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What Are Excavator Breakers?

By B. Turner
Updated May 17, 2024
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Excavator breakers are a specialty attachment used on excavating machines. While standard excavating equipment is designed to dig through dirt, a breaker attachment allows the machine to power through stone, concrete, and other hard or dense materials. This device acts as a hydraulic hammer, but is built into the excavator rather than acting as a stand-alone piece of equipment. It serves as an alternative to hand-held jackhammers, as well as to much larger drilling equipment. Excavator breakers may be used in mining, construction, or various types of earthwork operations.

The standard excavating machine relies on hydraulic power to dig through the earth, or to demolish a structure. These machines travel on tracks or wheels, and are controlled by an operator who sits in a cab built into the machine. A large arm, or boom, extends out from the front of the excavator, and a bucket at the end is used to dig or move materials. In order for the excavator breaker to be used with this machine, the bucket must be removed from the end of the boom so that the breaker can take its place.

Operators use special brackets to fasten excavator breakers to the end of the boom arm. These brackets must be matched precisely to the demands of the machine, as well as to the size and design of the breaker attachment. Different types of excavator breakers are designed to produce a specified number of blows per minute. Larger units, or those that produce more frequent blows, can generally handle harder materials than those that generate lower numbers of blows per minute.

These attachments are often used in road construction, where they break up existing concrete or paving. They are also an important tool in mining operations, where they help to penetrate rock or earth to reach valuable metals or minerals. Excavator breakers may even be used to drill test wells for outfits seeking water or fuel sources. In some applications, these machines may be needed to break up dense or hard soil before other types of digging or excavation can take place.

Excavator breaker attachments are associated with a number of important benefits for contractors. They allow workers to dig through tough materials much more quickly and effectively than with a hand-held jackhammer. These devices also provide a great deal of flexibility, as they can be used in places where large well-drilling equipment may not fit. The excavator breaker also reduces or eliminates the need for explosives and blasting, which helps to improve safety conditions for workers and the public.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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