Time and time again customers ask us how long hydraulic hose assemblies can be expected to last in the field. The short answer: Not as long as you want them to the long answer: Much longer if you take a few minutes to look for wear and tear clues.
The Hose Company would like to offer 4 tips to help you extend the life of hose assemblies on hydraulic equipment.
#1. Set up a preventive schedule - and follow it regularly
For most applications, a simple visual inspection once a month and preventive replacement of hoses every year or two is adequate. 80% of hose failures are attributable to external physical damage through pulling, kinking, crushing or abrasion of the hose. All the external damage can typically be visually checked.
#2 Keep log of hose repairs - especially frequent replacements
Use this log to estimate how long hoses last in your application. According to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the shelf life of bulk rubber hose is 10 years from the date of manufacture. Note the manufacturing date on the lay-line and if the hose is close to 10 years old consider a preemptive replacement.
#3 Watch problem areas closely
Critical hose assemblies may be those that are close to the equipment operators and whose failure could result in injury or would cost a great amount of damage. Keep an eye out for clues a problem is developing.
#4 Always approach with caution
When inspecting the equipment, never touch pressurized hoses with your hands, not even with gloved hands. If you are looking for a pinhole leak, use a piece of cardboard or wood to locate it, NEVER run your hand over the hose to find it. Hydraulic oil injection injuries are very serious and can result in amputation or even death.
Clues to potential problems
Purchasing a new hose assembly is usually many times less expensive than the cost of clean up after the old hose breaks, not to mention the potential damage to different and expensive components of your system, down time and the potential for injury. The Hose Company can provide custom hose assemblies for you, or bulk hose for the do-it your self hydraulics person.
In the case of hydraulics it is true that an ounce of prevention
cost much less than the pound of cure.