Would You Pass This Hydraulic Troubleshooting Test?

Hydraulic excavator boom cylindersIn my series of weekly hydraulics bulletins that go out to anyone who opts in to receive them, there are two messages that always provoke a response.

The first of these two bulletins sets out to explain how a double-acting cylinder becomes a displacement cylinder when the piston seal leaks and the load is acting to retract the piston rod. This message includes a link to a simulation video for the reader to watch and hopefully, think about.

Then a week later, a follow up message goes out, asking the recipient if they ‘got it’ – not the message itself, but the CONCEPT involved.… continue reading »

How To Make Hydraulic Oil Last Longer

hydraulic oil drumThe price of oil sure is defying gravity at the moment. But unless you’re the owner of a lot of poorly maintained (read: leaky) hydraulic equipment, the price of gas and diesel is likely hurting your wallet more than the price of hydraulic oil. Regardless, you sure don’t want to be shelling out for any more of it than you have to.

So this begs the question: how can you make your hydraulic oil go further; last longer? Here’s four things that’ll help:

#1. Keep it in

The first and most obvious thing is to keep it in the hydraulic system.… continue reading »

A Simple Way to Remove Water From Hydraulic Oil

HeadSpaceFlush-WaterEd Bailey, Bison Steel Inc., got and read The Hydraulic Maintenance Handbook and used the know-how within to deal with water contamination in a hydraulic shear. The oil capacity of the hydraulic tank was 300 gallons (1136 litres).

Initially the oil was circulated through water removal filters. Six filters were used but this only took out some of the water. A variation of the head space flush described in The Hydraulic Maintenance Handbook was then deployed.

The blower side of a shop vacuum was attached to the breather penetration in the tank lid. Air was blown into the head space and exhausted through a 1/2″ diameter hole at the other end of the tank’s head space.… continue reading »