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Rebar breaking

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I have a project under construction using drilled pier foundations.
Each pier has 6-#7 bars with 90 degree hooks, projecting from the top.

A backhoe working around the piers snags the hooks, and they break.
They apparently don't bend and deform; they just snap off in the middle
of the bend. They have broken perhaps 15 hooks so far.  I've never seen
this happen, and suddenly it's happening a lot.  Call me a worrier, but
I don't like it.

I am in the process of obtaining mill certs, and am considering material
tests.

Is this problem seen often, and is there an identifiable cause?  Does
anyone have any recommendations as to testing of the rebar?

Thanks for any help or advice.

Mike Hemstad, P.E.
TKDA
St. Paul, Minnesota

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