How to master hydraulic troubleshooting

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Troubleshooting is an interactive process. So to become a master trouble-shooter, you must have a solid PROCESS. But you also need relevant KNOWLEDGE. Consider the old Indian Monkey Trap, for example:

The trap consists of a hollowed-out coconut chained to a stake. The coconut contains rice which can be accessed through a hole in the coconut's shell. The hole is just big enough to allow the monkey to get its hand in, but too small for the monkey's clenched fist, full of rice, to come out.

The monkey reaches in, grabs a handful of rice and finds himself trapped. The villagers are coming to get him... They're getting closer every minute... The monkey panics and starts yanking on his arm. But it's no use.

The monkey's freedom is now totally dependent on his troubleshooting ability. And his troubleshooting ability depends on the process he uses - because the monkey doesn't understand how the trap works. He lacks essential knowledge. And without a reliable process he's got little chance of discovering this knowledge. So he may as well keep yanking on his arm.


You need 'em both to become a master trouble-shooter. And both have to be learnt. Which is why the man who can cast his eye over a hydraulic system and quickly zero-in on the fault is 'Top-Gun' in the hydraulics world.

He's admired by most. Envied by many.

The good news is, it's never been easier to join the ranks of this elite and highly-paid group. Because just as hydraulic systems are becoming more sophisticated, so too are the tools available to analyze and troubleshoot them.

These days in fact, with the right tools and tuition, you can slash the time is used to take to become a troubleshooting wizard. I demonstrate this here with an instructive video.

With limited knowledge AND no reliable process, the monkey's situation is hopeless. If only he knew how simply it was to secure his freedom. (Hint: all he has to do is employ the troubleshooting technique known as backing-out).

Related articles:

The trouble with hydraulics troubleshooting
Would you pass this simple hydraulics test?
Solving hydraulic problems: whatever it takes?

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