Maintaining the optimal reliability of any hydraulic system requires a certain level of knowledge on your part. Due to it not being used often, it likely isn’t given much attention until the time that it stops working. The reality is, the usual hydraulic problems are caused by one or more of these 7 mistakes. It is also possible that you are probably making one of these mistakes right now.
1. Oil Changes
There are only two conditions that require a hydraulic oil change. These are:
- Degradation of the base oil.
- Using up the additive package completely.
It must also be said that there are so many factors that determine the oil’s rate of degradation. Also, additives will eventually run out, so changing hydraulic oil without any checking the actual condition of the oil is very complicated.
Currently, oil is costly so dumping it even though it isn’t needed is the last thing you want to do. Also, if you have a reservoir with a larger, it will be more expensive if you always commit this blunder.
If you keep on using it while the base oil is not enough or additives depleted, the service life of every part in the hydraulic system will be compromised.
2. Filter Changes
A similar situation happens to hydraulic filters. If you change them on a routine or every hour, you’re either replacing them too early or too late.
If you change before all their dirt-holding capacity is maximised, you’re spending more money on unnecessary filter changes. On the other hand, if you change them after the filter isn’t functioning correctly, there will be an increase in contamination in the oil. It reduces the service life of the other parts in the hydraulic system, and you will have to spend more in the long run.
The solution is to replace filters when the dirt-holding capacity is used up, but before the bypass valve opens. It needs a mechanism to control the flow restriction ( or pressure drop) across the filter element and to inform you when this point is reached.
3. Very High Temperatures
There are only a few truck owners or drivers who would persist on operating an engine that is overheating. Unfortunately, the same situation is not apparent when hydraulic systems get very hot.
Like an engine, the quickest way to damage hydraulic components such as seals, hoses and the oil itself is with operating in very high temperatures.
So, how hot is too hot? You might ask. Well, it depends on the hydraulic oil’s viscosity and its viscosity index, aside from the types of hydraulic components that are installed in the system.
As the temperature of the oil rises, its viscosity decreases. So, if a hydraulic system is operating at very high temperatures, the viscosity will then fall below the levels needed for adequate lubrication.
4. Using the Wrong Oil
The oil is an essential component of any hydraulic system. Not only is hydraulic oil a lubricant, but it’s also how power is transferred throughout the hydraulic system.
When it is running above the recommended temperatures, its viscosity is a factor to operate the hydraulic systems safely. It is more commonly known as the Temperature Operating Window (TOW).
If you use oil with a viscosity that exceeds the ambient temperatures that the system is operating, it won’t flow properly or lubricate the system during a cold start. On the other hand, if your oil has a lower viscosity for the environment, it won’t be able to maintain the required minimum viscosity. Also, it won’t provide enough lubrication, especially during the summer months.
However, that’s not the end of it! You can increase efficiency by maintaining the required levels of viscosity to keep the system lubricated.
If the operating oil viscosity is higher than usual, more power is lost to fluid friction. If operating viscosity is lower than recommended, more energy is lost to mechanical friction and internal leakage.
5. Installing Filter on Wrong Locations
Two hydraulic filter locations do more harm than good and can rapidly destroy the very components they were designed to protect. These to-be-avoided filter locations are the:
Firstly, the pump gets its oil from a dedicated reservoir, not a random compartment. Secondly, it’s a big mistake to believe that it’s normal or acceptable for debris to get into the hydraulic tank.
If getting maximum pump life is your main concern, it’s far more critical for the oil to freely flow and fill the pumping chambers with every intake cycle. It may even be more important than protecting the pump from nuts, bolts, and 9/16″ combination spanners. They pose no risk in an adequately designed reservoir where the pump inlet penetration is a least 4″ off the bottom.
6. Hydraulic Parts are Not Self-Lubricating and Self-Priming
Everyone in their right minds wouldn’t start an engine when the oil in the sump is empty. However, this situation still happens, and it is more problematic for expensive hydraulic components.
The truth is, if the right measures aren’t followed during initial start-up, hydraulic components can be severely damaged. In some cases, they may work without a hitch for a while, but the harm done can manifest later on.
There are two things that you should do to get it right:
- Know what to do.
- Remember to do it.
7. Not Knowing Enough About Hydraulics Systems
If your truck comes with an onboard hydraulic system and you don’t know much about hydraulics, you’ll likely spend a lot of money. Also, keep your knowledge about the care and maintenance of hydraulic systems up-to-date. There is much information available online that is readily available.
Now that you know a bit about your truck’s hydraulics, you’ll be more prepared whenever an issue arises while you’re travelling. But there are times that you’d help from experts because the problem is too difficult to solve. In these situations, Ryco 24.7 servicing Sydney can help you get back on the road! So, visit our website now or call (02) 9605-5433 if you want to know more.