Businesses that rely on hydraulic systems to power heavy equipment and machinery for routine operations will inevitably have to deal with replacing hydraulic hoses, fittings, and parts. While the flexibility of rubber hydraulic hoses makes it possible to power the moving parts of machinery, the downside is their relatively fragile nature.
Even with this relatively fragile nature, hydraulic hoses and fittings will last long enough for businesses to perhaps grow complacent about inspecting and routinely replacing them. This complacency can lead to unnecessary downtime from hydraulic hose assembly failures, costly repairs from collateral damage, and even workplace injuries.
In an effort to help, let’s discuss some tips for preventing hydraulic hose assembly failures.
Preventative Maintenance Programs
Each business’s hydraulic system needs are unique, which means their preventative maintenance programs will be slightly different; even so, each business will benefit from creating a routine schedule to inspect and replace hydraulic hoses, fittings, and related parts.
Essentially, the fix it only when it breaks approach is what businesses want to avoid. This leads to unpredictable and excessive downtime for machinery and interruptions in workflow continuity, as well as the possibility of damages to other parts and workplace injuries.
An article found on Hydraulics & Pneumatics called: “A guide to recognizing the causes of hose failure”, written by Ron Mramor, explains more:
“Implementing an ongoing inspection and maintenance program is well worth the time and effort. Doing so will help you learn from premature failures, to prevent them in the future. Some locations may require a monthly inspection, while others may need more frequent inspection.”
The variables of weather exposure and extremes, the age of the hydraulic hose assembly parts, the amount and strenuousness of hydraulic system use, the proper or improper installation and use of specified parts/materials, and the external exposure of hose assemblies to abrasive materials, all will impact how long hydraulic hose assemblies last.
By training workers and/or internal technicians to inspect hydraulic hoses and fittings on a regular basis, businesses will be able to detect problems before hydraulic hose assembly failures occur.
“Hydraulic hoses are literally the lifelines of most construction equipment. Nothing can grind productivity to a halt faster than a ruptured hose. A little time invested up front to monitor the condition of the hydraulic hoses and fittings can dramatically reduce expensive failures in the field.”
Starting a preventative maintenance program involves both regularly inspecting hydraulic hose assemblies and replacing them at specified intervals. By doing this, businesses will avoid most hydraulic system failures and the workflow interruptions caused by them.
Here are some of the common problems these inspections will detect:
- Hoses are cracked and wires are showing through the rubber
- Bubbles are appearing through the rubber
- Hoses have abrasions from rubbing on hard surfaces
- Hoses are kinked at bends
- Hoses are flattened
- Fittings are rusted, cracked, loose, or corroded
- Hoses are brittle and hardened
- Leaking oil around fittings or hoses
Mainly, businesses want to avoid the type of attitude that causes them to neglect the inspection and routine replacement of parts on their hydraulic systems because they’re working fine. Although hydraulic systems may be working fine and can last for years without replacing (if properly installed), inspections and scheduled preventative maintenance doesn’t take much time and helps avoid costly and dangerous hose assembly failures.
Proper Installation and Use
Starting a preventive maintenance program for hydraulic systems is a great idea for businesses, yet the benefits of doing so can be diminished by improper installation of hoses, fittings, couplers, fluids, etc.
An article found on Hose Assembly Tips called: “What causes hydraulic hose failure?”, written by Joyce Laird, explains more:
“Scott Garst, general manager at ATS, explained that the causal issues that top the list of hydraulic hose failures in most factories are caused by either improperly assembled hose components or the selection of improper hose components. ‘The root cause of hydraulic hose failures can usually be traced back to the poor preventative maintenance inspections, training of the workforce and lack of procedure documentation,’ he said.”
What businesses want to strive for is understanding and adhering to the proper specifications for hydraulic hose assemblies.
The aforementioned For Construction Pros.com article explains:
“While many types of hose may look similar and even have the same physical dimensions, there are key differences that you must understand. ‘The important thing to remember is that the replacement hose must meet or exceed the specifications of the old or original hose assembly,’ says Gruber.
…’Yet, with all of the different types of hoses on the market, choosing the right one can be difficult. Gates suggests using the ‘STAMPED’ method to ensure you get the right hose assembly for the job. ‘STAMPED’ stands for Size, Temperature, Application, Material to be conveyed, Pressure, Ends or couplings, and Delivery.'”
Essentially, businesses want to avoid making due with the parts they have available when they don’t meet the OEM or SAE specifications required by the specific hydraulic system in question. Using the wrong hydraulic fluid, hoses, or fittings can lead to premature and dangerous system failures.
Partnering with Hydraulic Hose Assembly Expertise
Not all businesses using hydraulic systems have the related expertise or tools to maintain or fix them, which is why it’s a good idea to partner with a local service that does. Partnering with a local hydraulic hose technician service can help in a few important ways:
Partnering with a local service with these capabilities is the ideal scenario for businesses relying on their hydraulic systems for workflow continuity. Whether businesses need to augment their own technicians and preventative maintenance programs or fully outsource them, partnering with a local service with these capabilities is a smart decision to make.
For businesses located in the Twin Cities area in Minnesota, Custom Hose Tech is available to be this expert partner. If interested in learning more please contact us today.