Guide to bucket crusher hydraulic attachments

Features - Equipment focus | Bucket Crushers

Crushing material on-site with an excavator-mounted bucket crusher can have significant benefits for construction and demolition professionals.

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May 3, 2019

Bucket crusher hydraulic attachments increase the versatility of carriers and can help make efficient work of handling and processing concrete debris, rubble, masonry, asphalt, natural stone and rock. They allow operators to process upwards of 100 tons of material per hour while requiring less on-site equipment, less transportation and reduced dumpsite costs.

Here are some selection tips that can help professionals get the most out of their bucket crusher attachments.

The basics

A bucket crusher is composed of a small jaw crusher mounted on a carrier. The most common setup features a bucket with a fixed bottom and one moving jaw that crushes the material against it. An eccentric element mounted on an axle and rotated by a hydraulic motor moves the jaw.

Contractors use bucket crusher attachments to crush material into right-sized pieces—from three-quarters of an inch up to 6 inches—and reuse it as backfill at the site or transport it for use elsewhere.

On building sites, operators frequently crush excavated stone so the subsequent aggregate can be used for construction. In quarries and gravel pits, contractors often use these attachments to crush boulders after prescreening and small amounts of soft stones. Demolition contractors rely on these tools to make quick work of processing materials generated on-site without the need for standalone crushers.

Whatever the application, the bucket crusher attachment provides a cost-effective alternative to transporting large pieces of material to a dumpsite or recycling yard. While a bucket crusher is generally not a replacement for a portable rock crusher, it can serve as an alternative to a traditional crusher in confined areas, such as worksites in urban areas.

Selection tips

Bucket crusher attachments are available in a variety of sizes. To select the right size of bucket crusher for the application, contractors should first determine the size of the carrier that will be used with the attachment to assure it does not exceed the carrier’s capacity.

In addition to carrier size, decisionmakers need to consider various features to enhance productivity based on their specific needs.

To select an appropriately sized crusher, a few things need to be determined: the size of the material that will be crushed, how much material needs to be crushed and the existing pieces of equipment in an operator’s fleet.

Professionals should select a crusher with a drive system robust enough to generate the proper torque for the application. They should also look for crushers that have a reverse function to keep material from jamming the equipment; buckets with sliding plates that help guide material to the crushing jaw to help increase throughput; and a system that allows for quick material grain size adjustment to increase uptime.

Because these bucket crushers are put to use in rugged environments, finding units with crushing jaw plates that are easy to replace on-site is also important for efficient operations.

In general, contractors should seek a bucket crusher attachment with high-output performance, excellent usability and low maintenance needs. As with all heavy equipment, contractors should rely on established manufacturers with a dedicated support staff so that any issues can be quickly remedied.

Operation

When operating the bucket crusher, safety is paramount. Operators should only use the attachment when the carrier is in place and stable. Before starting the bucket crusher, operators should always ensure that the attachment is complete, the bucket crusher and adapter plate do not have any cracks and the hydraulic line connections aren’t leaking.

Once a perimeter is secured and the carrier is in place, a functional test should be performed before putting the attachment to use. During this test, it’s important to assure all hydraulic lines and connections are tight and that the bucket crusher works as intended. To do this, the operator should load the crusher with material and gradually size it until the maximum number of revolutions has been reached. Should there be a blockage of material during testing, the bucket crusher should be stopped and reversed. Operators should never try to remove jammed obstacles manually, as this can lead to serious injury. If the jaws are still blocked, the operator can rotate the bucket crusher to help clear the blockage.

Maintenance

It is critical to follow the attachment manufacturer’s required maintenance intervals to ensure maximum uptime and a long productive life of the bucket crusher and its associated wear items.

Prior to each shift, operators should examine the crusher and adapter plate for cracks and deformations. Operators should also check the transmission housing and hydraulic lines and motors for leaks and damage. All connections should be tightened to spec. If the plugs on the shaft-pulleys show any signs of wear or damage, or if the conditioner of the tensioner system or wedges and jaws is suspect, immediate service is required.

The fixing screws of the wedges and the bolts and fixing screws of the tensioner system should be examined and tightened as needed during the first 50 hours of operation. While there is no replacement for daily monitoring, observing the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals can help preserve the life of the equipment and maintain its performance.

Common preventative maintenance on these systems includes checking the oil filter cartridge and replacing it when necessary. Maintenance technicians should also be mindful to replace jaw wedge fixing screws, damaged hoses, and bent and damaged pipes as needed. Finally, operators should check and/or replace lubricant and control block seals based on intervals recommended by the manufacturer; however, extreme changes in temperature can expedite the need for service.

While the right bucket crusher hydraulic attachment can efficiently handle a variety of materials, it is vital for contractors to find the right fit for their individual needs and emphasize regular maintenance to get the most out of their investment. By doing their research, speaking with manufacturers and testing out equipment, contractors can take the right steps toward maximizing their processing capacity while cutting down on transportation costs in the process.

Rich Elliott is the product manager for hydraulic attachments at Sweden-based Epiroc. He can be reached at rich.elliott@epiroc.com.