FAQs About Hydraulic Cylinder Service

The hydraulic cylinder is an invaluable component in many types of industrial equipment. Through the action of the cylinder, a unidirectional force is produced that powers the operations of such equipment.

This article provides answers to a few questions related to the servicing and repair of hydraulic cylinders for the benefit of business owners looking to incorporate the use of hydraulic lifts in their day-to-day commercial activities.

Why Do Hydraulic Cylinders Fail?

Interest in the reasons for hydraulic cylinder failure stems from the fact that such failure translates to downtime/reduced productivity during business hours.

Damage to piston rods within the hydraulic lift cylinder is among the most common reasons for failure. Piston rods will often suffer physical damage (e.g. bending or breakage) when exposed to sudden impact from falling materials carried on the lift.

Cylinders may also fail as a result of shock-loads. Shock-loads occur when a hydraulic lift is used for an activity that it wasn't originally designed for. Shock-loads are also common in hydraulic lifts that are regularly overloaded. The sudden impact of shock-loads on cylinder components often causes physical damage to piston rods, eye bearings, and related components of the hydraulic cylinder.

What Are Some Possible Remedies To Such Failure?

The likelihood that piston rods in a hydraulic cylinder will suffer physical damage from the impact of falling materials can be tamed. This is done by installing protective shields above the piston rod area. A shield will prevent falling materials from landing on piston rods, hence the avoidance of physical damage. 

Shock-loading should be prevented by ensuring that the maximum load of materials carried on a hydraulic lift never goes beyond the weight-bearing capacity of the hydraulic equipment Shock-loading can be remedied through the installation of shock absorption accumulators within the hydraulic cylinder system. By absorbing a large portion of the force from a shock-load, the impact of such loads on hydraulic cylinder components is reduced significantly.

What About DIY Repairs And DIY Servicing Of Hydraulic Cylinders?

Hands-on kind of business owners often wonder whether they would be in a position to undertake repairs and service-related activities in their individual capacity when hydraulic lift cylinders fail.

DIY repair and service is a possibility with hydraulic lift cylinders. For example, a cylinder tool kit can be used to replace warped/distorted cylinder seals with new ones.

Undertaking DIY hydraulic cylinder repairs will often require one to disassemble various components of the hydraulic cylinder, fix the problem, and reassemble the hydraulic lift cylinder. The smallest of unprofessional mistakes when disassembling or reassembling the cylinder can lead to more complex problems than that which created the need for service and/or repairs.