Page 15 - Fluid Magazine Summer 2017
P. 15

Meet The Franchisee:  Mining is Tough on Hydraulic Hoses:


 Tom Fechter, PIRTEK Menomonee Falls, Milwaukee WI, USA.  Guard Against Future Trouble

 Years in PIRTEK: 2.5










         The use of hydraulics in mining     The length of hose isn’t the only item   fittings and hoses are of a different
         goes back a long way. The Romans    to inspect here: Check the fittings   make, check with the manufacturers
         employed an early form of hydraulics   for any oxidation or rust. The joints   to determine whether the components
         during the days of the Empire. Much   should be free of moisture. Also, verify  have been tested to work together.
         later, hoses moving high-pressured   that the clamps haven’t caused any   Manufacturers should have that
         water were an important technology   damage to the hose.                 information available for you.
         of the 1800s Gold Rush.             Replace worn hoses
                                                                                  Keep the oil clean
         Today, jets drawn from underground   If you find any of these wear issues
         water sources help coal miners with   with your hoses, you have two      Dirty oil and filters can ruin your hoses
         excavation. Hydraulics are involved in   options. You can either wait until   from the inside out. Pumps and valves
         lifting and transporting the product,   a hose fails during the rigors of   undergo colossal forces of erosion
         providing the force behind mechanical   production – idling the crew and   while operating in the mining industry,
         shovels, front-end loaders, crushers   costing the company money – or you   leaving a “sandstorm” of microscopic
         and other mining machines.          can replace it during downtime and   particles coursing through the
                                             save. The choice is yours.           fluid. These tiny flakes abrade and
         That being the case, a ruptured     Incidentally, it pays to give your hoses   compromise a hose, even if it looks
         hydraulic hose can bring operations   some extra protection by covering   fine on the outside. It’s imperative,
         to a standstill in minutes.         them with the textile, metal or plastic   therefore, that you change the oil
                                             sleeves designed to extend their lives.  regularly, along with the filters. This
         Thankfully, mining companies are    Hydraulic equipment is hard-working   saves you time, money and many
         not necessarily at the mercy of time   machinery. Try to give it an edge any   headaches in the long run.
         and chance here. A little preventative   way you can.
         maintenance can pay dividends in                                         Don’t neglect preventative maintenance!
         many cases. A modest investment of   MSHA Certification/ Approval
         time beforehand can stave off a costly                                   You may be tempted to put this off,
         interruption of work later.         In certain applications, equipment   but resist the temptation. Preventative
                                             working in and around mining         maintenance may not seem like
         Inspections are critical            environments may require hydraulic   an urgent activity. But it can lead
                                             hoses with MSHA certification and    to smoother operations and less
         The starting point of preventative   approval. Check with your vendor if   downtime.
         maintenance is a thorough inspection.   the hydraulic hose you receive does
         Create a checklist and schedule     have the required certifications and   So, inspect your hoses and fittings,
         the inspection as a periodic activity.   approvals. In addition, if the hydraulic   replace worn hoses, check for
         Remember, it helps to use hose      hose itself is approved, then the    incompatibility issues, and keep
         vendors who leave tags on the hose   MSHA acceptance number is usually   both the oil and filters clean. This is
         assemblies identifying the vendor,   clearly marked on the lay line of the   sound advice that can make a major
         the components used and the         hose.                                difference in your operations.
         date of assembly.
                                             Compatibility                        Jamie Vokes has been the franchise
         When performing your inspection,                                         training and support manager for PIRTEK
                                                                                  USA since January 2003. Before joining
         look carefully for any small cuts to   While you’re doing an inspection, you   PIRTEK USA, Vokes acquired more
         the hoses’ outside covers. Telltale   should also check to ensure that the   than 22 years’ experience in the PIRTEK
         signs of wear also include any      fittings are perfectly compatible with   system through his position as European
         reinforcement wire that shows       the hoses. That doesn’t necessarily   sales manager for PIRTEK Europe. Vokes
         through. Look for kinks in the      mean the fittings and hoses must     also holds and maintains his Connector
         hoses that could spell trouble down   all be from the same manufacturer,   and Conductor Certification with the
         the road.                           although this is a best practice. When   International Fluid Power Society.


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