Each winter I’m asked by customers about best practices for protecting their investment in hydraulic-powered equipment and machines. Those are great questions and, herein, I’ll answer them with a focus on boat yards, marinas and other seasonal outdoor facilities.
1. Careful Inspection
Inspect and change, as required, filters, strainers, fillers and breathers. Also, hydraulic oils. And with the oils, be sure to inspect for any milky substance in it. This is a sign of moisture getting in which can cause a myriad of problems, especially if the equipment is left outdoors where it can freeze and cause cracks.
2. Systematically Verify
Vibration and friction wear hoses. That’s why verification of all hoses to ensure they are not cracked nor frayed from chafing. I find a flashlight can be useful while doing a systematic inspection of each hose from fitting to fitting. Be especially careful around the clamps to ensure proper tightness, and to make sure the hoses are in good shape beneath the clamps.
3. Outdoor Elements
It is not unusual to see machines sitting outdoors, unprotected from the elements. This isn’t ideal, but if you pay attention to a couple of additional areas, you should be fine. Always protect the cylinder rods with grease to avoid pitting or worse. And ensure all pivot points are properly and thoroughly greased.
I hope this post was helpful for your maintenance department. We like to think of ourselves as an extension to your shop’s capabilities. We can send our fully trained technicians onsite to help. Or you can drop off any components, systems or mobile equipment to our shop here in southeastern Connecticut. It is not unusual to see forklifts, man-lifts, cranes, excavators and more in our shop at any given time.
Another way we help facilities and maintenance departments is by giving them the tools to estimate repairs. I’ll talk about that in a later post, but if you can’t wait, please go to our estimator tool and check it out.
So, a final reminder: now is the best time to get your equipment in shape so you can be ready for the busy spring. And I hope you found these tips for Off-season Hydraulic Preventive Maintenance to be helpful!
Brian Devine has been solving problems related to hydraulics for over 30 years. You can learn more about Brian at www.linkedin.com/in/brian-devine/. He has been guiding the direction and overseeing operations of DHI since he founded it in 1983. DHI is now the largest hydraulic services company in New England.
Devine Hydraulics is headquartered in Uncasville, CT. We have invested in training and equipment to help you with any/all of your hydraulic needs. At Devine Hydraulics, along with our experience and equipment, we have the space in our facility to work on any job you can bring us. And when it is not mobile, we can come to you with our mobile shops along with our trained technicians. Devine Hydraulics has the parts, knowledge, and service you need.
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