Hydraulic hoses: Be proactive, not reactive
Kern Auto Parts/NAPA
February 29, 2020
To say that a hose is an integral part of a hydraulic system is an obvious understatement. The flexibility of hoses enables components to be positioned in the most efficient or convenient places, because hoses are able to bend around corners, through tight spaces, or across long distances.
Hydraulic hoses have a finite lifespan. Proper sizing and use of the correct type of hose will extend the life of a hose assembly; however, there are many factors that can adversely affect a hose’s lifespan. These include: a.) flexing the hose to less than the specified minimum bend radius; b.) twisting, pulling, kinking, crushing or abrading the hose; c.) operating the hydraulic system above maximum or below minimum temperature; d.) exposing the hose to rapid or transient rises (surges) in pressure above the maximum operating pressure; and, e.) intermixing hose, fittings or assembly equipment not recommended by the manufacturer or not following manufacturer instructions for fabricating hose assemblies.
It is vital to identify and replace worn hydraulic hose assemblies before they fail. Sudden hose-assembly failure can put an unplanned stop to a work day, adversely affecting farming and agricultural operations as well as trucking. Hydraulic-hose failure can also cause ecological damage through contamination of soil and water systems.
Tip 1: Consider the big picture
To more cost-effectively manage equipment maintenance, look beyond the initial costs of hose-assembly replacement. Unscheduled downtime due to hose failure means equipment and workers are idle waiting for the hose to be replaced. Proactive hose-assembly replacement could significantly reduce the odds of downtime.
Tip 2: Look for these early warning signs
Train operators to visually inspect hoses as part of their daily pre-operation checklist. There are several warning signs to look for when conducting visual inspections, some of which are caused by the “offenses” listed above and some by simple wear and tear: damaged, cracked, cut, or abraded hose covers; cracked, damaged, or corroded hose fittings; leaks at fittings or along the hose; and kinked, crushed, flattened or twisted hose.
When one of these signs is evident, call Kern Auto Parts/NAPA to schedule hose-assembly replacement. The Kern Auto Parts staff have the parts, tools and knowledge to replace the failed hydraulic hoses on-site, usually while you wait.
Tip 3: Develop a hose-replacement program
Regular inspections will identify worn hydraulic hose assemblies before they can fail. Catching problems early can save time and money. Scheduling brief downtime to replace hoses will cause the least disruption to operations. You can develop hose-replacement programs on your own, or Kern Auto Parts/NAPA located in Tehachapi, Mojave and Ridgecrest can help formulate a proactive plan to meet your needs.
Your local Kern Auto Parts/NAPA store is located at 20633 South St., Tehachapi. They can also be contacted at (661) 822-3015.