Compact Equipment

JAN 2019

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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34 Compact Equipment JANUARY 2019 Workplace studies say earplugs should be worn by con- struction crew workers when noise emissions exceed 85 decibels. Hydraulic breakers that don't try to mitigate the percussive noise operate in the 90- to 100-decibel range. Epiroc offers a range of breakers with noise solutions. The EC breaker models are inside a box lined with polyure- thane to dampen noise and vibration. "Our SB models of- fer a little bit more noise and vibration dampening," says Elliott. "They operate a little more quietly compared to the ES models and are quieter to use in urban areas or next to a hospital or school." Dust also is an issue. Epiroc SB breakers were the first in the industry to offer an integrated water-spray dust sup- pression system. It was introduced years ago because of environmental regulations abroad. The system is newly relevant in the United States because of hovering OSHA silica dust rules. It is a standard feature on the SB Series of Epiroc breakers, with a port already cast in the breaker body for affixing a water line. Paladin's breakers for skid steers and compact track load- ers are not engineered for noise abatement, though larger Paladin models are. The manufacturer — which intro- duced its Strike Force breakers in 2016 — does not offer a built-in dust suppression because, says Parameswaran, "historically, these systems are prone to failure. Remotely stationed water spray systems remain the most effective." Power-to-Weight Ratio Such a value has not been computed for hydraulic break- ers. Logically, a certain amount of weight is an advantage when a tool is bearing down on a seemingly impenetrable material. Yet the efficiency of a breaker generally is deemed more important than its dead weight. "Some people like to put big breakers on a small ma- chine thinking it will break more rock, but sometimes that's not a good idea," Nakamura says. "The combination of weight and force produces a lot of energy going back through the excavator or skid steer. If it is too much, it will start damaging the carrier. Maybe not immediately, but it can develop problems after months of work." Epiroc breakers are more about performance and efficien- cy than weight, according to Elliott. The mono-block design of the company's EC Series breakers are round and have no corners or long tension bolts which reduces the operating Dust is an issue. Epiroc SB breakers were the first in the indus- try to offer a water-spray dust suppression system. Rental companies, for one. "Ev- ery rental company seems to be get- ting into breakers," says Rich Elliott, product manager for Epiroc (formerly Atlas Copco), "because some contrac- tors don't have enough business to justify the purchase of a breaker but need it on a periodic basis. Whether it is an independent rental office, a national rental company outlet or an equipment distributor, they all seem to be getting breakers." Some other manufacturers, includ- ing Edge and Toku, report the same thing: A breaker is not a niche prod- uct. "It is a very big seller for us, a big product line for us," says David Naka- mura of Toku America. "And we sell a lot of breakers into the rental mar- ket." He adds that 60 to 70 percent of breakers purchased are mounted on skid steers. Ron Peters, product man- ager for Edge brand attachments, says the same: "The North American mar- ket for breakers is more skid steers than compact excavators." Elliott says the market may be evolving, however. "It has been that more breakers were bought to mount on skid steers and compact track loaders, but that's changing. A lot of people now are buying the combo bracket, so that if you have a mini excavator and you want to mount the breaker to a skid steer, you don't have to remove the bracket. No tools needed. Just unpin it." Consequently, excavator usage is growing. In fact, Elliot says more and more types of compact machines are being fitted with the breakers. "These products fit on all of them. They're going on Husqvarna and Brokk robot demolition machines and Toro Dingo compact utility loaders and others. The breaker for compact equipment is a big seller, a high volume product for us." WHAT MARKETS ARE BUYING HAMMER ATTACHMENTS?

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