Every piece of equipment needs to be serviced. From your lawnmower to your truck to your Bucyrus RH400, if it’s got moving parts then it should be serviced regularly. Sure you can skip the regular hydraulic service on your equipment, but what price will you pay? Sure you’ll save $20 now by keeping that old hydraulic filter in service a little longer but you will end up pay hundreds for a new hydraulic pump that failed prematurely due to dirty fluid.
Sure we all drive our cars regularly and get our engine oil changed (almost) on time, but when was the last time you had your power steering fluid flushed? Your hydraulic equipment is no different. Sure you change the fluid filters often enough but when was the last time you greased the joints? Or replaced those damaged hoses? Here are some things you should be doing regularly with your hydraulic equipment to prevent failure:
Regular Hydraulic Service
- Replace hydraulic fluid filter
- Replace hydraulic fluid
- Grease joints and check for play
- Inspect hoses and fittings
- Replace caps on any unused hoses or cylinders
- Check for restricted flow
- Check for leaks
The intervals at which you should perform all of these services depend a lot on your equipment and how you are using it. If your equipment sits idle for a long period of time or is used in extremely dirty or hot environments you should consider changing your hydraulic fluid and filters more often.
Checking your hydraulic fluid level regularly will not only help your equipment operate correctly but will also give you a chance to glance at its condition. Taking regular samples of your hydraulic fluid can give you insight into how dirty it is and if it’s been overheated.
Similarly, Regular inspections of the hydraulic hoses and articulation points can help you avoid downtime by catching problems before they cause a breakdown. Look for frayed or worn hoses, leaks at the crimps and connections, and pinch points that could cause problems with your hoses. Grease all your articulation points regularly to keep them lubricated and push out any dirt that might have gotten into the joints.
If you notice a function or portion of your equipment moving more slowly than usual, you might have a restriction in your system. Restrictions come from contamination in your hydraulic fluid and happen most often in the valves, hoses or connections to the cylinders. If you find a restriction it can often be difficult to remove and necessitate replacing the restricted component which is another great reason to keep clean fluid in your system.
If you notice a leak, either by lowering fluid level or identifying fluid exiting the machine at a seal or fitting it’s important to get it fixed right away. Leaks not only make a mess but can make your equipment dangerous to use as it won’t operate the way your machine operator expects it to. If you find a leak and replacing the part doesn’t make sense, ad 1 oz of BlueDevil Hydraulic Stop Leak for every quart of hydraulic fluid in your system. Then operate your equipment normally for a couple of hours and let BlueDevil seal your leak!
You can pick up BlueDevil Hydraulic Stop Leak at one of your local auto parts stores like:
- Advance Auto Parts
- CarQuest Auto Parts
- NAPA Auto Parts
- O’Reilly Auto Parts
- Pep Boys
- Canadian Tire
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