DGH Series Hammers

Note: a field service manual for these hammers is available in the vulcanhammer.info Guide, link above.

DGH-PhotoAlthough the California series hammers were successful and a definite expansion of Vulcan’s product line, they suffered from two major weaknesses:

  • They had a sliding valve that was very difficult to manufacture.
  • They were only suited for driving piles, not for the demolition and compaction work that hammers of their size (especially the “G” hammers) were commonly used for.

Vulcan had prepared to replace the “G” in 1941, but the intervention of World War II put a stop to the project. It wasn’t until 1955 that Vulcan introduced the DGH-100 hammer (shown at right.) The DGH series of hammers made several advances:

  • They employed the rotary, Corliss valve, which had been used successfully with the Warrington-Vulcan and Super-Vulcan air/steam hammers. This simplified manufacture and service of the unit, although the valve chest configuration Vulcan adopted sometimes took a great deal of work to obtain proper alignment and operation.
  • They included a base that allowed the use of demolition and compaction tools.
  • They retained the “G” hammer’s clean, square profile, which made it simple to attach them to excavators.

The naming of the hammer is explained, to some extent, here.

Some of the DGH hammer features are illustrated below, including (from left to right) “pants” for driving sheet piling (see the DGH-900 photo below,) the Universal Backhoe Adapter for use with backhoes and excavators, and leader angles for the U-type leaders common with other Vulcan hammers.

The Universal Backhoe Adapter enabled the DGH-100 to be used with a wide variety of backhoes and excavators without having to develop a custom adapter for each make and model. One of the remarkable things about the DGH-100 is that it was never completely eliminated by hydraulic breakers, which are generally able to use the excavator’s own hydraulic power and eliminate the need for an additional compressor. This is a testament to the simplicity, durability and performance of the product. DGH hammers can be operated at angles down to horizontal, a capability unique for Vulcan products.

Vulcan also developed a DGH-900 hammer, with a larger ram, but this was no where near as successful as the DGH-100. Vulcan continued to produce and market these hammers until the company was divested in 1996.  IHC/Vulcan Foundation Equipment discontinued them in 2005, but the current Vulcan Foundation Equipment provides parts and service for DGH-100 and DGH-900 hammers.


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