It may surprise many heavy equipment operators that if a tractor hydraulic system were to leak out one drop of hydraulic fluid per second, that would amount to approximately 420 gallons of hydraulic fluid being wasted during a twelve month period. Factor that over multiple pieces of equipment and the resulting oil consumption leads to profits bring wasted.
Whether you’re running John Deere, Case New Holland, Caterpillar, Deutz-Fahr, Ford, JCB, Komatsu, Kubota, or Massey Ferguson tractors, you might be dealing with or have dealt with a hydraulic fluid oil leak problem. A hydraulic fluid leak is not only wasteful and potentially catastrophic, but over time is a profit waster. The effect of leaks can amount to unnecessary high oil consumption, inefficient machinery operation, potential environmental damage, the possibility of safety and accident liability, premature hydraulic component failure, and loss of profits. By minimizing hydraulic oil leaks a multitude of negative issues can be addressed.
The first thing to determine is where the potential leak is coming from. Is it a loose hydraulic fitting, a defective or damaged hydraulic hose, or a leaking hydraulic cylinder? There could be a myriad of possibilities. For this article, lets assume the hydraulic oil is leaking due to damaged seals or gaskets. Seals and gaskets tend to leak because their material starts to dry out and become brittle and damaged. They lose their pliable characteristics. If a conventional or lower quality hydraulic oil has been utilized and the hydraulic system has been worked hard over a long period of time, it is very possible that the hydraulic oil was not strong enough to protect seal and gasket materials. Your basic or traditional hydraulic fluid may not have enough of a robust additive chemistry that can withstand extreme operating conditions. One of the culprits that leads to the degradation of seals and gaskets would be foaming. Foaming within a hydraulic fluid will raise temperatures. Simultaneously, this foam acts as an insulator keeping temperatures high. As temperatures rise, seal and gasket materials start to dry out and lose their pliability. Insidiously, this constant negative cycle ultimately leads to seals and gaskets not maintaining their original material consistency and the little drops of hydraulic fluid start to appear as leaks.
The question is, how much of a hydraulic oil leak is an acceptable situation when downtime is not an option. If it is possible that the hydraulic fluid leak can be dealt with without having to take the tractor into the shop to do a permanent hydraulic leak repair, then there can be an easier and less costly solution. Utilizing a premium tractor hydraulic oil stop leak product can be an effective and useful strategy.
There are some interesting products available in the industrial lubricants market that can be a life saver for the heavy equipment operator. One such specialized lubricant product would be a tractor hydraulic fluid stop leak. This hydraulic stop leak contains a unique chemistry that rejuvenates brittle and less pliable seal and gasket material. The additive chemistry contains what is called a swelling agent that is cleverly engineered to rejuvenate, preserve, and further the life of seals and gasket materials. When the tractor hydraulic fluid stop leak is added to your tractor hydraulic fluid, it should go to work in helping to bring back the life of damaged seals and gaskets. This hydraulic leak sealer should allow the tractor to stay in service throughout the operating season until such a time that a more permanent fix can be done.
Another potential benefit in rejuvenating and keeping seals and gaskets in good operating condition is to maintain their ability to keep dirt, contaminants, or moisture from entering the hydraulic system. In addition, a good quality tractor fluid stop leak should be able to help reduce friction and wear, thus lowering temperatures within the hydraulic fluid.
When deciding which of the many hydraulic oil stop leak products to use, one must first investigate the quality of the ingredients utilized in the chemistry. The point for using a hydraulic oil additive, in theory, is to try and improve the quality of the conventional hydraulic fluid being used in the tractor. Typically, most tractor hydraulic fluids barely meet OEM specs. So if your goal is to improve the shortcomings of a conventional hydraulic fluid, then it is imperative that a superior hydraulic oil booster be chosen. A tractor fluid stop leak should be formulated utilizing high viscosity index, thermally stable base oils. It should contain a heavy duty chemistry containing the following ingredients: a seal and gasket rejuvenation agent, a rust and oxidation additive, an anti-foam additive, and an anti-wear additive package.
If it’s imperative that your tractor stay out of the shop so that it can keep working and earning profits, then it is worth considering adding a quality tractor fluid stop leak to your tool box.