Vulcan Onshore Tip #60: Hammer Warranty and Safety


Vulcan lron Works Inc. warrants these Products to be in accordance with our published specifications or those specifications agreed to by us in writing at time of sale. Our obligation and liability under this warranty is expressly limited to repairing, at our option, within six months after date of delivery, any product not meeting the specifications. WE MAKE NO OTHER WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AND MAKE NO WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR OF FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Our obligation under this Warranty shall not include any transportation charges or costs of installation or any liability from direct, indirect or consequential damage or delay. If requested by us, products or parts for which a warranty claim is made are to be, returned transportation prepaid, to our factory. Any improper use, operation beyond rated capacity, substitution of parts not approved by us, or any alteration or repair by others shall void this Warranty.

Listed above is our warranty, which is applied to all of our hammers that we sell. Among questions that come up relating to that warranty concerns the meaning of the phrase “operation beyond rated capacity.” Although not meant to be an all-inclusive list, the following are some of the criteria which constitute operation beyond the hammer’s rated capacity:

  1. Operation of the hammer at pile refusals of 120 blows per foot or above. This is true for all of our onshore hammers.
  2. Operation of the hammer with insufficient or excessively hard cushion material. The standard cushion thicknesses are given in Tip No. 59; these should be adhered to as closely to as possible. Excessively hard material can be caused by (a) material which is naturally too hard (such as either steel or micarta and aluminum in a standard pot) or (b) material which has become so in the course of driving. Determining whether the latter is true depends on the type of material being used, and the characteristics of the material should be observed with driving experience.
  3. Overstroking the hammer with excessive steam or air pressure. This produces both excessive ram point stresses and lifting and bouncing of the hammer frame.



In orders to assist the users of Vulcan pile hammers with the safe operation of their driving equipment, Vulcan lron Works has issued the User’s Guide to Safe Operation (shown at the left, also attached). Following the recommendations of the manual will reduce the number of hammer associated accidents and the expense therefrom. Additional copies may be obtained without charge from Vulcan lron Works Inc.

Note: this tip is obviously very “factory” oriented, and the references to the factory, Vulcan and its warranty are obviously of no present effect. It is useful, however, in two respects:

  1. It shows Vulcan’s opinion of the proper refusal criteria for its hammers, which can (or should at least) be significant in determining refusal criteria for specific jobs and piles.
  2. It represented the release of the User’s Guide to Safe Operation. The material in this booklet can be obtained in the Guide to Pile Driving Equipment. It can also be found here at Vulcan Foundation Equipment’s website.

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