Fleet Manitenance

5 Things to Avoid Doing to Your Truck's Hydraulic System

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Your truck’s hydraulic system is a vital component that makes it work. And when things go wrong with the hydraulic system, it can be expensive and difficult to fix. That’s why you should take the utmost care of your truck hydraulics, ensuring your vehicles run safely and efficiently. Here are five mistakes you may be making with your hydraulic system that you’ll want to fix for your fleet’s health. 

No. 1: Changing Your Oil Too Often

You may be changing your hydraulic oil more often than necessary. Only two circumstances require a hydraulic oil change: if the base oil has degraded or if there has been depletion of the additive package. Fleets shouldn’t schedule hydraulic oil changes based on months or hours in service but by regularly checking the condition of the oil and changing it when one of those issues arises. 

No. 2: Changing Your Filter Too Often

Just like you may be changing the oil too often, you may also be changing your hydraulic filters too often. The perfect time to change filters is when they have no more dirt-holding capacity, but the bypass valve has yet to open. You will need a mechanism to monitor the pressure drop across your filter element so you can be alerted when your vehicle reaches this point. 

No. 3: Operating with Hot Hydraulics

If your engine overheats, you stop operating the vehicle, right? So, if your hydraulic system gets too hot, you should do the same. Operating your hydraulic system when it is too hot is the fastest way to destroy it. So how do you know if your hydraulic system is too hot? You’ll need to know the oil’s viscosity, or thickness, and how its viscosity changes with temperature (viscosity index). Oil viscosity decreases when temperature increases, so you’ll know your vehicle is overheating when the viscosity falls so low it can no longer lubricate the components. 

No. 4: Using the Wrong Oil

The type of oil that you use is also vital to ensure your system runs properly. You need to make sure that your oil has the correct viscosity. Consider the climate in which the system operates. If you work in a hot climate, using low-viscosity oil may cause your system to overheat on the hottest days of the year. 

You must also ensure that viscosity is not too high because more power will be lost to fluid friction. Check your truck’s temporary operating window (TOW), which determines the maximum and minimum temperatures where your hydraulic system can operate. 

No. 5: Not Being Educated on Hydraulics

If you’re operating or overseeing the operation of hydraulic vehicles, you will need to learn as much as possible about hydraulic systems. Do your research online with articles like these to discover what you should look for, how to solve common problems, and how the hydraulic system generally works. 

Let Azuga Help with Maintenance

Keeping your hydraulic system maintained is critical to the proper operation of your vehicles. Make sure you’re engaging in preventative maintenance by using Azuga to schedule work on your vehicle and alert you when there’s a problem. Our state-of-the-art fleet management solution will help you save money, keep your vehicles on the road, and ensure your drivers’ safety. Learn more about what you can accomplish with Azuga by speaking with an expert!