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When Hydraulic Systems Fail

A wide variety of construction equipment uses hydraulic systems to power heavy machinery. When hydraulic systems break down, the results can be costly to businesses both large and small.

To reduce the risk of failure, proper maintenance is crucial, but some problems aren't readily apparent. For example, particle contamination in lubricant is one of the most common causes of hydraulic system failure, with studies showing that they account for 82% of component wear. Yet most of the time, the particles can't be seen by the naked eye. The clearance between components of a hydraulic system is incredibly tight, and the precision-machined parts are typically only microns apart. A micron is one-millionth of a meter, so while the particles themselves may be minuscule, the damage they cause can be massive.

The cause of contamination in lubricant is due to a variety of circumstances. For example, if the breathers on the tanks at the plant where the lubricant is produced are not fitted precisely, tiny particles of matter could infiltrate the product. Additionally, loose or dirty seals on the construction equipment could allow foreign particles to get through. 

There are a few things you can do to reduce the risk of contaminants getting into your lubricant. First, start with the lubricant itself. Only use hydraulic lubricant that meets or exceeds the manufacturer's ISO specifications. You can even verify with your supplier that the fluid meets the OEM ISO Cleanliness Code

Aside from the oil itself, be extremely careful whenever the lubricant is exposed to air. All storage tanks and reservoirs should be closed and sealed at all times, and filtration systems should receive regular maintenance. 

If you have any questions regarding hydraulic fuel, or construction equipment, please feel free to contact us at any time.


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