Hydraulic hose assemblies are critical components in the heavy machinery industry. While these components are designed to offer exceptional performance, you’ll need to replace them with premium parts to ensure continued operations. If you rely on heavy machines like tractors to operate your business, you’ll need to keep a close eye on the condition of your hydraulic hoses.
Regular visual inspections can help prevent downtime, so long as you can diagnose potential problems with your assembly. When you need replacements for your heavy machine hydraulic hose assemblies, selecting the right hydraulic hose and ensuring the correct installation is imperative. Here’s how to do it right:
Potential Problems to Look Out For
It’s crucial to inspect your hydraulic hoses regularly to avoid some of these common problems:
- Hydraulic hose cover damage – Check for cracks, cuts, exposed reinforcement, abrasion, etc.
- Hose hardness and stiffness – Prolonged exposure to sunlight, extreme temperatures, and chemicals can make hydraulic hoses lose their resiliency. A stiffened or hardened hose can crack when flexed, causing catastrophic failure.
- Flattened or kinked hydraulic hose – This can easily cause restriction of material or fluid flow, affecting hose performance.
- Changes in hose color – Color changes in hydraulic hoses may indicate deterioration, aging, or chemical attack.
- Hose cover blisters – Blisters in the hydraulic hose cover may indicate leaking due to permeation or chemical incompatibility with the fluid. Blisters in hoses often break and expose the hose cover reinforcement, which then degrades due to exposure to the elements.
- Damaged hydraulic hose reinforcement – Damaged hose reinforcement often exposes the hose to the environment, making it weaken and deteriorate.
- Hose leaks – Check for any spilled fluid, material, or hose puddles under the hydraulic hose assembly, which often indicates a problem with the attachment or couplings. Watch out for any weeping from the hose, which may also indicate a leak.
Choose the Right Hydraulic Hose for Your Application
If you’ve identified any form of wear and tear, damage, leaks, or discoloration, you need to replace your hydraulic hoses. Choose the appropriate hose for your application. Choosing a quality hydraulic hose will help you reduce and even eliminate premature hose damage or failure. Hydraulix experts recommend following the “STAMPED” method when selecting replacement hydraulic hoses:
- Size – The replacement hydraulic hose must have an adequate inside diameter (ID) that minimizes pressure loss while avoiding hose damage caused by excessive fluid turbulence and the heat produced.
- Temperature – The replacement hydraulic hose must withstand the heavy machinery system’s requirements, including fluid and ambient temperatures.
- Application – How and where will you use the replacement hydraulic hose? Identify the equipment type, machinery pressure requirements, type of fluid used, static conductivity, hose bend radius, etc.
- Material – You must ensure that the replacement hydraulic hose, the hose tube, cover, and other attachment assemblies are compatible with the type of fluid or material conveyed through the hose.
- Pressure – Understand the hydraulic system pressure, including the potential pressure spikes. The replacement hydraulic hose’s published working pressure should be equal to, or greater than, the normal hydraulic system pressure and any possible pressure surges it may experience during day-to-day operations.
- Ends or assembly couplings – Identify the specific type of coupling threads the hydraulic hose system uses and choose compatible couplings for the thread types.
- Delivery – Are you just replacing a single or multiple hoses, and when do you need delivery? Be sure about what you need, including the size and type of replacement hydraulic hose so you can be sure about availability.
Take the Necessary Steps to Prevent Leaks
After getting new replacement hoses, you’ll want to ensure proper installation to prevent any leaks. Adequate cleaning of all sealing surfaces is critical to ensure a leak-free connection. Replace your O-rings every time you’re replacing hydraulic hoses. Also, properly torque the hose fittings to ensure a leak-free seal of your hydraulic hose assembly.