July 25, 2018
Hydraulic hoses move liquids under very high amounts of pressure.
There is an exorbitant amount of energy released, should a hose leak or a fitting come apart. Many people who work with heavy machinery and are around hydraulic hoses each day often become less sensitive to the danger at hand. It's important to always keep safety first.
It starts with proper inspection of your hydraulic hose assembly. At a minimum you should be using eye protection and heavy duty gloves. But keep in mind if a high pressure leak were to occur even gloves won't offer enough protection. Use a clean thick object like sheet metal to detect leaks. Keep body parts away from suspected leaks. Shut down the machine you are working on especially if you are taking apart any valves or other parts of the assembly.
According to a report by the International Organization for Standardization, you should examine several areas when inspecting hydraulic hoses and assemblies. If you see any of these issues listed out below, you need to evaluate whether to replace that component and/or the rest of the hose assembly.
Photo courtesy of gpmhydraulic.com
Look for leaks in the hose or the hose fitting. The most common place for leaks to occur is at the connection. Check here first. For example: If you are working with heavy machinery like an excavator or harvester (anything with an arm), because the hose flexes at these points, a lot of wear and tear often takes place on or near the flange.
Look for worn, cut or damaged covers. If a cover is worn away it's more susceptible to failure. While hydraulic hoses should never rub against anything, sometimes that is unavoidable in certain scenarios. When this situation occurs we recommend hose protection or hose guards to protect your hydraulic hoses in vulnerable places.
Look for twisted, kinked, flattened hoses. This is most often the result of a routing issue. All hoses are given a specific bend radius. When you go over that bend radius because of faulty routing, that causes a problem for the wire in the hose. If its beyond the recommend bend radius you can damage the hose or even cause failure.
Look for cracking, stiff or charred hoses. Sometimes the liquid passing through the hose is excessively hot and overtime can decrease the flexibility or lifespan of the hose. Other times those hoses are subjected to UV light from being outside for long periods of time. Cracking is also caused by age as rubber hoses, like rubber tires, have a limited lifespan
As part of a your daily maintenance plan for all your machinery, it's a best practice to inspect your hydraulic hoses and connection points. Keep an eye out for hoses that are subject to more extreme conditions like heat or cold, working outside, or exposed to sunlight. And keep in mind routine inspections and repair or replacement of your hydraulic hose assemblies is more much cost efficient than downtime on the job.
Do you have more questions? Contact the Hose Company now and our team of experts would be glad to assist you.