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Why do you rarely see jackhammers and air compressors?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by emmett518, Jan 26, 2022.

  1. emmett518

    emmett518 Senior Member

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    Back in the 60s and 70s, you always saw big, burly, construction guys manning jackhammers, breaking up the street. Those jackhammers were connected to gas or diesel air compressor trailers.

    Curious why you rarely see them anymore?
     
  2. Bumpsteer

    Bumpsteer Senior Member

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    Back then there were no mini ex's or skid steers around with hyd hammers.

    Ed
     
  3. skyking1

    skyking1 Senior Member

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    minis and skid steers have quick mount hammers that are far more powerful, and a guy who is good with a skid steer can get quite accurate with the breaker. Then he loads out the junk after a quick bucket change.
     
  4. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    My back hoe is set up with the needed hydraulics for a hammer. It never had one, but it is set up for one.
    Having run a jackhammer a day on a few occasions in my life, I easily understand not having one, who wants to run it?
    Physically painful days after, loud, dusty & either sweltering heat, or in VT, more often to break frozen ground.

    Last round was Smokey House Center, one of those big acreage non profits formed from the estate of a billionaire. They had built a greenhouse, & direct buried the feeder inches deep under a road. The new feeder they needed, I priced for them with the written limit of one week in late November. After that, all offers were off, it'd be time & expenses. They waited a week into January to decide. I then suggested they wait until spring. That was out of the question.

    Their cost doubled.
     
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  5. dirty4fun

    dirty4fun Senior Member

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    Years ago there weren't very many hydraulic excavators, which have now dominated the construction industry. They have reduced the need for a hammer that is slow, and makes a lot of noise. I still have a hydraulic hammer that I can put on my skid steer, or my mini excavator. I don't use it except when I can't get it done another way. If I can get a thick chunk of concrete out I use it by dropping it to break up concrete.
     
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  6. CM1995

    CM1995 Administrator

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    Because it sucks to run one.:p Much easier to sit on a mini and hit the joystick rocker button actuatating the aux hydraulics going to a hammer.:D
     
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  7. heymccall

    heymccall Senior Member

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    Aside from the physicality of operating a jack hammer, the cost per hour of personnel easily exceeds the cost per hour of machinery.
    By the time you drag out the compressor, hoses, and hammer, a skidsteer or hoe could be done and gone on small jobs like buried utilities, plus you still need something to dig with.
     
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  8. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    Charlie Abbott started his excavation business in 1953. He had an air powered hammer likely weighed 1000 LBS. It lifted by a short chain. Any machine able to lift 1000 LBS could run it. I'd have been tempted to buy it, but it was an antique & parts weren't going to be easy to come by. His compressor had also seen better days.
     
  9. Tyler d4c

    Tyler d4c Senior Member

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    When I was a little fella dad and uncle dug a septic tank hole in solid rock for about 3 feet it taken 2 weekends and 2 weeks of evenings. Now we have a hammer on a mini and 1 on the 416 and 2 spares also. Got lines on the 312b just need to get the hammer. Life lessons have been learned. All our hammers came from auctions and work great.
     
  10. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    You say "years ago"
    I believe the first hydraulic excavators I saw were 1978? I've no doubt they were built earlier, I didn't see them. Where I live, it is rural. We saw private homes being built, ranch houses under 2000 Sq Ft for locals, chalets for ski vacation homes. Excavation was done with bulldozers, or backhoes. Only when Federal money started flowing in did we actually see our first excavator.
    Vermont had two major flood events 1973 & 1979. A local contractor won a Federal contract to dredge local streams. He bought used a John Deere 690 & a 790. One had a wrist. I remember being awestruck at the efficiency of moving boulders in a streambed.
     
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  11. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Senior Member

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    Why the h** is this topic in the---- Long But Not Forgotten forum ???
    This forum is to pay tribute to members who have been called home. In memory of "RonG"
    Good Grief !!
     
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  12. digger242j

    digger242j Administrator

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    Good point, Tinkerer. I hadn't noticed which forum it was in, since I generally just look at "New Posts."

    Moved to "General Industry Questions."
     
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  13. 1693TA

    1693TA Senior Member

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    My old girl supported two 90# plus jackhammers a lot of it's life.

    Now it enjoys the sedate lifestyle of supplying blasting air only.
     
  14. cuttin edge

    cuttin edge Senior Member

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    When I look at power curbing machines, I figure the guy that invented that must have formed a lot of curb by hand. I remember the old 966B, the levers were 2 feet long, now the new loaders the controls are 2 inches long
     
  15. emmett518

    emmett518 Senior Member

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    I thought "gone but not forgotten" referred to heavy equipment stuff. Never thought it was for humans.
     
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  16. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    I apologize! & be with the starving pigmy's down in New Guinea!
    I too never noticed what forum slot this was in. Gee, I thought forum meant something akin to conversation. All these rules! I'll be more careful.
    I'll offer an opinion; When I attend a funeral, I try to not dwell on sorrow. I thought the purpose of funeral was to support those grieving most severely. If possible, divert them briefly to other thoughts.
    My father was the master. He attended a funeral, calling hours, any time before people go home to be alone, Always said the right thing, never offended anyone. Mother never attacked his behavior. I've always envied his mastery of how to behave after a death.
    I'm not that good. I get uncomfortable with crying my eyes out. Again, I apologize. I do my crying alone, & yes I have done some crying a few times, but I prefer to do it alone.
     
  17. CM1995

    CM1995 Administrator

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    Well I didn't notice either..I think it'll be ok.
     
  18. Buckethead

    Buckethead Senior Member

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    I never ran a 966B, but I did operate a few 966Cs and early 950s and I liked them. The new ones may be a little more comfortable, but those loaders were not bad at all. Very reliable.
     
  19. JLarson

    JLarson Senior Member

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    We still use big chipping hammers fairly regularly for concrete structure rehab but haven't used like your typical air "jackhammer" in a long time.
     
  20. 1693TA

    1693TA Senior Member

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    Mine still gets used from time to time with a local concrete contractor with a small jackhammer, (35#) to break stuck concrete from inside mixer drums.

    The air type hammers are still a better balance to the guy pushing it than the electric types I'm told. Wouldn't know myself directly.