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Preventative Maintenance on Hydraulic Power Units

The vast majority of failures of hydraulic power units are caused by simple, preventable problems, which makes preventative maintenance an important part of owning anything that uses hydraulic power. With that in mind, we’ve put together this blog with some practical suggestions for preventative hydraulic maintenance in Minnesota.

Be regular about preventative hydraulic maintenance

The most important thing you can do is have a regular schedule for maintaining your hydraulic system. If you have a larger system, you should consider using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to schedule and track all of your maintenance tasks and to predict when you might need to perform a larger repair. Once you figure out a maintenance schedule that works, stick to it religiously.

Regularly change filters

Three-quarters of all issues with hydraulic systems are caused by contamination in hydraulic oil. To prevent that, make sure to install filters at both the pump and return line of your hydraulic system, and be sure to change these filters regularly. This will keep your hydraulic oil “good” for much longer. Splurge for top-of-the-line filters; they’ll make a difference.

Clean reservoirs when you change out your hydraulic oil

When you change your hydraulic oil, go ahead and clean your reservoirs out as well. This will remove any particulates that have made it into your system, and will increase the longevity of your hydraulic oil significantly.

Check oil level and quality of oil

Regularly check the level and quality of your oil. A system with inadequate liquid, or with oil that has gotten too dirty, is a system waiting for disaster to strike.

Check for leaks

You’ll want to regularly check your hoses, tubing, etc. for any leaks. These small components are among the most likely to fail. If you notice any issues with fraying or leaking, change these parts right away, even if your maintenance schedule says they should have more time.

Monitor temperature and pressure

Your hydraulic oil should stay within a temperature range of between 110 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Above that temperature, your oil begins to get spent up exponentially faster. If your system doesn’t have a temperature gauge, install gauges at your sample ports, or else keep a heat gun on hand to regularly check the temperature.

Keep the exterior of your system clean

If the exterior of your system gets too dirty, that excess dirt will actually act as an insulator and cause the interior temperature of your hydraulic oil to increase. Also, when particulate debris gets sucked into the system, it always comes from the surrounding area. It stands to reason that, the cleaner your system and its surroundings, the less debris will end up in your hydraulic oil. This is an often-overlooked step in regular hydraulic maintenance.

Get hydraulic maintenance in Minnesota

Even with regular preventative hydraulic maintenance, it’s likely that at some point your machine will need a tune-up from a professional. When you get to that point, you should give us a call here at M & M Hydraulic Company. We’ve got an expert staff, and have been selling, servicing and building hydraulic-powered machines for 42 years. When you need us, simply give us a call!

Understanding Hydraulic Controls and Filters

Hydraulic systems are integral in many industrial processes because of their ability to generate such substantial power in relatively small packages. Hydraulic systems work by using an un-compressible fluid to collect and transfer force from one point to another. The fluid—hydraulic oil—sits between two pistons in a pipe, and when one piston moves, the oil almost frictionlessly passes that force along and moves the second piston.

Hydraulic controls and filters are two of the most important hydraulic components in Minnesota for hydraulic power systems. If you rely on hydraulic systems in your work, then your daily livelihood is integrally tied to these two hydraulic subsystems. With that in mind, we’ve put together this blog to outline how these two systems work in practice.

Hydraulic controls

There are three main types of hydraulic controls:

  • Directional control:Directional control of your hydraulic fluid is achieved through a system of switching valves. These valves control the direction your hydraulic fluid moves in and can quickly switch directions as directed.
  • Pressure control:
    Pressure controls can alter the pressure in your hydraulic system. There’s generally a control panel where the pressure within the system can be altered by a human operator. Pressure systems rely on highly accurate measurements, as pressure outside of certain ranges, either too high or too low, can significantly alter the effectiveness of your hydraulic system.
  • Flow control:
    Basically, this system helps dictate the speed at which your hydraulic liquid flows. It changes how much force the piston can inject at the throttling point. This system is important to keep your hydraulic system functioning at a constant speed, without sudden jumps and dips.

Hydraulic filters

Of all hydraulic components in Minnesota, as we said before, hydraulic filters play perhaps the most fundamental role in keeping your system functioning for the long term. The filters remove particulate contaminants from your hydraulic fluid. This is very important, as each particle creates additional friction in the hydraulic system, which can greatly increase your system’s likelihood of failure. Most systems have several hydraulic filters:

  • Pressure filter:These filters are placed between the pump and actuators in your system. These filters come rated for different levels of pressure, and different levels of filtration.
  • Low pressure/return filter:These filters are placed between the actuator and the tank, and are thus also known as return line filters. When you have both pressure and return line filters, you catch far more of the contaminants in your hydraulic setup, which is important, as nearly three-quarters of all hydraulic system failures are due to contaminants in the hydraulic fluid.

Find essential hydraulic components in Minnesota

If you’re looking to purchase hydraulic components, either from the best name brands or a custom-made part, M & M Hydraulic Company is the name to know. We’ve been in business in Minnesota for over 42 years and have built our name for providing the best hydraulic components at the best prices, and by backing up our products with excellent expert service. If you want to work with the best, give us a call today!

Troubleshooting Tips for Common Hydraulics Problems

In any troubleshooting situation, no matter how complex, it’s always best to start with the basics. Starting from square one will help you find the root of the problem. Based on experience, the root cause of most problems is typically a simple fix, even when you’re talking about hydraulic systems.

At M & M Hydraulic Company, we’ve specialized in hydraulic repair in Minnesota for over 40 years, so we’ve seen it all, from the most complex repairs to simple fixes, but most of the repairs we perform tend to fall into a few basic categories. To help our customers identify and fix minor and common hydraulic system problems, here are a few troubleshooting tips from our hydraulic experts.


Aeration occurs when air contaminates the hydraulic fluid. Aeration accelerates degradation of the fluid and causes damage to system components through loss of lubrication, overheating and burning of seals. Abnormal noises, irregular actuator movement and foaming fluid are all symptoms of aeration. If you’re noticing any of these common problems with your hydraulic system, here’s what you can try:

  • Replace pump shaft seal
  • Tighten leaky inlet connection
  • Bleed air from system
  • Fill reservoir to proper level

High fluid temperature

When viscosity falls below the ideal value for the system’s components, the hydraulic fluid temperature can get too high. A high fluid temperature can damage seals and accelerate degradation of the hydraulic fluid. Anything that reduces the system’s ability to dissipate heat or causes the heat in the system to increase can result in high fluid temperatures. Here are a few common solutions for fixing a high fluid temperature or overheating hydraulic system:

  • Check for fluid leaks
  • Inspect cooling circuit components and replace
  • Check pump and replace or repair
  • Replace heat-generating components

Loss of pressure

A drop in pressure is almost always due to either an external or internal leak in the system. External leaks are usually easy to spot and repair, but internal leaks can be more difficult to identify. However, a pressure drop usually causes an increase in temperature. This is where an infrared thermometer may be useful to identify internal leaks. If you are experiencing a loss in pressure, here are a few things to check:

  • Valve is set too low and needs to be adjusted
  • Valve is worn or damaged and needs to be replaced
  • Check for water contamination
  • Check for damaged pump and repair or replace
  • Directional valve in wrong position
  • Dirty pump strainers
  • Pump motor not operating

Hydraulic systems are delicate pieces of machinery and require regular care and maintenance in order to reliably perform at their best. Most hydraulic system issues can be prevented through regular maintenance checks and by catching potential problems early on. However, if you have an issue with your hydraulic system, these tips can help you identify and fix minor issues. For help with more complicated hydraulic repairs in Minnesota or for regular professional hydraulic maintenance services, be sure to contact M & M Hydraulic Company!

Top Four Reasons to Pursue a Fluid Power Career

Looking for a new career path or trying to decide which professional field to get into? Have you ever considered a job in hydraulics? In recent years, the need for individuals willing to work in technical fields has increased. While certain white-collar jobs are oversaturated with applicants, companies are having difficulty finding individuals who have skills in technical trades, like fluid power and hydraulic maintenance in Minnesota. There are many different positions you can pursue within the field of fluid power and hydraulics, from engineer to technician. Regardless of which role you choose to pursue, here are the top four reasons to pursue a fluid power career.


With the unemployment rate ever on the rise and people with over 20 years invested in a company being laid off, job security has become a number one priority for many Americans. So you’ll be happy to know that any position within the fluid power industry has an excellent outlook when it comes to job security. Fluid power is here to stay and, with fewer individuals seeking jobs in technical trades, there is a high demand for hydraulics professionals and not enough people to fill those roles.


The salary outlook for fluid power positions is also excellent. Whether you’re a technician or an engineer, you can expect to be well paid in this industry. In fact, nearly 75 percent of individuals in the hydraulic careers report that the potential for salary advancement is promising. Plus, the more you know within the industry and the more specialized your skill set becomes, the higher your salary potential grows.


If the idea of standing in one place day after day on a manufacturing line or being stuck behind a desk and on the phone from 9 to 5 makes you want to scream, we’re with you. For those seeking a more challenging career with constant opportunities to learn and grow, a career in fluid power is the way to go. This industry is changing and improving constantly, which means that there will always be new and exciting ways to challenge yourself.


Because fluid power is such a niche industry, you’re going to find that we are a pretty tight family of professionals. Professional relationships you make in the field of hydraulics will be your comrades for life. We depend on each other’s knowledge and expertise in this industry and, if that’s something that appeals to you, you’ll find that a career in fluid power will help you to grow your career and your professional circle.

If you are considering a career in fluid power, we’d like to meet you! At M & M Hydraulic Company, we specialize in hydraulic services and hydraulic maintenance in Minnesota and are always looking for skilled professionals to join our team. If you are looking for better pay, job security and an exciting career, we’d love to hear from you. To learn more about us and our services in hydraulic maintenance in Minnesota, give us a call today!

Downfalls of Hydraulic System Overheating

Heat is one of the biggest enemies of hydraulic systems due to its negative effects on a system’s parts and performance. Excessive heat can increase the cost of hydraulic repairs in Minnesota, decrease system performance and cause routine problems that interrupt everyday work.

If your system is overheating, you need to understand why it’s doing so and what the negative consequences are. Allowing your hydraulic system to run hot too often is a bad idea, so call for hydraulic repairs as soon as possible if you can’t identify and resolve the problem on your own.

Consequences of overheating systems

When your hydraulic system runs too hot for too long, system performance will decrease and the likelihood of damage will increase. Overheating is not something to ignore. Here are some of the major problems caused by overheating:

  • Decreased oil life: Heat plays a major role in the degradation of your hydraulic oil. Chemical reactions with air (oxidation) and water (hydrolysis) become increasingly faster the more heat is involved. This is based on Arrhenius’ Law, which states that for every 10°C increase in temperature, the rate of reaction doubles. To keep your oil lasting longer, try to reduce the heat in your system.
  • Incorrect oil viscosity: Excessive heat can also affect the viscosity of your hydraulic oil, which is necessary for adequate lubrication and system performance. It can be extremely difficult to find the correct oil viscosity for a system that begins running at low temperatures but reaches very high operating temperatures. Extreme heat can also burn your oil, requiring more costs to replace it more often.
  • Ruined seal and hoses: The polymers that form the hoses and seals in your hydraulic system are susceptible to much faster degradation due to high temperatures. This means that the lifespan of your seals and hoses will be much shorter, resulting in leaks during operation and more frequent replacement costs.

Causes of overheating

If your hydraulic system is overheating, there may be a few things going wrong. Sometimes, a quick re-adjustment is all that’s needed. Other times, major upgrades or hydraulic repairs in Minnesota will be necessary. Here are some of the most common causes of overheating:

  • Improper adjustments: Setting improper adjustments to your system can result in an excess amount of heat being added to operation. One common issue is that the pump compensator is set above the system relief valve.
  • Incorrect component sizes: Heat might be generated or not radiated off due to having improperly-sized system components. If you upgrade the flow pump but the pipes are too small to handle the pressure increase, additional heat will result. Additionally, your hydraulic tank may be too small, lacking the surface area necessary to radiate excess heat.
  • Worn components: Internal bypasses increase when hydraulic components break or wear down. This bypassing results in a pressure drop but no work is performed, which adds energy in the form of heat to your system. Hydraulic repairs in Minnesota may be necessary to resolve this issue.

If your system is overheating and you require hydraulic repairs in Minnesota, contact M & M Hydraulic Company. We’ve repaired and monitored hydraulic equipment for 40 years and are experts at servicing components such as hydraulic cylinders, pneumatic cylinders, hydraulic jacks and more. Give us a call today!

Prevent Sluggish Hydraulic Oil By Installing a Hydraulic Tank Heater This Winter

It’s winter in the Midwest, which means freezing temperatures become the norm and all types of machinery begin to suffer the consequences. In particular, cold temperatures can wreak havoc on hydraulic systems and their pumps. Hydraulic oil will thicken if it’s too cold, resulting in rough startups and sluggish performance of the hydraulic system. This type of performance can shorten the life of your hydraulic pump, causing you to spend more on repairs or replacement of hydraulic components in Minnesota.

To combat the thickening of hydraulic oil, you can install a hydraulic fluid immersion heater, which will help keep oil at the optimal temperature and your system running smoothly. Before you go out to purchase one for your system, here’s what you need to know.

What is a hydraulic tank heater?

A hydraulic tank heater is a device installed inside your system’s hydraulic oil reservoir, or hydraulic tank. The heater is immersed in the hydraulic oil and heats the oil, either continuously or for a set amount of time using thermostat controls.

Hydraulic tank heaters are a better choice for hydraulic oil heating than other electric immersion heaters because they are designed with a low watt density. This helps prevent the hydraulic fluid and heater from being damaged. Other immersion heaters, such as heaters for water, have too high a heat density and can burn your hydraulic oil.

What size hydraulic tank heater you select will depend on a number of variables, such as the volume of oil to be heated, the hydraulic tank dimensions and capacity, what temperature you need to maintain, your available voltage and the temperature controls you require.

Benefits of hydraulic tank heaters

Check out the following four benefits of installing a hydraulic tank heater:

  • Prevents damage: The main benefit of installing a hydraulic tank heater is that it helps prevent fluid and system damage caused by the thickening of too-cold hydraulic oil. Continual rough startups and poor performance can shorten the lifespan of your hydraulic pump, forcing you to pay more to replace hydraulic components in Minnesota.
  • Adjustable thermostat controls: Different hydraulic tank heaters are designed with a number of thermostat controls that make it easy to reach optimal fluid temperature. If your hydraulic system shuts down at certain times or you need to heat your oil overnight, you can choose a heater model that has the right heating times and controls for you.
  • Weather-resistant enclosures: If you need to install a hydraulic tank heater on outdoor equipment, weather-resistant terminal enclosures are available to protect the heater and extend its lifespan.
  • Cost-effective: Hydraulic tank heaters are a cost-effective alternative to spending money on maintenance, repairs and downtime for your hydraulic system. A one-time purchase of a heater can save you money and keep your system running smoothly for many winter seasons to come.

If you need hydraulic components in Minnesota, contact M & M Hydraulic Company. We’ve repaired and monitored hydraulic equipment for 40 years and are experts at servicing components such as hydraulic cylinders, pneumatic cylinders, hydraulic jacks and more. We also provide new equipment. Give us a call today!