Hiring a local maintenance provider for the hydraulic equipment you are responsible for is a major decision not to be taken lightly. There are several important reasons why you should entrust your equipment to a maintenance provider and some key considerations when it comes to selecting which one you should hire.
What if your hydraulic equipment breaks and you’re unable to fix it?
Sometimes there are things that go wrong with hydraulic equipment that your in-house maintenance and repair crew simply cannot fix. It could be a situation where they do not have the skill and experience to address the problem, or perhaps they just do not have access to the right equipment to get the repair done correctly. If they cannot do it, then you have no choice but to find a local maintenance and repair provider — and if you already have a relationship with one, your repair will be completed more quickly.
If your equipment fails right before the weekend, you may have some serious trouble trying to get an expert on-site to fix it before Monday — unless, of course, your hydraulics service provider offers 24/7 emergency service. In that case, you will likely be up and running before the next week starts.
What if you’re behind on preventive maintenance?
Preventative maintenance is critical to keeping your equipment running. When you fall behind on preventative maintenance, your hydraulic equipment will begin to suffer more breakdowns, you will have expensive downtime to deal with, and one problem simply leads to another until you eventually have a catastrophic failure that brings production to a halt. You cannot afford to fall behind on maintenance with machines and components as sensitive and complex as hydraulics.
One forgotten hydraulic filter that has filled up to the point that the hydraulic fluid is forced to bypass it will allow contamination to flow downstream unhindered. That contamination can significantly reduce the life expectancy and performance of expensive parts like hydraulic pumps and motors. Often the first major sign of a problem resulting from contamination is a loss of power, which will greatly reduce your system’s efficiency.
As another example, consider a hydraulic motor with a planetary gearbox whose gear oil has not been changed as it should. By this time, the gear oil has lost its ability to lubricate and conduct heat away from critical parts. The gearbox on the motor starts running at a high temperature, develops a strange rattle, and then locks up so completely that it will not turn. When you open up the planetary hub, the gear oil is nothing but a nasty smelling sludge, and the gears and bearings are worn to the point that they are useless. That means downtime and expensive repairs and replacements.
Part of a good preventative maintenance plan involves inspecting hydraulic hoses, keeping an eye out for potential issues such as abrasive wear that could lead to a major leak. It is much better to find and address potential issues of wear on a hose than to shut down the system because a tiny hole that developed slowly as the hose rubbed against a sharp part grew quickly and started spewing hydraulic fluid.
Preventative maintenance addresses these issues before they ever happen, giving you control over downtime, reducing your maintenance and repair budget, and providing you with machines operating at peak efficiency and performance.
What if you need a hydraulic component immediately?
Hydraulic parts seem to choose the most inconvenient time to fail, whether you have a leaking hydraulic line or a critical valve that is stuck. Sometimes all that is needed is a replacement part — and a local maintenance provider would not only have access to those replacement parts but be able to arrive on-site to install the replacement. This includes more common parts like hoses, valves, and fittings as well as larger and more complex hydraulic system components like gear pumps and motors.
What if your hydraulic system requires custom equipment?
Not all hydraulic solutions use standard parts and configurations when it comes to maintenance and repairs, and that can create some interesting challenges. You need a local hydraulic maintenance provider that understands those challenges and has access to not only the parts you may need but has the equipment available to perform any necessary customization. This is where a maintenance shop with a full suite of manufacturing equipment, from welding equipment to CNC machining systems, is vital to keeping your operation on track.
Research the company you want to hire
Before you hire a company to perform maintenance on your hydraulic equipment, contact them with some basic questions, and go online to do some research. Websites like Glassdoor and the Better Business Bureau can help you get a solid feel for the way a company conducts itself. Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn also give some insight into how they interact with their customers. Online reviews will help you find out how they treat their customers (and the hydraulic equipment they work on).
Here are some questions to keep in mind while doing your research:
- What kind of services do they offer? (does it cover the type of equipment you use?)
- Do they offer onsite repairs and maintenance when possible? (onsite is your best option)
- Do they do their work in-house or send it out? (a one-stop-shop is your best option, not only in terms of time and quality but the costs that get passed on to you, as well)
- Do they offer any kind of warranty on their work? (beware if they do not offer a warranty – if they are not confident of the quality of their work, why should you be?)
- Do they have experience with the hydraulic equipment brands you use? (most hydraulic maintenance companies are fairly open about this, so check on their website first)
- Do they have emergency services? (this is a must!)
- How long have they been in business? (the general rule of thumb is that the longer they have been in business, the better — unless they have refused to update their equipment and methods with the times)
- Will they work with you to develop a preventative maintenance plan? (a solid maintenance plan should be customized to your equipment and your goals for maintenance)
This is key information that you need before making a decision about who you want working on your hydraulic equipment. Do not select a maintenance provider without knowing the answers to these questions.
MAC Hydraulics Maintenance Services
MAC Hydraulics is your one-stop for all of your hydraulic needs. We perform a wide number of on-site services, including maintenance, troubleshooting, repairs, and installation. And our technicians work on everything related to hydraulics, including the repair of cylinders, pumps, motors, valves, and hoses – we even work with pneumatic cylinders and systems, too. MAC Hydraulics also carries replacement parts, oils, fluids, and lubrication equipment. In addition, we can design and build hydraulic power units (HPUs) to fit your needs.
Our on-site maintenance includes system and component inspections, fluid sampling and analysis, hose replacement, lubrication, fluid and filter replacement, cleaning, pressure testing and setting, and performance testing. Our technicians clean up after themselves, so you do not have to worry about issues like fluid disposal.
In addition, MAC Hydraulics manufactures customized parts and handles major repairs at our facility. This includes welding performed by certified welders (including MIG, TIG, friction welding, and stick welding) and skilled machinists (working with metal cutting saws, lapping tables, drills, CNC lathes and milling machines, and CAD/CAM capabilities).
MAC Hydraulics provides these services to industries such as manufacturing, transportation, aviation, marine, landscaping, railroad, and municipal government. We also service equipment for food processing and pulp & paper processing. And the equipment we work on includes mobile hydraulic equipment such as garbage trucks, railroad maintenance vehicles, car carriers, material handling equipment, forklifts, and excavation equipment, just to name a few.
Why You Should Choose MAC Hydraulics as Your Local Maintenance Provider
The longevity of your hydraulic equipment is directly related to the quality of maintenance that is performed upon it. If the maintenance is inconsistent and poorly performed, your equipment will suffer and you will eventually begin to experience excessive downtime, unacceptably short mean times between failures, and over budget repairs and replacements. The best way to protect your equipment and your business is to hire a local maintenance provider — one like MAC Hydraulics.
We know that hydraulic system reliability is important to you. MAC Hydraulics will work with your team to prepare a customized preventative maintenance plan that supports the maintenance needs of your equipment and systems. Our technicians are experienced and highly trained, resulting in quality maintenance that you can count on. We perform maintenance and most repairs on-site and are available 24/7 for emergencies. We will do what it takes to keep your hydraulic equipment running at maximum efficiency with minimum downtime.