Hydraulic hoses have so many applications in the truck fleet management industry. These hoses are used for fluid conveyance in engine coolant lines, transmission coolant lines, air brake systems, air compressor lines, pressurised hot oil return lines, auto air conditioning systems and the list goes on and on. An important part of the truck fleet management process involves ensuring that the hydraulic hoses are kept in good working order, so as to avoid operational letdowns that may result in unexpected downtime. Preventative maintenance of hydraulic hoses, in particular, is critical because hydraulics are subjected to high pressures and temperatures.
If you are a truck fleet manager, here are a couple of preventative steps you can take to ensure your hydraulic hoses remain in peak working condition for their entire lifespan:
Keep the hose assembly clean
Hydraulic fluid that is being conveyed in the hydraulic system may get contaminated over time, thereby increasing the risk of costly failures and also reducing the lifespan of your truck fleet. As a result, it's important to keep regularly clean hydraulic hose assemblies, so as to rid of system contaminants. Cleaning methods vary by type of application, but generally speaking, they may be based upon the level of cleanliness required, product-specific capabilities, and the type of equipment being operated.
One of the easiest ways to clean the hose assemblies is to blow a stream of shop air through them. However, this is the least effective method because it provides minimal cleaning. But perhaps the best way to achieve the highest levels of hose cleanliness is to use a fluid-flushing system comprising of a pump, selector valve, and a flow reversing valve. The pump provides the pressure required to move hydraulic fluid within the system; the flow reversing valve is used to cycle hydraulic fluid to and fro the old fluid-holding vessel, and the selector valve directs new fluid into the system to replace the old fluid that has been flushed out.
Keep the hose assembly leak-free
Truck fleet managers should also be sure to inspect hydraulic hose assemblies for damage or wear and tear that may cause fluid to leak from the system. Hydraulic fluid leaks are not just unsightly, but also hazardous since it makes floors slippery and can also contaminate the ground.
Because the maintenance requirements of hydraulic hoses vary by type of application, it is important that you consult your truck owner's manual for recommendations. Always follow the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations.