When to replace Hydraulic Hoses

Hydraulic hoses, the lifeline of virtually all construction equipment.

When there is a break in a hydraulic hose it derails production schedules and instantly costs you time and money.  While planning maintenance and shut down time is a part of any good operation, when an unexpected hydraulic hose failure occurs the expenses  are often higher than those with planned down time.  Like tires, hydraulic hoses have a shelf life.  After 3-4 years the rubber begins to break down and you can start to see cracking and weeping around the fittings.  If you use a lower quality hose, that can happen even sooner.

A visual hydraulic hose inspection can catch many likely failures.  In some cases, there are signs of a coming failure.  Wetness or leaks, cracked or worn rubber, loss of flexibility are all signs of a hydraulic hose failure.  There is no tried and true way to tell how long a hose assembly will last once you start seeing these signs.  Regular inspection of your hydraulic hoses and assemblies are recommended because of this.

While there are numerous causes of hydraulic hose failure, it has been widely accepted by the industry that approximately 80% of hydraulic hose failures are caused by so me type of external damage; generally abrasion.  The most common cause of abrasion is the hydraulic hose rubbing another hose or it’s surrounding surface.

The recommendation that you inspect all of your hydraulic hoses regularly and keep a log of your trouble spots is to keep the unexpected downtime to a minimum.  Recognizing that hydraulic hoses have a limited shelf time and being prepared to replace them at the right time maximizes safety and productivity.

2 Responses to “When to replace Hydraulic Hoses”

  1. Brian says:

    I see hose failure on a daily basis, agreed, abrasion is number 1, followed closely by cracking of outer layer which only leads to the corrosion of the supporting wire layers. UV as we know can be a killer. And the list goes on, from radius bends to under engineerd assemblies. it’s out there. We could just operate or house our machinery under a roof at all times. Proactive replacement is great, but unrealistic in most cases, Inspection by operator/owner can greatly reduce the surprise failure of hydraulic assemblies.

    • Felecia Criss says:

      Hey Brian,
      Thanks for the input, we appreciate the interaction.
      Come back every Wednesday for a new blog entry.
      -Felecia

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