The hydraulic system is popular in the design and fabrication of common commercial and industrial heavy equipment, including forklifts, excavators, tractors and loaders. This form of operation is likable because the power of hydraulic equipment is delivered by fluid through hoses and small tubes, making it possible for smaller machines to perform more potently. If you have purchased or thinking about acquiring this type of heavy equipment, it is crucial to understand the system maintenance requirements. Here are simple tips on the critical maintenance tasks of hydraulic machinery to help you get started.
Change the Fluid
The hydraulic fluid should be changed periodically to ensure ideal performance of the system. Generally, you should check the manufacturer's recommendations in the owner's manual on the most suitable timeframe for the changes. However, the projected period is based on assumptions regarding the applications, so this might not be the best choice for your machinery.
In ideal circumstances, the hydraulic fluid should be changed when the base oil in the system degrades or the additives in the fluid are depleted. Therefore, you should commission oil analysis before changing the fluid regularly. This will limit the unnecessary purchase of hydraulic oil before the existing fluid is used. Additionally, you will not ruin the components by using old oil that does not lubricate or transmit power.
Replace the Filters
There are filters installed in the hydraulic system, and they are designed to prevent contamination of the fluid. You should replace these components regularly to ensure efficient flow of the fluid in the machinery. If you allow the filter to become clogged, the pressure in the hydraulic channels will drop, compromising the performance of the equipment. Moreover, the filter can become degraded allowing harmful particles to enter the system and damage the components.
On the other hand, you should not change the filter too early because the total cost will be high. The most efficient way to identify the right time to change the filters is to install a monitoring device for the fluid pressure. For example, a clogging indicator or continuous pressure monitor will notify you when the dirt-holding capacity is achieved.
The hydraulic heavy equipment can be easily damaged when operating at higher than optimal temperatures. When the engine overheats, the temperature of the fluid will rise. This will damage hydraulic channels and can cause the fluid viscosity to decrease, lowering lubrication potential. Therefore, you should monitor the operating temperature using the hydraulic system gauges and commission servicing in case of overheating.