New Equip­ment Test: GTX750 hyraulic ham­mer

Cheap grey-mar­ket Chi­nese-made hy­draulic at­tach­ments can eas­ily be bought on­line, but they open a can of worms re­gard­ing war­ranties, ser­vice, spare parts and safety. Ron Horner bought a GTX750 hy­draulic rock breaker to test and to eval­u­ate the risks

Earthmovers & Excavators - - Contents -

Over the last few years we’ve no­ticed a big growth in the num­ber of heav­ily dis­counted Asian-man­u­fac­tured hy­draulic at­tach­ments avail­able for Aus­tralians to buy on­line.

Need­less to say, many peo­ple in our in­dus­try have strong views against buy­ing this gear. For my part, af­ter a trip to the mas­sive Bauma China heavy ma­chin­ery expo and sub­se­quent vis­its to sev­eral ma­jor Chi­nese fac­to­ries, I came away with a dif­fer­ent view on that coun­try’s prod­ucts.

You can’t dis­miss the im­pact China has, and will have, on our lives. This game-changer is upon us so get used to it.

I have demon­strated and re­viewed many Chi­nese-made ex­ca­va­tors and other earth­movers over the years, and have been keen to get my hands on that coun­try’s at­tach­ments for a while.

Af­ter view­ing on­line a spate of heav­ily dis­counted Chi­nese-made hy­draulic ham­mers be­ing pushed onto the Aus­tralian mar­ket, we de­cided to bite the bul­let and just buy one.

The ham­mer in ques­tion was GTX-branded, Korean-de­signed and man­u­fac­tured in China by Yan­tai Xin­ren. We fig­ured we could demon­strate and re­view it at our own pace in our own con­di­tions over a six-month pe­riod and find out once and for all how they com­pare to other brands sold and dis­trib­uted in Aus­tralia.

The ap­par­ent bonus when pur­chas­ing some­thing like our GTX750 hy­draulic rock breaker is that the pur­chase price is just too good to pass up. How­ever, if you are con­tem­plat­ing such a pur­chase, you will have to be aware there are many other is­sues you have to take into con­sid­er­a­tion … and ev­ery one of them in­volves cost­ing you time and money.

HID­DEN COSTS

When we took pos­ses­sion of the brand-new GTX750 we knew that there was no war­ranty and no Aus­tralian distrib­u­tor. The ham­mer came all boxed up com­plete with a new sin­gle moil, two hy­draulic hoses (not fit­ted and too short), a fit­ted top-mount adap­tor head (but not of your choice), a small gen­eral in­for­ma­tion pam­phlet, but no spec­i­fi­ca­tions or de­tails on bolt ten­sions, gas pres­sures or con­tact de­tails for spare parts.

So within the first hour we were al­ready up for a con­sid­er­able sum to get the ham­mer op­er­a­tional.

It was ob­vi­ous that a few favours needed to be called in to get us on the road at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity and at min­i­mal cost.

Re­quir­ing ex­pert ad­vice on all things ham­mer and ex­ca­va­tor re­lated, I called on my old mate Bruce Pen­nels of Aus­tralian Ham­mer Sup­plies in Syd­ney to give me the run­down on the best achiev­able op­tions to get this ham­mer work­ing.

Next cab off the rank was a phone call to ShawX Man­u­fac­tur­ing at Cleve­land, Queens­land, where Kenny Shaw and the boys quickly knocked up an adap­tor head to at­tach the GTX750 to my 12-tonne Cat 311CU ex­ca­va­tor.

Now the boys had done us a favour, but this adap­tor head can set you back any­thing from $2000 up­wards for a ma­chine and ham­mer of this size.

Next favour called in was to take the ham­mer over to Break­ers and At­tach­ments at Aca­cia Ridge, Queens­land, where Ben and the boys gassed the ham­mer to the cor­rect pres­sure and checked the bolt ten­sions.

While this was be­ing tended to, we called on Mitch Wag­ner for a cou­ple of hy­draulic hose ex­ten­sions to suit the unit as the orig­i­nal hoses were about 600mm too short. Mitch de­liv­ered and fit­ted them and, af­ter a quick turn­around from BA, we were back at the demon­stra­tion yard ready to fire it up.

ON THE JOB

Now the Cat 311CU ex­ca­va­tor is not a new ma­chine by any means. The 2007 model is not com­put­erised and, with its man­ual throt­tle ad­just­ment, you can ad­just the hy­draulic oil flow for op­ti­mum ham­mer op­er­a­tion.

It’s not per­fect in many peo­ple’s opin­ions, but ex­pe­ri­enced op­er­a­tors can tell by ear and feel if the ham­mer is be­ing fed too much oil by as­sess­ing the piston strike rate rel­e­vant to the type of ma­te­rial be­ing worked.

With a 50-90lpm at 120-bar spec­i­fi­ca­tion I found that to achieve the op­ti­mum pro­duc­tion on the rock breaker the revs on the Cat needed to be quite low, and that proved to be suf­fi­cient.

The 2016-man­u­fac­tured GTX750 breaker sits in the 400-600kg class and is suit­able for a 7- to 10-tonne ex­ca­va­tor. The Cat is a touch too large, but be­ing fit­ted with a longer dip­per arm I felt that the ham­mer would be quite suited for our ap­pli­ca­tion. Plus we have a moun­tain of rock at our test­ing ground and you would not want any­thing too light in these con­di­tions.

That rock varies con­sid­er­ably from a de­com­posed vol­canic type ma­te­rial to bedrock and por­phyry boul­ders of vary­ing den­sity, size and weight. The Cat has been work­ing in these con­di­tions for sev­eral years and is show­ing sig­nif­i­cant wear and tear.

We have been us­ing the GTX750 in the rock pit for about a month now, on and off. Not sur­pris­ingly to me, the GTX750 has per­formed very well so far, punch­ing well above its weight and far ex­ceed­ing my ex­pec­ta­tions.

How­ever, it is early days yet and we have a long way to go be­fore we can say that the ‘cost of pur­chase vs cost of re­pairs, down­time and frus­tra­tion’ has been worth it.

PLEASE LEAVE A MES­SAGE

In our ef­forts to de­ter­mine de­tails on re­pairs, ser­vic­ing, spare parts pro­cure­ment, cost­ings, freight and ex­pected time de­lays for this story, we at­tempted on sev­eral oc­ca­sions to con­tact the Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers but to no avail.

Our con­tacts in China also made at­tempts to have some ques­tions an­swered via tele­phone and email but, again, the man­u­fac­tur­ers were un­avail­able to com­ment.

One of the is­sues with the dump­ing of equip­ment and at­tach­ments onto the Aus­tralian mar­ket is that it un­der­mines the moral and eth­i­cal ba­sis of sup­ply and ser­vice pro­vided by our dis­trib­u­tors

My ques­tions to them were ex­actly as listed above and spare part pro­cure­ment, costs and time­frames from or­der to de­liv­ery were high on the list of pri­or­i­ties.

THE BOT­TOM LINE

While the GTX750 hy­draulic rock breaker has per­formed ad­mirably so far, we know that some­thing will go awry.

It wouldn’t be a prob­lem if it was one of the many Asian-made at­tach­ments avail­able through Aussie dis­trib­u­tors and deal­ers, but be­ing a grey-mar­ket pur­chase it’s a big worry that we are un­able to con­tact the man­u­fac­turer.

It is un­der­stand­able that the lo­cal dis­trib­u­tors of other brands show re­luc­tance in per­form­ing any re­pair or ser­vice work on the im­ported cheaper brands, so we could be in a very tight spot when we need as­sis­tance.

One is­sue with the dump­ing of equip­ment and at­tach­ments onto the Aus­tralian mar­ket is that it un­der­mines the moral and eth­i­cal ba­sis of sup­ply and ser­vice pro­vided by our dis­trib­u­tors.

These guys have out­laid mil­lions of dol­lars in se­cur­ing a deal­er­ship and, in do­ing so, have pro­vided work­shop fa­cil­i­ties, hired staff with the mobile and tech­ni­cal ex­per­tise to han­dle the re­pairs and main­te­nance of the equip­ment, em­ployed sales and ad­min­is­tra­tion staff to han­dle all of the en­quiries and gam­bled on the Aus­tralian mar­ket to be buoy­ant enough to con­tinue pro­jected sales of pur­chases, some­times made 12 months in ad­vance.

If we un­der­mine our sup­port in­dus­tries in Aus­tralia, we will surely be go­ing down a long, nar­row path of no re­turn.

In­ter­net shop­ping is upon us, and there’s no deny­ing that many of you will find the over­seas of­fers at­trac­tive. Just re­mem­ber that when things go awry, as they in­evitably will, you will have to turn to some­one for as­sis­tance in ei­ther re­pairs or spares – and don’t be sur­prised if you are re­fused as­sis­tance by many of the rep­utable dis­trib­u­tors of other brands. Af­ter all, you will be con­tribut­ing to the demise of such ser­vices.

1. The GTX750 rock breaker at­tached to Ron’s Cat

311CU ex­ca­va­tor

2. The ham­mer is

Korean de­signed and man­u­fac­tured in China by Yan­tai Xin­ren

3. Our 12-tonne Cat was a touch too large for the at­tach­ment, but we didn’t want any­thing too light with the moun­tain of rock at our test­ing ground

Ron Horner with the GTX750 ham­mer

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