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From Safety to Savings: A Heavy Construction Equipment Blog

If your business works with construction, you deal with a lot of heavy equipment. If you want advice on how to save money on your equipment, you should check out my posts. I plan to write about everything from hiring versus buying, to troubleshooting to reduce repairs, to handling repairs yourself. I also plan to write about other aspects of heavy machinery use such as safety. I ultimately hope that my ideas guide you toward creating a leaner, more productive, more efficient, less expensive, and more profitable business. My ideas are geared toward everyone from newbies to experts in the field of construction.

From Safety to Savings: A Heavy Construction Equipment Blog

Tips For Safely Repairing Your Backhoe's Hydraulic Cylinder

by Fred Gutierrez

If your backhoe's hydraulic cylinder has failed and you have decided to replace it yourself, then it is important that you do so in a safe manner. Since hydraulic cylinders are under high-pressure, they can be very dangerous to repair if you do not have previous experience working with them. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to ensure your repair is safe, including each of the following time-tested tips:

Tip: Always Verify the Pressure Load Ratings on Hydraulic System Components

When you are working with the hydraulic system's components on your backhoe, you must always verify that the pressure load ratings on each component are compatible with each other. For example, if you have a high-pressure hose, then it should only be connected to a high-pressure pump. If you accidentally connect a low-pressure hydraulic hose to a high-pressure pump, then the hose can rupture. Ruptured hydraulic hoses can cause grave injury to people and your machinery.

Tip: Never Use a Screwdriver or Other Sharp Object to Install Hydraulic Seals

When you are replacing the hydraulic seals on your backhoe, you should never use a screwdriver or other sharp object to help you set them into place. Setting hydraulic seals requires the application of some lubricating grease and a bit of maneuvering with your hands. If you try to use a sharp object or screwdriver to make the project easier, then the seal can become damaged. Damaged hydraulic seals can fail during the operation of your backhoe and cause damage to your machine or your operator.

Tip: Always Plug the Service Ports of Hydraulic Parts to Prevent Contamination of the Hydraulic Fluid

After you have replaced the fluid in your backhoe's hydraulic system, it is important that you always take the extra time to plug each of the service ports with rubber plugs. The small rubber plugs will prevent dirt and dust from getting into the hydraulic fluid and contaminating it. Contaminated hydraulic fluid will cause premature damage to your backhoe's parts and can lead to catastrophic failure of parts which can injure bystanders and your machine operator. 

Tip: Always Maintain and Replace Worn Pressure Relief Valves 

Finally, it is very important that you regularly clean and maintain the pressure relief valves on your backhoe's hydraulic system. If you notice that a pressure relief valve is worn or damaged, then it needs to be replaced before operating your backhoe again. Pressure relief valves are safety devices, and when they are malfunctioning they can be dangerous themselves and are not properly performing the job.

For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://cerprodnjhydraulics.com.