Are you in charge of the equipment used for road work? Maybe you oversee the landscaping crews or manage the demolition projects. If so, at least some of the equipment used likely contains a hydraulic system. These systems are powerful, timesavers that make big tasks much easier to do. These systems, whether in a crane or an excavator require specific maintenance and lubricants.

Getting the Most from Your Municipal Fleet’s Hydraulic Systems

  1. HydraulicKeep a record of all the machines in your fleet. Note what type of oil and hydraulic fluid they will perform the best with. Then, order those products in bulk from your local AMSOIL dealer, Lifetime Oil.
  2. Know how much oil or hydraulic fluid is being used and stay ahead of the game by topping off or changing them out sooner rather than later. That way no one reaches a job site and discovers the equipment is not ready to go. Keep in mind that you will need to check and replace fluids more often if…
    • You are using the equipment more often than usual
    • The equipment is older, or
    • It is being used for more strenuous tasks than normal
  1. Get to know your equipment dealer and mechanic. This relationship makes it easier to discuss concerns or questions regarding your fleet.
  2. Get a fluid analysis at regular intervals. The analysis will check the overall ‘health’ of the fluids, engine oil, coolant, and other components. This will help you prevent small issues from becoming large ones.

Consequences of Poor Maintenance

Failing to maintain the various hydraulic systems can cause a variety of problems. Some of these include:

  • Poor performance because the fluid is not clean enough. This affects how much pressure the system has.
  • Oil contamination causes excessive stress and substandard performance. It is often a result of improper storing or handling of hydraulic fluid. Hydraulic fluid should be stored in drums or ranks to keep out water or contaminants. Also, be sure to periodically check the fluid for cleanliness. If you note any ‘haziness’ it is an indicator of water or contaminants. Another storage concern is the amount of light to which the containers are exposed. Do not store in an area where there is harsh sunlight or extreme temperatures. Doing so can cause the hydraulic fluid to break down.
  • More frequent oil changes and using more fuel due to pistons pumps not working properly.
  • Inadequate lubrication. This is due to overheated oil, air bubbles in the fluid stream, or low fluid levels.
  • Corrosion will occur earlier than normal due to high levels of water. This can often be offset by using additives to extend the life of the fluid.

Many of these concerns can be avoided or minimized by careful maintenance and correct product usage.

Being responsible for your area’s municipal fleet equipment is a big task. Intentional inspections and using the best quality products will keep everything running smoothly. Contact Lifetime Oil today to get your supply of AMSOIL’s specially formulated hydraulic lubricants.