DON’T LET “OUT OF SIGHT” MEAN “OUT OF MIND” WHEN IT COMES TO MAINTAINING HYDRAULIC SYSTEMS
There’s no better way to get the maximum return on investment than doing the recommended maintenance on your machines. Combine that with the daily walkaround inspection and there’s nothing to worry about, right? Maybe. Hydraulic systems are areas that are easy to overlook when completing machine workarounds because key indicators are not always visible from checkpoint areas. Because your machine’s hydraulic system determines how much material you move and how fast you move it, these shouldn’t be overlooked.
Depending on the operating environment and maintenance practices, components may show signs of wear as early as 2,500 hours. Train your operators to periodically check factors that may indicate issues with your hydraulic system, such as:
- Cylinder drift (unactuated cylinder movement)
- Tracking (experiences tracking pull one way or another while in forward motion)
- Inconsistent swinging motion with the equipment (jittery movement)
- System noise (pump or relief valve squealing)
- Increased system heat (above 190° F)
- External cylinder, hose, pump or motor leakage
Key to your competitive advantage are your machine’s ability to stay as productive as possible and your operator’s ability to recognize when to service something before it fails. Proper maintenance of your hydraulic and other systems can help you avoid costly repairs and reduce downtime.
To better understand your own maintenance practices, take Caterpillar’s Know Your Fleet Quiz. You’ll get a full report with practical maintenance tips for your operation.