Common Issues With Hydraulic Lifts
Are you finding it difficult to pay for the recurring expenditures of having professionals inspect the major machinery in your shop? If this describes the situation in your company, then it may be time to reconsider how and what you teach your employees.
Workers who have received hydraulic lift repair training will be able to spot potential problems with these critical pieces of equipment. They’ll be able to undertake routine maintenance, which will help you keep your workplace safer and extend the life of your lifts.
It’s a given that auto body shops benefit from hydraulic lifts in a number of different ways. However, there will occasionally be some issues with utilizing them, as is the case with every gadget. The most frequent problems are listed below.
Faulty Oil Sensor/Low Oil Levels
Due to its vital function in monitoring hydraulic oil levels and pressure, a faulty oil sensor is a common problem with hydraulic lifts. Incorrect lift operation, system damage, and safety issues can result if the sensor fails to detect low oil levels or pressure changes. Proper and safe operation of hydraulic lifts depends on timely maintenance checks and sensor replacements when needed.
Because of oil leaks, poor maintenance, or insufficient replenishment, low oil levels are another common issue with hydraulic lifts. Sufficient oil is necessary for hydraulic systems to work properly and support large weights. Reduced lifting capability, slowed operation, and potential damage to components are all possible when oil levels fall below the recommended minimum. In order to prevent poor functioning and preserve a lift’s safety, oil levels need to be checked often and topped up as needed.
Ballooning tubes are another common problem in hydraulic lifts, especially when they’re working at high pressure or when the system sees frequent pressure spikes. Tubes and hoses are used in hydraulic lifts to move hydraulic fluid across the system. If the pressure within the tube is higher than its maximum capacity, the tube may expand, or “balloon.” There are a few issues that can arise from this ballooning.
For starters, it can lead to a drop in hydraulic pressure; this can negatively impact the lift’s efficiency and effectiveness. Second, wear and even leaks can be caused by the inflating tubes rubbing against other components or surrounding surfaces. Over time, the additional strain on the tubes can weaken them, raising the prospect of failure and, by extension, the risk of accidents.
Tube inflation can be avoided if the lift’s pressure is maintained within safe parameters and pressure spikes are kept to a minimum. In order to discover and rapidly replace weaker or broken tubes, routine examination and maintenance are critical. Lift operators can keep their hydraulic lift operations safe and efficient by proactively addressing the above concerns.
Seal and Bearing Issues
Because of how they work, hydraulic lifts often have seal and bearing problems. Seals prevent hydraulic fluid leaks, while bearings keep moving parts stable in hydraulic lifts. Pressure, friction, and the elements can all contribute to the gradual deterioration of these seals and bearings.
Inadequate seals can cause hydraulic fluid to leak, reducing system performance and even posing safety risks. There’s also the potential for environmental damage due to leaks. In a similar vein, bearing wear and degradation can increase friction, which, in turn, reduces lift performance, increases heat, and hastens the wear of other parts.
Preventing these types of problems requires regular maintenance, such as checking for leaks and replacing worn seals and bearings. The durability of seals and bearings can be improved with lubrication and correct alignment. Seal and bearing issues should be identified and repaired as soon as possible to maintain the safe and dependable functioning of hydraulic lifts, extend their useful life, and reduce the need for maintenance.
Hydraulic Cylinder Problems
Because hydraulic cylinders play such a key role in the lifting process, problems with them are common in hydraulic lifts. The power required to raise massive, heavy objects is supplied by these cylinders. Cylinder failure can develop over time for a number of reasons.
Cylinder seal failure (see above) is a common issue that can cause hydraulic fluid to leak out and impair lifting capability. Hydraulic cylinders are sensitive mechanical devices, and internal damage caused by contaminated hydraulic fluid can limit performance and pose safety issues. Continual pressure and friction during operation can also cause corrosion and wear on the interior components of the cylinder.
In order to anticipate and prevent cylinder issues, it’s essential to perform routine maintenance, such as seal inspections and fluid checks. Significant problems can be avoided with regular fluid filtering and prompt repair of defective seals. Lift operators who have been trained to recognize the symptoms of cylinder trouble — like strange noises or sluggish performance — are better able to avoid costly breakdowns and maintain the reliability of hydraulic lifts.
Techniques for Training Your Employees on Hydraulic Lift Repair
In order to ensure the competence and safety of workers, training in hydraulic lift maintenance needs a holistic approach. Methods that have been shown to be useful in training include:
• Instructor-Led Workshops
Workshops organized by experts in the field can be held to show how repairs should be done and what precautions should be taken.
• Online Courses
E-learning systems can provide interactive modules and quizzes to teach students the theory and background they’ll need to repair hydraulic lifts.
• On-the-Job Training
Training in the workplace by observing and working with more experienced specialists is helpful.
• Simulators and Virtual Reality
Cutting-edge training technologies like simulators and virtual reality can guide workers through simulated repair scenarios, so you can see how well they handle problems in a safe, contained setting.
• Training Manuals and Documentation
It’s a good idea to develop comprehensive guides and reference materials outlining maintenance practices, security precautions, and troubleshooting advice.
• Safety Training
In order to lessen the likelihood of accidents and injuries, it’s crucial to provide workers with safety training.
• Regular Assessments
It’s wise to maintain a steady regimen of reviews and tests to measure employee learning and pinpoint problem areas.
• Continuing Education
Motivate your employees to keep up with the newest repair methods and technology by sending them to workshops, seminars, and industry conferences.
Employers can ensure their workers have the expertise to repair hydraulic lifts in an efficient and safe manner by combining all of the above methods of instruction.
Regularly Needed Maintenance for Your Hydraulic Lift (Monthly vs Annually)
Hydraulic lifts need to be serviced regularly to guarantee safe and reliable functioning. Here are monthly versus yearly maintenance requirements for hydraulic lifts:
• Monthly inspections should include checking hydraulic fluid levels, checking seals and hoses for leaks, and making sure everything is aligned correctly.
• Bearings, pivot points, and cylinders can all benefit from being lubricated on a regular basis to cut down on friction and wear.
Monthly Maintenance Cont.
- Limit switches and emergency stop buttons, among other safety features, should be tested monthly to ensure they’re working properly.
- Getting rid of dust and filth from a lift’s surface and parts can help extend its life and keep it running smoothly.
- All lift parts, the hydraulic system, and your building’s structural integrity should be checked out thoroughly as part of an annual comprehensive inspection.
- To avoid leaks and other problems, you should replace your seals and hoses on a yearly basis. To keep everything running well, you should change your lifts’ hydraulic fluid once a year.
- In order to guarantee a lift’s capacity is up to code and to identify any performance concerns, load testing needs to be performed.
- Hydraulic lifts can be kept in ideal shape, with little downtime and maximum user safety, by undertaking a combination of monthly and yearly maintenance.
Hazards of Hydraulic Lifts Parts
Hydraulic lifts include a number of moving elements that can cause injury if they’re not handled with care. Potential dangers of hydraulic lift components include:
• Hydraulic Fluid Leaks
Accidental spills of hydraulic fluid can lead to injuries from slips and falls for both workers and customers.
• Faulty Seals
Bad seals can lead to fluid leakage, decreased lifting capability, and even system failure.
• Malfunctioning Valves
Injuries can occur as a consequence of sudden, unanticipated movements caused by faulty valves, such as jolts or falls.
• Hydraulic Cylinder Issues
Problems with hydraulic cylinders can result in unexpected collapses, inappropriate lifting, or instability.
• Electrical Hazards
Inadequately maintained lifts with electrical components create risks of electrical shocks, short circuits, and fires.
• Pinch Points and Entrapment
Crush injuries can occur at pinch points caused by moving elements such as hinges and scissor mechanisms.
Both the cargo and the operator are at risk if a lift is overloaded and collapses or tips over.
To reduce these risks and guarantee the safe operation of hydraulic lifts, routine inspection, maintenance, and operator education are essential.
One company that can help with hydraulic lift maintenance is SVI Parts. SVI is the largest provider of repair parts and equipment for automotive, car, truck, and bus service lifts found in vehicle maintenance facilities throughout North America. SVI Parts can supply more than 40,000 lift-related parts for hydraulic lift repair. SVI Parts has 46 years of experience as well as professional expertise in handling hydraulic lift problems. To get the help you need for your hydraulic lifts, email or call SVI Parts today.