What Should I Look for When Purchasing a Vibratory Hammer?
Vibratory hammers (also known as vibro hammers) are used to drive piles into the earth to create foundations for structures such as bridges, buildings, roads, docks, walls and railways. Vibratory hammers are an alternative to traditional pile drivers, which use a large weight to strike piles into the ground. Unlike traditional pile drivers, vibratory hammers are quiet, lightweight and can be used underwater. Additionally, they are more nature-friendly than traditional drivers since they don’t disrupt wildlife with loud noises.
When choosing a vibratory hammer, there are a few important factors to consider, including whether you’d like to select an electric vs. hydraulic vibratory hammer, whether you’d like a new vs. used model, and whether the hammer’s specifications meet your project’s needs.
Vibratory Hammer Specifications
As with most construction equipment, vibratory hammers come in a range of sizes and styles. There are crane suspended vibratory hammers, excavator mounted vibratory hammers, side grip vibratory sheet pile drivers, and more. When narrowing down your search for the right vibratory hammer, start with the wide view questions (such as the location where the hammer will operate and the equipment you will pair it with) and from there, move to more narrow questions, such as whether to choose electric or hydraulic, and whether to buy new or used.
Electric vs. Hydraulic Vibratory Hammers
Vibratory hammers work by vibrating the soil using weight and counterweights, which causes a pile to move easily into the earth, similar to how an electric knife might cut through meat. Vibratory hammers come in two main styles: electric and hydraulic. These two styles share three main similarities:
Both use a power unit to power the hammer
Both have clamps that allow the hammer to attach to the pile
Both use wires to connect the hammer to the power unit
Apart from these similarities, electric and hydraulic vibratory hammers operate differently. Electric vibratory hammers use a large electric motor to spin the counterweights. A power unit with a diesel engine powers the electric motor by turning a generator, creating enough power to turn the motor. Conversely, hydraulic vibratory hammers use hydraulic motors to spin the counterweights. To power the hydraulic motors, a power unit with a diesel engine turns the hydraulic pumps, which causes oil to flow out the motors and back.
Hydraulic vibratory hammers are often considered superior because they’re more powerful but weigh half has much. Furthermore, they can spin much faster, meaning that they can drive piles more quickly. The increased speed of a hydraulic hammer’s vibrations also means that less vibration will travel through the soil to the surrounding buildings, so it’s possible to drive piles near other buildings without compromising their foundations.
The downside of hydraulic vibratory hammers is that they tend to be more expensive, so if you’re looking to cut costs, one way would be to go with an electric vibratory hammer.
New vs. Used Vibratory Hammers
When looking to purchase a vibratory hammer, you’ll need to decide whether you want to purchase new or used.
The positives to purchasing new equipment is that you’ll know the quality upfront; new vibratory hammers have never been used before, meaning their integrity is known to be solid and there will be no wear and tear setbacks once construction begins. The downside of purchasing your equipment new is that it will cost much more than the used equivalent.
Used vibratory hammers, on the other hand, can be purchased for cheaper, enabling many projects to stay within or under budget. There are a few key tips to purchasing the best used vibratory hammer for your needs: asking any applicable questions to the seller (such as the current level of maintenance), setting up an in-person or virtual inspection of the used vibratory hammer, requesting any applicable paperwork or manuals, etc. Being thorough in your purchasing process can greatly benefit you in the long run, and help to affirm that you’re making a wise decision.
There is a great market for used vibratory hammers, meaning it is a great time to consider selling your used foundation equipment.
Buy and Sell with Eiffel Trading
Eiffel Trading exists for heavy civil contractors to both buy and sell used equipment and material. Our used foundation equipment offerings include used vibratory hammers, used drill rigs, used pile breakers, and much more. On the material side, our inventory ranges from used sheet pile, to used hdpe pipe, to brand new h-pile beams, and everything in between.
Ready to sell your used heavy equipment or construction material? List your products today for free on Eiffel Trading’s online marketplace.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call us at 1-800-541-7998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.