you don’t know anyone personally, the Internet is your next best thing. Do a Google search for the built and model you’re looking at, and browse forums and YouTube in particular. You should see a good number of people asking similar questions to the ones you have, and YouTube is full of reviews and demos for you to watch. After a few hours of doing research, you should be able to find a hammer that’s well-suited for you.
The next step is to do a demo. When you have 2 or 3 hammers that you think could be a good fit, it’s recommended that you book a demo with each, which you can most likely do on their website, such as at sjheavy.com or by calling. Just as you would always test drive a car before buying it, trying out each hydraulic hammer will give you the best idea on how it works, and if it’s the best model for the job.
Another main thing to think about is the size of the hammer you need. Even if two models are both listed at 5000 lbs, they might not be of the same power or size, and there’s no industry standard. The main thing to ensure is that the hammer you’re buying will fit your carrier.
Next, check the flow requirements for the models you’re looking for to make sure that they are compatible with your carrier. If it doesn’t, you’ll end up with a hammer that isn’t working effectively and will cost you valuable time and money.
As you weigh your options, keep the future in mind. As this is a substantial investment, there’s no point in getting a hammer that will do for now, when you know that you’ll need a bigger one in a year. It will feel less painful to get a cheaper model in the short-term. However, in the long run, you may end up losing out when you have to trade in and get a new model.
Finally, it’s recommended that you ask for references at the dealership you’re at. This will give you a final sense of peace of mind that you’re buying a good piece of machinery, and that the aftercare support is there to match it.