When to replace your hydraulic hose
- Jan 17, 2018 -
Hydraulic hoses are the lifelines of almost all construction equipment. When a hydraulic hose breaks, it can derail production schedules instantly costing you time and money. While planned maintenance is a part of any quality operation, Should a failure occur that is unexpected or shuts down production completely, these expenses are often much higher cost than planned maintenance. Like auto tires, all hydraulic hoses have a shelf life. Depending on the type of hose, after 4 to 5 years the rubber begins to break down and you can expect to see visual cracking and weeping around the couplings. If you are using a lower quality hose, that can be even sooner.
There is no need to replace the hose if there are no signs of leakage, abrasions, cracks or twisting. A visual inspection can catch many potential hose failures. In many (but not all) cases, there are indications of an impending failure. Wetness or leaks, cracked rubber, loss of flexibility or worn rubber are all signs of a current or future hydraulic hose failure. There is really no reliable way to tell how long a hose assembly will last once these symptoms are noticed. That's why we recommend doing inspection of your your hydraulic hoses and assemblies on a regular basis.
There are many causes of hose failure. It is generally accepted by the industry that approximately 80% of hydraulic hose failures are caused by external damage, primarily abrasion. In our experience, the most common cause of abrasion is hose assemblies rubbing on each other or surrounding surfaces. That's why we recommend Poly Wrap or Protective Sleeve for your hoses in abrasion prone areas. Plastic guards or coil sleeves protect hose from exposure to water, air, gasoline and hydraulic fluids. They are typically fitted after the hose is installed. Textile or nylon sleeving helps protect hoses from abrasion, either inside the equipment or in areas where hoses are likely to rub against one another.
We recommend you inspect all your hydraulic hoses regularly and keep a log of trouble spots on your equipment. It is very important that you follow bend radius, twist, orientation, and storage to maximize your hydraulic hose life. But recognize that all hoses have a limited shelf life and be prepared to replace them at the right time to maximize both safety and productivity.
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