The forklift hydraulic system is a sophisticated mechanism that plays an important role in allowing operators to lift, transport and store heavy loads with minimal effort.
The concept of the hydraulic system is based on Pascal's Law developed by Blaise Pascal, who demonstrated that when liquid is subjected to pressure then the power generated can be distributed in different directions without losing its magnitude.
For it to function properly the hydraulic system works through the use of fluids. The fluids normally used in the hydraulic system can range from water-based fluids, synthetic fluids, and petroleum-based fluids.
Like every other part of the forklift, the hydraulic system is susceptible to damage due to continuous wear and tear. However, hydraulic failure can be prevented through the following three steps;
Timely Replacement Of Worn out Hoses
In the course of operation, the hydraulic hoses usually become brittle due to external factors like hardening from extreme temperatures and continuous wear and tear.
When they are in that state it becomes very easy for them to break and leak hydraulic fluid. Leaking hoses are not effective in transmitting fluid pressure and therefore will fail consistently.
The best remedy for this is a timely replacement of the brittle worn out hoses once identified.
Regular Cleaning of The Suction Filters
In the forklift hydraulic system, the suction filters play an important role in ensuring that the channels are free of damaging contaminants.
However, the suction filters need to be cleaned frequently to ensure they are not clogged with contaminants trapped during the filtering process.
Once the filters are clogged, the flow of fluid is inhibited thereby preventing the system from exerting enough power to lift loads.
Conduct Regular Drift Tests and Maintenance
Mast drifts usually occur when there is a slight or significant shift of the mast when a load is elevated. They normally expose both the operators and pedestrians to fatal injuries should the loads fall off.
Some of the common causes of mast drifts are faulty oil control valves, damaged masts and lack of pressure in the hydraulic cylinder.
Frequent inspections and drift tests can help you establish the cause of the problem so that the mast is scheduled for maintenance as needed.
Hydraulic system failure can lead to fatal accidents. Therefore it is very important to take a more proactive approach to prevent problems that might lead to hydraulic failure. Some of the measures you can take are;
Cleaning and maintenance of the suction filters to remove clogging.
Inspecting the hydraulic hoses to identify those that need replacement.
Conducting regular drift test to check if the mast is in proper working condition.
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