Heavy transport and fleet operators are all too familiar with the importance of having fully functional and safe hydraulic hoses and fittings. A single fault can be deadly.
But since hydraulic hoses wear out at different rates, depending on usage and the environment in which they operate, it’s impossible to give a time-frame for when a service should be undertaken.
Instead, users of machinery that relies on hydraulic power should look out for early warning signs, says Shane Sutton, service technician, LMR Truck & Trailer Mossvale, who works closely with James Haddow as one of more than 100 authorised Hydraulink dealers across Australia.
Fixing problems during programmed maintenance is far cheaper and more efficient than expensive breakdowns causing downtime, and environmental damage.
Through its network of trusted distributors, Hydraulink provides high quality, tested and compliant hydraulic hoses, adaptors and fittings to industries such as transport, mining, earthmoving and civil contractor, agriculture, OEM manufacturers, materials handling, utilities, recycling and waste management.
SHANE’S TOP TIPS FOR HYDRAULIC HOSE SERVICE
LMR Truck & Trailer services a range of heavy vehicles, such as powder tankers, agitators and tippers, and Shane says that even though you can’t specify a time when they’ll need a service, there are a few signs to look out for:
1. The most common fault with hydraulic hoses, is wear to the outer cover. This can be caused by the hose rubbing up against something, or not properly located in a clamp or bracket. The outer cover of the hose is there to protect the reinforcement which is the strength of the hose assembly. If you see a worn cover, it is a lot easier to change that hose then, rather than wait for it to fail in the field.
2. Are there leaks at the ends of the hose? This can be from the fittings being loose, or an ‘O’ ring deteriorating. It could also be that there is a poor seal between the hose and fitting due to high temperatures or the hose being aged.
3. Exposed wires, usually caused by wear, will rust easily, or fail. Companies should not only replace these hoses, but look for a way to prevent future wear.
4. Make sure hoses are not kinked or twisted. Kinked hoses prevent flow, and a twist in a hose will rapidly reduce its life.
“For major companies with large fleets of vehicles, it’s often best to have a preventative maintenance programme in place, to stop normal wear and tear turning into a major fault.
“As a diesel mechanic, Hydraulink products make my job safer and easier,” says Mr Sutton, who has nearly a decade of experience in hydraulic service.
After using hydraulic products from a range of suppliers, LMR Truck & Trailer is now one of more than 100 authorised Hydraulink dealers in Australia.
Mr Sutton says the Hydraulink range is ideally suited to diesel mechanics, due to its broad range of parts and locally available stock.
“Whether it’s a turbo hose for a diesel truck, an oil-resistant hose for high temperature applications or a general-purpose fuel hose for low pressures, Hydraulink has it covered. Their products can handle any pressure.” says Mr Sutton.
“Even if we need a braided supply hose from the compressor down to the tanks, Hydraulink has the exact product, fully standards compliant and ready to go. It really puts our mind at ease.
“Hydraulink hoses are always manufactured to top quality and safety standards. They have the pressures easily labelled on the hoses to avoid any confusion,” says Mr Sutton.
“When servicing hydraulic hoses, fittings and adaptors, mechanics need to be spot on, every time. A faulty hose or incorrect fitting can have dire consequences when operating at high pressure (typically 3,000 – 7,000 PSI in mobile applications).
“One of the big advantages of using Hydraulink products is that there is an extensive amount of experience and capability built up under the one brand, so customers know that all Hydraulink branded products will be delivered to the same high-quality standards. This consistency and quality is very important to customers with diverse and multiple sites who want traceability and uniformly high standards of service and safety delivered across their organisations.”