Without hydraulics it’s fair to say that many industries we take for granted just wouldn’t be possible today. For example, in the construction business where large, bulky and heavy materials need to be extracted, transported and delivered for infrastructure, hydraulics play a major part.
Even the trains that are used to transport such this infrastructure are reliant on hydraulics. You try lifting a train back on a track without them!
It’s common then to find hydraulics at work in some of the most gritty, dirty and downright rough parts of industry, working day-in, day-out. But what about maintenance? What happens when they go wrong?
Since they seem to be perceived as strong and durable, there can be a tendency to just leave them to carry on working without thinking about the maintenance of them, but that would be a mistake. Because of their size and complexity, without regular maintenance you could end up with some very expensive repair bills.
Here are three things to look out for.
The life of your machinery can be compromised if the oil has degraded and is full of impurities. Some operators check the oil itself while others will base their assumption on the time the machine has been in operation. There are many ways oil can become degraded though, so it’s important to check objectively.
Another area that is down to the subjective view of the operator in many cases. Filters are incredibly important but if not cleaned, the particles they’re filtering out of the oil will eventually begin to make its way back in.
Hydraulic components such as seals and hoses will become damaged with excessive high temperatures. Also, when running hot the viscosity of the system alters and this can have knock-on effects to the whole system.
It can’t be emphasised enough that proper maintenance of your hydraulic equipment is absolutely essential, as is the proper training of your operators so they can learn to recognise the tell-tale signals before hydraulic failure.