Onsite Hydraulic Hose and Tubing Testing: The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

Blog | May 29th, 2017

An on-the-spot maintenance check is unavoidable when mobile hydraulics equipment is doing all the donkey work. Huge loads are being raised and lowered when the sun put in its first appearance. Then, by the time the sun has completed its arc, the hot-running gear is showing signs of fatigue. Unquestionably, then, hydraulic hose and tubing tests need to be run to prevent these flexible lines from succumbing to that mechanical stress.

A Day in the Life 

Hydraulic hose and tubing are fabricated from robust engineering elastomers. They’re then further reinforced with wire so that high temperatures, higher pressures, and unremitting mechanical motion won’t weaken that material build. However, there’s nothing quite like the onsite conditions of a hard-working construction area. That site challenges the finest alloy parts, but it’s the hoses that give way first, not the robust metal frames. Imagine the uneven ground, the mud, the heavy loads, and the lift extremes that a working crane endures throughout a typical day. Something will eventually rupture because of these punishing work patterns, but that’s just life on a construction site.

Everything is Eventual: Hose Failures 

Hydraulic hose and tubing testing evaluates the gear by employing a schedule. The general wear and tear pressing down on the heavy equipment is generating its own planned maintenance program, with checks for metal fatigue and metal deformation topping the inspections list, but that systematic approach has to be modified when it reaches the fluid carrying assemblies. Remember, it’s elasticity that matters here, not metal rigidity. The rubber tubing must retain that pliability feature from one end of the equipment’s turn radius to the other end. On top of that, all bulges and elastomeric deformations require documentation so that the preventative maintenance strategy flags smaller fluid conveyance issues well before they become major troublemakers.

A few sections of hydraulic hose and tubing isolates machine vibrations so that the mobile equipment cancels pump cycling noise. The boom moves with vibration-free fluidity because of that design feature. The flexible tubing also permits the boom segments to assume some fairly extreme angles so that the crane manipulates its load with dexterity. If those supple fluid transferring tubes were to fail, that boom and all of its inline valves would be starved of motive energy. Even a pinhole or a vibration-attenuated hose coupler can trigger the first signs of this escalating failure event, so always check them onsite. Inspect them, pressure test the tubing, and eliminate all leaks by replacing that hydraulic hose when the preventative maintenance plan signals an impending breakdown event.

Mobile Hydraulic Specialties Pty Ltd

Factory 89, 38-40 Popes Road
Keysborough, Victoria, 3173

Phone: (03) 9798-6511

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