Life for hydraulic machinery is tough enough without having to suffer the abuse that occurs with lack of attention from owners and operators.
If you have hydraulic machinery you rely on day in and day out to earn a living, here are three things you can down to keep your hydraulics happy:
- Operate within the manufacturer’s guidelines
Everyone is guilty of occasionally pushing their equipment a little too hard, but if you’re constantly operating beyond the manufacturer’s specs, sooner or later, you’re going to pay for it. Excessive wear and tear on machines not only shortens their life and increases expense, it can also put workers in danger, and nobody wants that. Operating safely means operating within guidelines.
- Inspect regularly
That means routinely looking your hydraulic equipment over for obvious signs of wear, damage, and potential problems. Besides the obvious cosmetic stuff such as dings, scratches and dents, look a little deeper for fluid leaks, cracked belts and hoses, scored cylinder rods, and corrosion. If something looks, sounds, or smells funny, check it out. Fixing it now is a lot less expensive than fixing it later.
- Provide proper training
Nobody’s in a better position to identify problems and even prevent them than machine operators. Before letting anyone run your equipment, make sure they’re properly trained on it to avoid damaging or even destroying it through ignorance. Trained and knowledgeable operators are your best line of defense against equipment downtime. They’ll know immediately when something isn’t performing properly and can let the appropriate person know right away to prevent or minimize problems.
An added benefit of having a well-trained operator, depending on their level of training and experience, is their ability to handle some basic maintenance and repairs on their own. However, be realistic about their skills and abilities. While routine maintenance such as lubrication and filter-changing can be handled by almost anyone with thorough training, to properly repair hydraulics takes specialized equipment and expertise. Know your limits.
The more you know about how to properly maintain your hydraulic machinery and do it regularly, the more money you can save on unnecessary repairs.