3 Tips to Avoid Being a Hydraulic Maintenance Newbie

Hydraulic equipment is expensive, but proper maintenance can help preserve the longevity of your machines. When first servicing the hydraulic pump or checking the cylinders, it is common to make a mistake. This is normal,  but at the same, it can be damaging to your system and create more costly repairs. By using a logical approach and armed with good knowledge of the machine, you can complete your maintenance without trouble.

3 Tips to Avoid Being a Hydraulic Maintenance Newbie

Tip 1: Put Safety First

The high pressure and flow rates of hydraulic systems lead to a high probability of individuals being maimed, burnt, or killed. If oil or fluids leak, it increases the likelihood of slips and falls. You should always wear proper personal protective equipment when working around hydraulic systems. Full face protection or safety glasses must be worn. With long sleeve shirts and gloves, you can protect yourself from burns. Steel-toe or composite-toed safety shoes are a must-have when working with replacement components. Always use Lock Out/Tag Out procedures when servicing equipment.

Tip 2: Understand Functions

A key mistake new employees make when working on hydraulic equipment is confusing pressure and flow or thinking they are the same thing. As a result, there are too many misconceptions that pressure needs to be increased in order to increase actuator speed. Making decisions based on these confusions can lead to damage that decreases hose and component life. Realizing the pump does make the pressure is another common mistake. The pump is to produce flow.

Tip 3: Use Logic

Machine failure can trigger a flurry of activity, but it is unwise to simply start changing out parts and waiting for the machine to start working again. This usually leads to changing out a part that has nothing to do with the problem, wasting both time and money. By knowing the function of the components and how the different components are interconnected, you can logically start to assess the problem. Additionally, you don’t always have to remove a hydraulic component from the system in order to test it. You should also logically and methodically look for components that may simply need an adjustment. Correcting these errors can keep you from replacing a part that hasn’t gone bad. Knowing the ins and outs of the system can keep you from installing the wrong components when you do make the replacement, simply because it looks the same and fits.

Common sense is key to proper hydraulic maintenance, but only if you have a thorough knowledge of each component and how they work together. Always consult the manufacturer’s operating manual before just assuming something will work.