Hydraulic systems run modern industry. The key thing about hydraulic systems is that they can move an insane amount of weight. The biggest dump trucks used in the mining industry lift their beds with hydraulic cylinders. The rods in these dump trucks are much more heavy-duty than the familiar hydraulic rods that help the hatch on a van open. While the cylinders on a van are a closed system, the cylinders that lift a dump truck bed are connected to a compressor and a hydraulic reservoir by hoses. Understanding how this system works will help you to know what to do if a component of the system fails.
The Compressor and Hoses
A hydraulic system works by forcing a piston or rod up and out of a cylinder. To accomplish this feat, a compressor forces hydraulic fluid into the area behind the piston. Thus, the compressor and hoses that carry the fluid have to be able to handle intense pressure. Needless to say, the pressure takes it toll, and over time, the hoses or the compressor can wear out. To keep your hydraulic system working like it should, you should inspect your hoses regularly to look for cracks or smears of oil. If you find any signs of damage, replace the faulty hoses.
A hydraulic cylinder has to contain the pressure of the oil while still allowing the rod to travel up the cylinder. To accomplish this, engineers use a system of seals. These o-rings and scrubs keep the hydraulic oil in the chamber. However, if the rod gets dirty, the particles on the rod can damage the seals and create leaks. To look for signs of damage, you need to keep an eye out for dark-colored, greasy smears on the rod and/or on the cylinder. You can also check the level on your reservoir. If your reservoir is low, you have a crack somewhere, and you need to look over your system until you find it.
There are not too many components that go into a hydraulic system. These components have to contend with intense pressure, so much pressure that oil escaping from a major leak can cut through the skin and mutilate a hand. Thus, if you have a leak in your system, you don't want to repair the leak yourself. Instead, you should trust the work to specially trained technicians. As long as you regularly inspect your system and have it maintained when necessary, you can depend on it to do heavy lifting day in an day out for years to come.
For more information, contact TST Hydraulics or a similar company.