Hydraulic systems play an important role in vehicle repair and maintenance. They provide the necessary force needed to maneuver vehicles during repair, so that technicians can access difficult to reach areas. For example, a hydraulic pump is often used to lift a vehicle off the ground so that one can access the engine from below. They also come in handy for repairing and replacing wheels and tyres.
Due to the large amounts of pressure that hydraulic systems handle, it is important for workers to exercise caution around hydraulic equipment. In fact, the pressure within a system can easily exceed 2000 pounds per square inch (or 136 atmospheres)
Common risks associated with hydraulic equipment
When hydraulic machines are not used in the right way, they can pose the following risks to workers and equipment.
Ruptures to fittings
In cases where there are two different pressure systems, it is important not to connect a low pressure system directly to a high pressure system. This change in pressure can rupture the housing that holds the hydraulic fluid and result in damage to the equipment.
The large amount of force can also damage hoses and potentially injure workers. Equipment that contains varying hydraulic pressure (such as vehicle hoists and power packs) should not be directly connected to other hydraulic machines without first checking the pressure of the system.
If you notice a leak in your hydraulic equipment, you should never use your naked hand to identify the source of the leak. Hydraulic fluid under high pressure can shoot out of the leaking hose and rupture the skin, eyes or other body parts.
Leaks should only be identified using protective eye equipment, gloves, and a pressure sensitive objective that will come in direct contact with the hose.
Another common safety concern in hydraulic equipment is adjusting the dynamics of the system when the pressure is still high. For example, when using a vehicle hoist, it can be dangerous to adjust the height of the machine without ensuring that the load and the hydraulic fluid are properly secure. Equipment should only be adjusted when the fluid is not under high pressure.
Additional Safety tips for use of hydraulic equipment
If you need to replace the hydraulic fluid of your equipment, make sure you use manufacturer recommended brands to avoid any machine failure. The equipment should also be regularly inspected for functional issues to avoid any unexpected downtime. In addition, keep your vehicle jacks, cylinders, and pumps clean (free of grease, dirt and debris) to avoid contaminating the hydraulic system.
For more information or assistance, contact companies like Blue Ribbon Motors.