No. At least, that’s the short answer. Hydraulic systems are machines, and machines break down. It’s a known problem with man-made devices. However, it is possible to have a machine that breaks down less. It requires a little more work, and considerable forethought, but it can be done.

Consider the best time to do a complete inspection on your chosen piece of hydraulic equipment. The time immediately following the installation of the system might seem like the best time. It’s been warmed up and is running at optimal settings. You could take this time to make sure everything is operating as expected. But what do you do if you find out that your new system can’t handle the job it was bought for?

Rip the system out and start over. It’s likely cheaper than retrofitting the entire system.

The best time to do a complete audit and inspection on your new piece of equipment is before your buy it, perhaps even before it’s built. Ideally, you should provide the manufacturer with a highly detailed instruction set that lays out exactly what you expect form your new hydraulic system. Specify performance targets that the system must achieve. Make sure the system has been designed to operate in the ambient temperatures where it will be installed.

Have a complete maintenance plan in place for your new equipment before your make the purchase. You’ll have a better understanding of what to expect from the new equipment and a firm grasp on the long-term costs of your proactive maintenance plan.

Making sure the machine will do everything you need before you close the deal is the only way to ensure that you’re getting the best possible value for your money, and ensuring that you have a hydraulic machine with the least chance of breaking down.  In the event that your hydraulic system does breakdown, our team of hydraulics expert technicians can help you repair your machine.  We have many years of experiencing identifying issues that hydraulics systems can experience and can have you back on the road in no time.

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Hydraulics are a proven technology. The power of fluid can be harnessed and directed to perform intense levels of work. There are compromises that need to be made, one being the noise generated by a hydraulic system. They are far from silent. The noise, which is the manifestation of vibrations generated by the system, is caused by several components of the hydraulic system. Understanding where the sounds are generated can help to understand the processes occurring within the system.

Hydraulic fluid is not easily compressible. In fact, it takes about a thousand pounds of pressure per square inch to compress hydraulic fluid by 0.4%. This property is what allows the fluid to do the heavy work, but it also means that an incredible amount of energy is stored within the compressed fluid. Vibrations are generated when this pressure is released. When the pressure is released in a controlled manner, the vibrations can be minimized. Should the pressure be released uncontrolled, the resulting bang would be substantial.

Water hammer is a term used to describe the noise generated by a hydraulic system when the fluid within the system undergoes a sudden change in velocity. Think of hydraulic fluid travelling at high speed and high pressure through a long hydraulic line. When a valve is suddenly closed, the impact of the fluid on the valve will be akin to hitting the valve with a hammer. A sudden burst of vibration (sound) is produced at that moment and can reverberate through the system.

This sudden change in velocity also causes pressure to build up in the fluid as it compresses against the valve. Accumulators can be installed to absorb the buildup, but they do not address the cause of the problem. Slowing the fluid in areas where velocity changes are experienced, such as larger piping, can reduce the water hammer effect and lessen the associated vibrations.

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Hydraulic systems move fluids at high pressure. These pressures cause vibrations is the surrounding material, which generate noise. The noise levels vary with the application, and the size of the hydraulic system, but there are several things that can be done to reduce hydraulic system noise depending on the source of the vibrations. Like any mechanical system, regular hydraulic maintenance can reduce noise and timely repairs can prevent problems from compounding.

Noise can be generated by the hydraulic fluid itself as it passes through the lines. The vibrations are generated by pulsation, caused by the pumps, and the sound is carried by the fluid throughout the system. A device such as a silencer can be installed to dampen the pulsation and reduce the noise carried in the fluid.

Another major source of noise is vibrations caused by the structures on which the system is mounted. Vibrations from the high-pressure flow, the hydraulic pumps and the power unit can reverberate through rigid mounts into the structure. This can be reduced by using flexible mounts wherever possible. Materials such as rubber can provide a reliable mounting surface, while reducing the amount of vibrations that is transferred to the structure.

The third type of hydraulic system noise is air-borne vibrations. This is the hardest sound to minimize, as its transmitted directly from the system itself into the surrounding area. The sound can be reduces by enclosing the source of the noise with a solid barrier to absorb the vibrations. Placing the pump inside the tank is a common solution.

It’s also important to understand that in any hydraulic system, energy is stored by compressing the hydraulic oil. When the oil is then decompressed, the energy is released and vibrations, or sound, are generated. It’s important to tightly control the release of pressure to ensure that noise is kept to a minimum.

Regardless of the source of the vibrations, or the steps taken to reduce the noise, a hydraulic system that is in need of repair, or not properly maintained, will generate sound levels far above a comparable system in good working order.

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We’ve upgraded our YouTube channel account to the new layout – be sure to check it out now and let us know what you think.

Visit our new channel by clicking on the image to the left.

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A hydraulic system is a machine. Like any other machine, there is one constant; it will break at some point. It can be avoided, but there are things that can be done to ensure that those breakdowns are few and far between and that downtime is kept to a minimum.

The first thing to understand, contrary to common belief, is that maintenance and repair are two completely different things. Repair is reactive; it’s what’s needed after the breakdown has occurred. Maintenance is proactive; it’s what needs to be done to insure that breakdowns don’t often occur. Waiting until a problem has arisen before performing the necessary maintenance won’t accomplish much of anything.

The costs savings of a proactive maintenance plan may be difficult to see. If a part breaks and needs to be replaced, the process is simple. The cost of the new part is added the cost to install it. The cost of any downtime can be calculated and factored in to the price. The bottom line is a dollar figure that represents the cost of the repair. It’s a reactive approach to maintenance.

The proactive approach would be to monitor the entire system and attempt to locate sources of potential problems before they occur. A component that is about to fail, or even appears that it may fail will need to be replaced, but it can be done at a time where there is no impact to productivity. The cost of a new part often pales in comparison to the cost of the lost time.

Proactive maintenance also includes things like regular cleaning and lubrication of moving parts. Removing contamination can lengthen the life of mechanical components. Replacing lesser quality components with more reliable ones is also an important part of a proactive maintenance program, especially if initial costs of the system required cost saving measures.

A proactive maintenance plan won’t show an immediate impact on the financial bottom line. But properly implemented and monitored, the money spent will be an investment that is guaranteed to make a profitable return.

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It’s a complicated question. Hydraulic systems are complicated pieces of machinery. They’re a collection of pumps and tanks, hoses and valves. They rely on pressure and flow of fluid to perform huge amounts of work. This leads to a myriad of potential issue you need to keep an eye on.

But is any issue more important than another?

Not really. An issue may be obvious, and having a direct impact on the productivity of the machine. If there is a clear problem, then it’s obviously the issue that requires immediate attention.

However, rarely are problems that simple. A problem may occur with the hydraulic system that doesn’t immediately avail itself to diagnostic efforts. This leads to a frustrating series of events that often result in focus being applied in the wrong area.

It’s an issue that some have dubbed inattentional blindness. The technician becomes so focused on a specific part of the machine that they fail to notice other issues, one which is causing the problem they are trying to fix, or worse. Perhaps in their intense focus, they fail to notice the indications that a far more serious problem is developing.

The point is that no one issue deserves the most attention. Focusing on a single issue can lead to other, more serious problems. Hydraulic systems are complicated devices. They need to be monitored and maintained as a whole. Even seemingly insignificant components can be the ultimate cause of premature failure.

Don’t let yourself become overly focused on one single issue.

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Did you know that Buffalo Industries is a distributor of wet kits from top manufacturers in the industry including Parker, Chelsea, Metaris, Gresen, Geartek and Buyers?  Whether you’re looking for an individual  component or the complete wet line kit, we can help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Our expert technicians can also help you install the wet kit components on your dump trucks or rig.

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Did you know that Buffalo Industries is a distributor for over 80 manufacturers of hydraulics parts and equipment parts?  We supply fittings from the best hydraulics parts manufacturers including Buyers and Kurt.

To give you a better idea of the inventory that we offer, see our Hydraulic Fittings page to see the list of parts we carry from Buyers.  If there is something you are looking for but do not see on the website, please email us directly and chances are, we will be able to get it for you.

Inquire for Availability.

Steel Pipe Fittings such as:

  • Hex Nipple
  • Reducer Bushing
  • Hex Head Plug
  • Hex Socket Plug
  • Square Head Plug
  • Adapter
  • Straight Thread O-Ring Adapter
  • Coupling
  • 45º Street Elbow
  • 90º Street Elbow
  • 90º Straight Thread O-Ring Male Elbow
  • 90º Elbow
  • 90º Male Pipe Elbow
  • 45º Elbow

Tube Fittings

  • Reducer
  • Nut 3-Piece
  • Cap
  • Sleeve 3-Piece
  • Male Connector
  • Plug
  • Rigid Female Pipe to Male JIC
  • Small Hex Union
  • Straight Thread O-Ring Connector
  • Swivel Nut Run Tee
  • Bulkhead Run Tee

Swivel Adapters

  • Female 37º JIC Swivel to Male Pipe
  • Female Pipe Swivel to Male Pipe Straight
  • Male Straight Thread to Female Pipe Swivel Straight
  • Female Pipe Swivel to Male Pipe 45º Elbow
  • Male Straight Thread to Female Pipe Swivel 90º Elbow

The parts that we carry are too many to list here – please contact us online or phone 204.942.1951 to find out availability.  Chances are we already have it in stock or can get it for you quickly.

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In any hydraulic system, there is always a small percentage of air present. Under normal operating conditions within a healthy machine, there is typically about a 10% volume of dissolved air present in the fluid. This does not in and of itself pose a threat. It is only when air in the form of foam of sufficient size and volume, free air, or entrained air infiltrates the hydraulic system that problems occur. That is when your system can fall prey to downgrades in performance, or worse, component damage.

Air within the system can cause a number of unwanted and potentially serious effects. Fluid viscosity is vital to the smooth operation of any hydraulic system. It prevents wear of machine components and reduces friction. Another adverse effect of air in your hydraulic oil is a reduction in thermal conductivity. In short, this means your equipment is subject to overheating.

A common indicator of air in the system is spongy operation, as well as increased noise levels during operation. You will notice a deterioration in control responsiveness. Ultimately, these conditions will lead to fluid degradation, reduced efficiency and component erosion resulting from cavitation. Cavitation, or the formation and implosion of air bubbles trapped within the hydraulic fluid, gradually erodes system components if left untreated.

As mentioned previously, dissolved air of up to 12% is normal within hydraulic fluid, but certain conditions can cause that air to be released, resulting in entrained air. These conditions include increases in fluid temperature, or a reduction in static pressure. When these conditions are present, there are several common causes you can look for, such as: intake line restrictions, clogged filters or strainers; defective seals, or low fluid level in system reservoir.

If system components are pre-filled and the system itself is adequately bled, air within the system can be alleviated or neutralized. Routine maintenance and regular filter replacement will go a long way in heading off any potential air intrusion issues within your hydraulic system.

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