Get Hydraulic Maintenance Right in 2015 with these 5 Tips

Follow these 5 expert tips for cost-effective preventative maintenance on your hydraulic equipment.

Get Hydraulic Maintenance Right in 2015 with these 5 TipsPreventative maintenance for hydraulic equipment is a very important activity. However, when you’re busy it can be difficult to find time for maintenance, and when you’re running a business on a tight budget it can be hard to figure out the most cost-effective way to conduct your maintenance. Should you just do all your tasks on a set schedule, which would provide the best protection against an equipment failure but also potentially result in unnecessary costs for parts and fluids? Or should you try to base your tasks on the condition of your parts and fluids, which requires more detailed analysis but can prevent wasting cash on premature services?

Ultimately, you have to decide which approach is best for your business, depending on the age of your equipment, its condition, and your tolerance for risk of equipment failure. However, if you are interested in making your maintenance most cost-effective, you should definitely consider incorporating these 5 tips into your preventative maintenance for hydraulic equipment.

  1.  Check Filters. Keeping your fluids clean is essential for proper operation of your hydraulic equipment. Some filters have clogging indicators to help warn you when they become too dirty to do their job. But what if the clogging indicator doesn’t work? You can test your pressure gauge clogging indicators by running the system cold and seeing if the needle moves. Unfortunately electronic and pop-up indicators can’t be tested, so you will have to check the filters themselves for these types of indicators.
  2. Get Oil Analysis. Rather than just draining and replacing your fluid at preset intervals, you can use oil analysis to check for problems like particulates, water saturation, and oxidation. The older your oil gets, the more frequently you should get it analyzed.
  3. Inspect Hoses. Hoses are often the first component to fail in a hydraulic system. Inspecting your hoses regularly will help you identify worn hoses before they have a chance to fail. Depending on the level of wear at inspection you might be able to protect the hose with a wrap or sleeve or else replace it.
  4. Keep Equipment Clean. Slow leaks might not seem like a big deal, but eventually the oil lost from a slow leak can cause major problems for your equipment. Keeping your equipment clean will help you identify slow leaks more easily and enable you to take the necessary action.
  5. Inspect Your Accessories. Often, people tend to focus on the main parts of the system when doing maintenance inspections and neglect the smaller parts and accessories. However, parts like valves, connectors, clamps, and gauges are also essential and deserve careful inspection.