Climate Change and What It Means For Your Hydraulic Machines

Mvc-399fAlthough far from new, global warming is a real and present issue right now. And whether you believe the science or not, we’re currently witnessing evidence of what climate-change scientists have been warning us about for some time: increasing incidence of extreme weather events.

This apparent trend towards wider extremes in temperature has implications for anyone who designs, operates or maintains hydraulic equipment: the real possibility of machines having to operate at much lower cold-start temperatures and/or much higher maximum ambient temperatures, than the long-run average.

In other words, more hydraulic machines may find themselves operating in temperature extremes for which they are not equipped.… continue reading »

BAD Hydraulic Troubleshooting and How To Avoid It

The Hydraulic Troubleshooting HandbookLong-time ‘Planet Brendan’ citizen Owen Williamson, a farmer from New Zealand, sent me this troubleshooting story from ‘the coal face’:

“I have considerable mechanical aptitude, but at the time of this problem I had little knowledge of hydraulics — something I have since fixed. Anyway, I purchased my first ever brand new tractor. And shortly after the warranty ran out, the tractor suddenly ceased to move forward when in gear and engine revs dropped to low RPMs.

At the time the dealer had shut up shop in my nearest town and my closest dealer was a long way away. So I asked a local tractor mechanic to attend to the problem.… continue reading »

Why Air Must Never Be Allowed To Mix With Oil In a Hydraulic Cylinder

hydraulic cylinder failureOne of our members who works for a hydraulic seal manufacturer wrote me this recently:

“We receive many seal-failure complaints. And while most of these failures can be attributed to installation, assembly, poor hardware preparation or even misuse of the product, we always try to educate our customers as to the cause of failure and provide them guidance to prevent future problems.

It’s not often that we receive seals returned with a dieseling failure but occasionally we do. And while it’s easy to spot the dieseling we can’t always explain to the customer exactly where and how it happened…”

As this member knows, when a mixture of air and oil is compressed in a hydraulic cylinder it can ignite and burn, or even explode!… continue reading »