The idea behind the three new Red Hawk gasoline-powered motor drills is to provide a solution for jobs that require moving frequently and jobs that are located in remote areas. The easy portability that the Red Hawk units deliver make them convenient in every way, shape, and form, including maintenance. A little maintenance goes a long way on these units, but we have a few daily, weekly and monthly checkups to ensure the long life of your Red Hawk.


With an impact of 16 to 18 ft-lbs at 2,700 blows per minute (bpm), the versatile Red Hawk Drill is a multipurpose machine. It’s compact and lightweight at 55 lbs., and 29” in length, and combines breaking and drilling into one. Portable for a wide range of light service applications, the Red Hawk Drill is great for drilling in hard rock, granite, and concrete applications up to 6’ in depth.


Designed specifically for railway applications, the 48 lb., 29” Red Hawk Rail features an impact energy of 30 ft-lbs at 1,620 bpm, with a vibration level of 22 ft/s2. It’s a portable solution for tie tamping, as well as tamping around switches and cables and the power is optimized for fast, efficient tamping, without damaging the ballast.


The completely revamped Red Hawk Road weighs 48 lbs and is 29” long. It is the heavy hitter in CP’s Red Hawk range, delivering 44 ft-lbs of impact at 1,440 bpm, with a vibration level of 23 ft/s2. While it is one of the most compact and powerful motor-driven breakers on the market, the Red Hawk Road has the same power-to-weight ratio as many pneumatic and hydraulic breakers, and is equivalent power to a 60 lb. pneumatic jack hammer. Ideal applications include breaking concrete and asphalt, sidewalk service, pothole repair/tamping, installing post signs/barriers and fences, and digging frozen or hard ground. It has enough impact energy to handle silica-rich rocks and reinforced concrete.   



For starters, one of the most important maintenance tips for all three drills is to ensure that you are using a high octane, low ethanol fuel. Being a two-stroke motor, the oil to gas needs to stay at a 2 to 1 ratio. CP offers our own two-stroke oil, included with our drills, but any two-stroke oil will work.

Daily/Weekly Checks:

First, for daily checks it is crucial to ensure that the air filter is not clogged as dust and particles can build up quickly. The operator should avoid rinsing out the filter and instead simply tap it to clean it instead. Secondly, see that you have the correct tool shank; you do not want something that is too long and jams into the machine. Our recommendation is to not go any longer than 6” in length or you could damage the machine.

The only weekly maintenance tip is for the Road and Rail only. Look at the lower oil reservoir that oils the tool shank, where metal touches metal. The lower oil reservoir ensures that the tool shank is receiving adequate lubrication so the metals are not rubbing together. Check this each week to make sure there is enough 15 W40 oil in the reservoir.       

Monthly Checks:

Each month, the gearbox oil level should be checked on both the Rail and Road. The operator will want to stand the machine upright before adding the oil. Once the oil reaches the bottom of the filling hole, it is full. The volume of the gearbox is 3.4 oz. of impact oil.

Every three months it is essential to check that the nuts, bolts, screws, and hose fittings are secure on each machine. When retightening, make sure to check your safety and inspection manual for the correct torque settings.

Things to Avoid:

While the Red Hawk series requires little attention in the maintenance department, we have a few tips on things to avoid out on the jobsite. One Red Hawk Road application that operators use often is driving tent stakes and it works great for that. However, one thing to avoid is using that machine when you do not have an accessory in the bottom of it, meaning that you should not stick the tent stakes straight up in the tool, but rather make sure that you have a cup driver. With any of the Red Hawk machines for that matter, not putting a collar around the steel runs you the risk of the steel piece going too far into the machine and ruining it beyond repair.   

The Red Hawk range may have been built with convenience in mind for those operators working in remote locations and hopping to multiple locations each day. The last thing you want is to get out to a location and not have a working drill because it has not been properly maintained. Downtime is costly, so follow the aforementioned tips and you will ensure great uptime and not only get the best out of your drill, Rail or Road, but prolong its lifespan for years to come.

By Gus Armbruster
Chicago Pneumatic Construction Equipment
Product Manager, Handheld Tools