Monthly Archives: August 2017

Hydraulic Leaks Do’s & Don’ts

Chances are, if you work around or with construction equipment, you have seen or had to deal with a hydraulic leak. Hydraulic leaks are one of the most common issues our Service Department receives calls for day to day. So, Hugg & Hall has developed 10 Do’s and Don’ts to follow  when you experience a hydraulic leak out in the field.

  1. DO assess a leak as soon as it is noticeable. A minor leak could be a sign of a more severe problem within your hydraulic system. Resolving the issue as soon as possible can help prevent further performance issues and inefficiencies. Time is of the essence regarding hydraulic leaks!
  2. DON’T ever use your hand to check for a hydraulic leak! Hydraulic fluid can reach temperatures of 300 degrees Fahrenheit or higher which would result in a severe burn if it were to ever meet your skin. These leaks can have a velocity of more than 600 feet per second and have been known to inject fluid through the skin, including that which is covered with thick leather gloves. Burns such as these would require immediate medical attention, possible amputation and could result in industry safety violations.
  3. DO tighten/torque correctly. A common cause within leaks comes from the 37° flare joints and compression-type tube fittings incorrectly torqued. Regarding flare joints, lacking in torque leads to scarce seat contact, while excessive torque can result in damage to the tube and connector. For compression joints, incorrect torque can cause too much or too little “crush” on the ferrule. Fluid leaks are often the result of a loose nut, which is easily corrected with tightening.
  4. DON’T just tighten to tighten. As stated above, hydraulic fluid leaks are occasionally the result of a loose nut, which is easily corrected by tightening the nut. However, often we see people over tightening, which ruins the fitting integrity and is one of the most common causes of fitting leaks. So, be sure to assess the fitting before you tighten to prevent any damage.
  5. DO depressurize the system before a hydraulic inspection. It should be depressurized even if there is only a slow amount of fluid leaking. By depressurizing your hydraulic inspection, you are minimizing the risk of hydraulic fluid bursting from a machine during inspection. However, be aware that fluid and pressure could still be present after the system is turned off.
  6. DON’T replace with a different fitting just to save yourself money/time. Always replace a fitting with the same fitting type, even if that means having to wait longer for the part to get to you. Using a similar fitting and forcing it to work is asking for a disaster. If you are unsure of what fitting your equipment will need, please contact our Parts Department and they can assist you!
  7. DO check your lube. 80% of equipment component failures and faults are caused by polluted lubricant. Oxidation and contamination by water, dirt and the wear of metals, are two of the largest causes of hydraulic failure and can directly lead to leakage issues.
  8. DON’T have open flames around hydraulic leaks. It is common for people to forget that pinhole leaks can create mist-like clouds of highly flammable vapors. Common found hazards are lit cigarettes, using lighters or illumination, welding and/or cutting torches in use.
  9. DON’T have open flames around hydraulic leaks. It is common for people to forget that pinhole leaks can create mist-like clouds of highly flammable vapors. Common found hazards are lit cigarettes, using lighters or illumination, welding and/or cutting torches in use.
  10. DO set up a maintenance schedule. Hydraulic systems that are inspected regularly have a tendency to create fewer leak emergencies. Check for leaks, cracks and blisters, keep an eye out for hydraulic drips, and take time to locate the leak before it becomes a greater issue.

 

 

If you have any questions about your Hydraulic System, please contact the Hugg & Hall Service Department in your area. Do you already know the fitting you need to replace? Contact our Parts Department to order one today!

 

Forklifts, When It’s Time For New Forks

 

There is a lot of pressure on your forklift, literally and figuratively. They handle an immense load, so if one were to break while in use, not only would it cause a loss in production, but could also cause a workplace injury or damage to your property. ANTSI standards require forks to be inspected at least once per year, for single shift operations, and OSHA requires all powered industrial trucks, including forks, be examined daily or after each shift if they are utilized 24/7.

 

Here are some things to look for when inspecting your forklift:

 

Thickness of forks (should be measured with calipers).

The fork’s metal wears down slowly, however, it will eventually wear down enough that the forks will no longer be able to handle their original capacity. A 10% wear can reduce load capacity by 20%. At this point, forks must be replaced!

Surface cracks.

Each fork should be inspected from end to end while paying close attention to the heel and the welded areas attaching the forks to the lift truck. If cracks are seen, forks need to be replaced.

Tip Height.

Forklift tips should be at about the same height. If the difference between the height of each tip exceeds 3% of  the length of your blade, then the forks need to be replaced.

Positioning Lock.

Inspect the positioning lock and fork retention devices to be sure they are working properly.

Blade Shank

If the blade or shank are bent, the fork is no longer usable and should be replaced.

 

Forklift Replacement

 

If an inspection reveals damage or excessive wear, the forks should always be replaced in pairs. Failing to replace in pairs will cause loads to be uneven and potentially cause the forklift to tip over. Loads being uneven can also put unnecessary strain on the mast and other components of the lift. 

 

If you have further questions about your forklift, please contact your local Hugg & Hall Service Department or fill out a contact form, and one of our team members will get back to you shortly!