Mobile Hydraulics: How to Improve Life Span and Efficiency of Your Mobile Hydraulic Equipment

Manufacturers of mobile hydraulic equipment have improved the performance of equipment over the last couple of decades a lot. The hydraulic systems are more efficient, but higher operating temperatures and pressures require special attention to keep them running efficiently over time. Below are some cost-effective ways to improve and preserve the efficiency of your mobile equipment.

Select the right mobile hydraulic components

System efficiency depends on the operating conditions and the equipment load. Hydraulic systems lose power primarily due to inefficient system design and a small amount to fluid friction in pumps, valves, and piping. This can be easily resolved by replacing these components with newer model pumps and motors that are more energy efficient. You can also implement controls such as variable-frequency motor drives (VFDs) to run the hydraulic pump only when needed, cutting down the energy costs caused by idling. Also, keep in mind that hydraulic actuators also play an essential part in your system’s overall efficiency. If you are in the market for replacement components, pay extra attention to the hydraulic motor type of your new machine. Radial piston motors as well as axial piston motors, perform at 90-95% in terms of efficiency. Don’t be tricked by the lower prices of systems with vane, gear and orbital motors. They are way less efficient and more expensive to run over time.

Use a quality lubricant

Smooth motion between the hydraulic system’s components increases its productivity and efficiency. Choose your hydraulic lubricant based on the recommendations of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Pay extra attention to the viscosity of the oil and always take into the account working conditions, including temperature and operating pressure.

  • Low viscosity results from either poor oil selection or high temperatures. And either will cause overheating, wear, and decreases the efficiency of your machine.

  • High viscosity causes difficulties on start-up, increases wear, and reduces efficiency.

Using high-performance hydraulic lubricant ensures more reliable equipment performance and improves the productivity of your mobile hydraulic system. For extreme temperatures, a high-viscosity multi-grade hydraulic fluid will be your best bet.

Mobile hydraulic system. Tractor on the field

Keep contaminants out of your mobile hydraulic system

Contamination of any hydraulic system decreases its performance. Did you know that even before the hydraulic fluid reaches the reservoir, it can get contaminated because it was stored or handled wrong? Store hydraulic lubricant in a closed container under the recommended temperature range. Transfer hydraulic fluid using a filter cart and seal clean oil dispensing equipment. Change the hydraulic system reservoir desiccant breather and system filter regularly and follow other recommended maintenance guidelines.

Analyze your oil periodically

Testing the ‘health’ of your oil should become a good habit that keeps your system running. Most manufacturers recommend performing quarterly oil analyses and annual system inspections. For the hydraulic equipment working at maximum capacity or under harsh conditions, you should test your fluid more often. The test results should provide data on oil quality, including particle count, free water, viscosity, and neutralization. Remember that the key to an accurate oil analysis is to draw a sample directly from a specific location while the machine is in operation and under a standard load.

What is the bottom line?

In conclusion, try avoiding the abovementioned most common hydraulic system mistakes. Choose the right oil, avoid system overheating, test your oil, change filters on time. And lastly, educate your staff on how to operate your mobile hydraulic equipment safely and efficiently.

 

Have questions?

At The Hope Group meeting our customers’ needs so they can succeed is our top priority. If you have any questions regarding component selection or engineering applications, we are here to help.

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