Cat, Caterpillar, Hydraulics, Machinery Maintenance

Why hydraulic system warning signs can’t be ignored

Protecting your Cat® hydraulic system can help avoid costly downtime.

When it comes to your Cat® machine, it’s fair to say the hydraulic system does a lot of the heavy lifting.

You rely on it every day, on every job, to perform at its best, and that’s why it simply can’t be ignored or left to chance. Preventative maintenance and regular visual inspections are important across every aspect of your equipment. And they are absolutely crucial when it comes to hydraulic components.

What are hydraulic component failure warning signs and how do you spot them?

The more general and obvious ones are overheating, excessive noise and vibration. If you notice any of these indications, do not wait for them to get worse. A little downtime now could save a lot more of it later.

Hoses are always a good place to find any tell-tale signs. They do a lot of work, so you have to expect them to take a bit of punishment. Look out for wear, cracks and kinks in the hoses and, if visible, get them replaced. There is no piece of valuable equipment in the world that’s worth risking over a failed hose.

And then, of course, there are the hydraulic cylinders themselves.

Look out for any fluid leaks or rod damage, and, once again, take notice and act if you see any.

There are few common indicators which need vigilance, but there are things you can do to help prevent them from happening. According to Daniel Moxon, Business Development Manager – Hydraulics, at WesTrac Cat, the best way to stay ahead of the game is with preventative maintenance and regular inspections.

“Your first and best port of call when it comes to keeping problems at bay is your Cat dealer,” explained Daniel. “It’s what we do. We will plan out a service schedule based on what sort of equipment you have and what sort of work it will be doing.”

You can get a Customer Value Agreement (CVA) in place so everything from total equipment maintenance, parts and services, repair and replacement solutions for cylinders, valves, pumps and motors, and regular inspections can be taken care of. Your Cat dealer can tailor it to your needs so you can focus on running your business.

S•O•SSM Services are another way you can get ahead of a hydraulics issue before it occurs,” said Daniel. S•O•SSM is a routine check-up for oil, coolant and fuel that delivers valuable insights which can be used to prevent unexpected failures and unplanned downtime. One sample can reveal excessive wear, contaminated fluids, and other hidden issues.

Using genuine parts and products is also important. Cat hydraulic components are precisely designed and manufactured to meet the requirements of your equipment, making them the ideal choice. Cat fluids and filters are designed as part of a complete system to help reduce wear and ensure maximum component life.

If any damage is identified, selecting the right repair or replacement option can save time and money. Cat dealers offer a wide selection of cost-effective repair and replacement solutions* that range from basic and economical services to full-component replacement using remanufactured (Cat Reman) or brand-new genuine Cat parts.

“All in all,” said Daniel, “the best way to stay on top of your machine’s hydraulic system is to stay in touch with your dealer and don’t ignore the warning signs.

Your Cat dealer has a range of hydraulic repair and replacement solutions available to protect your machine’s hydraulic system*. Speak to your dealer or visit to find out more.

*Not all dealers provide all repair levels. Consult your local Cat dealer for more information. 1 Warranty can vary by model and application; limitations may apply. For complete details about the applicable Caterpillar Limited Warranty, contact your Cat dealer. 2 Cost savings based on return of core; core conditions apply. 3 Represents US environmental impacts comparing ‘gate-to-gate’ remanufacturing and manufacturing processes for engines and components. Based on 2018 external study of Cat engines, alternators, and turbochargers. Does not include impacts elsewhere in the Cat value chain.


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