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Pro Tip: Don't ever rent a jackhammer. Hire someone else to break up concrete.

I spent five hours on Saturday busting up a 12' x 12' concrete patio that was poured about 6.5" deep. I'm not shredded, but I'm in above average shape for my age at 42.

I felt fine the day of. Just really tired afterwards with a case of tinnitus and a lingering vibration sensation in my arms. But on Sunday I felt like I'd been dragged under a truck. Two big bruises showed up on my knees where I guess the jackhammer came into contact with my body while it was on. Another big red bruise on the palm of my right hand. Four big nasty blisters - two on each hand.

And today I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for 24 hours. I have massive respect for those of you who may operate one of these monsters for a living.
 
One of the items our store rented was a jackhammer. Of the dozens of times I rented that man-killer through the years, I don't recall anything positive said by renters, other than they got their job done, but they were exhausted. We coaxed a young stud college football linebacker working for us one summer to bust up a concrete pad behind the store so new concrete could be laid. The jackhammer about did him in. He was worn out for a day or two.
 
One of the items our store rented was a jackhammer. Of the dozens of times I rented that man-killer through the years, I don't recall anything positive said by renters, other than they got their job done, but they were exhausted. We coaxed a young stud college football linebacker working for us one summer to bust up a concrete pad behind the store so new concrete could be laid. The jackhammer about did him in. He was worn out for a day or two.
Thanks for the story. I feel better knowing that these things also kick the butts of young athletic people.
 
Concrete definitely takes a toll on you. We put a lot of sign posts in concrete and pavement. We use an SDS drill for the job. Easy enough work for soft pavement but we curse up a storm when we hit concrete below.
 
This is why most contractors now use one that is mounted on a Bobcat.
Exactly. The market for homeowners to bust up a section of sidewalk or driveway is out there, and most people, able-bodied ones, can get the job done with a rental jackhammer, for a lot less than a contractor charges, and get it done when the need arises, not at the whim of a contractor.
 

Kentos

Wiped out at 25
Moderator Emeritus
Busting concrete is easy, hauling all the concrete away is the hard part imo.
 
I spent five hours on Saturday busting up a 12' x 12' concrete patio that was poured about 6.5" deep. I'm not shredded, but I'm in above average shape for my age at 42.

I felt fine the day of. Just really tired afterwards with a case of tinnitus and a lingering vibration sensation in my arms. But on Sunday I felt like I'd been dragged under a truck. Two big bruises showed up on my knees where I guess the jackhammer came into contact with my body while it was on. Another big red bruise on the palm of my right hand. Four big nasty blisters - two on each hand.

And today I just want to crawl back into bed and sleep for 24 hours. I have massive respect for those of you who may operate one of these monsters for a living.
Yep, if it has to do with rocks and/or concrete there are people with big machines who are happy to come take care of it. I did a bit of that as a kid and it was hard on my big buffed 18 year old football lineman body. I can't imagine what it would do to the gray-haired me, because good lordy lordy - I'm quite a bit past forty. Though ironically, the guys who do this for a living don't use the type of jackhammer you probably rented. There are jackhammers$$$$ with gyros & suspension cages that are are actually very mellow to run, though you either need to know what you're doing or be really strong because if you let them get out of control and try to wrestle them back into control instead of backing off and letting them settle themselves, it'll look a bit like a bull-ride gone bad.

Anyway - glad you made it through. My prescription for the blisters and muscle ache is two fingers of Lagavulin. Medicate nightly until the blisters are gone ;-)
 
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Busting up 6.5" deep concrete...that is impressive. I imagine next time you will want to drill a few holes and fill them with explosives. :c1: Walking behind a rototiller can wear a person out, I can't imagine using a jack hammer.
 
I'm more of a sledge hammer sort of guy.
I really wanted to do it with a sledgehammer. In fact, I busted up about a 30" x 30" section with a sledgehammer before deciding it was going to take forever and I had other things that required my time. Let me tell you, a 6.5" concrete pour is not a job for a sledgehammer.
 

Chandu

I Waxed The Badger.
I'm more of a sledge hammer sort of guy.
I remember stopping by my wife's great aunt/uncles place one day to drop off some stuff. Her 89 year old uncle was out with a sledge hammer breaking up some sidewalk. I was impressed. Hope to be able to do that when I'm 89.
 
I've busted up concrete with a jackhammer on several occasions as well as a SDSMax hammer drill (that I own) with some chisel bits. It's not too bad if you break it up in small enough pieces that you're not killing yourself picking them up. The key here is to let the tool do the work. Don't fight with it or you will lose that battle. Not burying the thing in the concrete too far helps as well. It helped to keep it toward the surface by the edge and moving it around without sinking it and having to try and pull it out of the concrete all the time. This way the pieces that break off go into an open area and are not locking the bit up. Plus you can step back and kinda drag it back onto the surface that hasn't been done yet to keep from lifting it too much as they are heavy. Definitely hard work but easier if you work smart.

I wasn't doing an extreme amount at one time though. One task it was a foot around the perimeter of the basement to waterproof from the inside and another was a few sidewalk sections.

The hardest part is getting rid of the stuff. This consisted of slowly adding a bit to the weekly garbage cans and filling the truck to take the rest to a friends dumpster. Surprising how much debris is generated from a small amount of concrete.
 
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