Maintaining your Hydraulics System

Proper maintenance is essential to keep your hydraulic system working as efficiently as it should.  Regular check-ups can, in the long run, save time and money as the sooner any problems are detected the easier and faster it is to get them fixed thus helping your system sustain a long life and stay reliable.  Specific maintenance will vary from machine to machine so follow the manufacturers’ guidelines but here is an outline of the things that need checking regularly on your hydraulic system: Check and record temperatures - normal temperatures range between 100F and 140F Check for any visible signs of wear - i.e. damaged/eroded parts and loose bolts Inspect pipes and hoses - (if they are too hot to touch for 5 seconds the operating temperature may be too high) Check and record flow and pressure tests of pumps Check and change the return filter Listen out for any changes in the noise the machine makes when in use Spare parts - Have spare parts ready for your machine or know where you can get them at short notice Keep it clean - This will reduce the likelihood of any dust or other environmental threats making their way into the machine and contaminating it Check for oil leaks and correct oil levels - never use your hand to check for leaks, instead use a piece of cardboard and run it along the pipe to check for fluid Oil sampling -  Oil analysis is a great tool for maintaining your machine as most problems with hydraulics systems can be traced back to oil contamination, so keeping the proper levels and quality of oil will ensure your machine lasts longer. An oil change is not something that needs to be done too often but should be done yearly or when a sampling from your machine reveals it needs it.  If adding or changing oil, never mix two different brands or different viscosity grades.