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!