How well do you really know your hydraulic machine? Do you know what its operating pressure is when it’s running normally? How about its typical temperature? If you don’t know the answer of these two questions, then you don’t know your machine very well and you could be putting yourself into a vulnerable position. Recently, one of our clients discussed an issue they had with their machine. Although it’s the mobile hydraulic systems that we supply, our clients are involved in all manner of hydraulic machine operations and will often request our input into how to handle certain scenario s. Our client told us that he had been having a lot of bother with pump failures. His pumps weren’t even lasting long enough to complete half of the service life that they were expected to fulfill. Of course, our client wanted to know what was going on. He gave us some information about the machine and we looked over his log books for clues as to what could be causing this. We started at the beginning. We asked him what the normal operating temperature of his machine was. Our client said that he had no idea. So we asked about the usual operating pressure range. Again – he wasn’t sure. Although the type of machine that our client had displayed this information permanently in the control room, nobody was paying any attention to it. They weren’t reading it or documenting it. Do you monitor the health of your hydraulic machine by this method? If not, then you should be. It’s important to have a good understanding of your hydraulic machinery. It’s not difficult information to collect and it’s what will help with analysing any issues with your machine and even giving it some preventative cure options. How to measure the temperature If you don’t have an inbuilt thermometer then you might want to use an infrared heat thermometer gun to measure the temperature. Be sure that you use it on the same spot every time. For example, you could put an X on the hydraulic tank, just below the minimum oil level and label it. This will be the position of where your tank oil temperature readings are taken. Also mark labels for the heat exchanger ins and outs and in two other places that are part of the circuit. If your system is getting too hot, you’ll have some idea of where this is occurring by being able to measure the temperature on your narked locations. It really is worth ensuring that you know your hydraulic system well. It will save you time, energy and expense as you are more likely to be able to recognise when an issue is arising and take preventative action.