The costs of Hydraulic Breakdowns

The Costs of Hydraulic Breakdowns

Hydraulic failures and breakdowns have a huge impact on a business. There are several costs and financial implications that arise from this. Breakdowns need to be addressed and resolved by applying the right corrective measures as early as possible. Prevention techniques need to be in place to curb any unforeseen hydraulic failures.

It is important to have early detection systems that can prevent any further damages by addressing a breakdown as soon as it arises. This will help you save the organization time and money as well as the lives of the individuals working in the organisation.

In the article below, we discuss the importance of hydraulics maintenance. We also look at possible implications that result from hydraulics breakdown.

Cost of Repair

Repair costs should be included in the contingency budget. In case a breakdown occurs, funds are available and can be channelled towards the costs incurred during the repair or the maintenance of the hydraulics. Why is this important?

Repairing hydraulics is costly and requires expertise from outside the organisation to provide the extra manpower. Engineers are hired for a time to restore the functions of the hydraulics and to ensure all the systems connected to it are in perfect working condition. The engineer will also ensure that the hydraulics will perform optimally after the repair and maintenance process is completed.

Hydraulic systems should not be handled by unqualified staff. It is important that the staff or machine operators are trained sufficiently on how to handle and operate the systems. Reckless handling of the machines can put everyone at risk and cause irreversible damages to the hydraulics.

Precaution should be put in place to ensure that only trained personnel can handle the hydraulics and if need be, maintenance is carried out by qualified and certified engineers.

Implications of the Delays caused by Breakdowns

In case there is a breakdown in the hydraulics or vehicles, delays in plant operations result. Delays are evident especially in large plant setups or projects. More often than not, the delays are ignored as they do not have any immediate implications for the company. Further assessment of the situations indicates otherwise. Breakdown in machines or vehicles produces a knock-effect that vibrates through the whole chain of activities in a plant. This, in turn, builds a backlog of issues not addressed in due time. Plants will struggle to achieve an objective or a goal that should have taken them a day at most.

Delays give birth to financial distress as the project strives to meet set targets that were affected by a ‘simple’ breakdown. Breakdown costs will also be felt if the repairs or maintenance procedures are not done promptly.

Projects work seamlessly when there are zero ‘delays’ in the system. Operations run smoothly and the project is deemed a success at the end. If there is a breakdown, the later stages of the operations that need the hydraulic equipment or vehicles will be stalled. Work at these sections remains dormant until the equipment is fixed or replaced.

Small-scale operations and large-scale operations are effected equally and eventually, the project as a whole. To avoid these, operators may opt for replacement vehicles and hydraulic equipment. However, purchasing new vehicles or equipment may be quite costly and not many organizations can afford it.

Risk to Life

Ignoring regular maintenance procedures and hydraulic failures have a notable effect on human life. Hydraulic breakdowns can result in serious injuries or fatality on workers. Sadly, there is no sure way of predicting when a breakdown or a failure may occur otherwise this would be evaded.

Plants need to ensure that routine maintenance procedures are carried out as often as possible. Any faults in the system will be picked up early enough and thus preventing any fatalities brought by breakdown or failure or equipment.

If a plant does not have any procedures in place, one of the initial accident prevention actions is the implementation of standard maintenance procedures. Vehicles and equipment should undergo thorough checks regularly. This is a guarantee that the latter are in perfect working conditions and will not cause any harm to operators or workers. Safety and wellbeing of plant employees should be top of the list for any plants that incorporate hydraulic systems.

Preventive Measures

Preventing costs and implications resulting from hydraulics breakdowns and failure can be achieved by applying simple and effective techniques. The techniques ensure that the life of the workers is safeguarded at all times. Machines and equipment are in optimal working conditions and therefore, the project is not affected and the company achieves its objectives satisfactorily.

Conducting maintenance checks on equipment or machines before a process begins by qualified personnel should not take long. The check confirms that the machines are safe to use and are in good working condition limiting any possible chances of a breakdown or a failure when the process begins.

Maintenance checks should be done regularly, as per the defined procedures and by the right persons. All the information deduced from the inspections should be accurately recorded by the maintenance team. The same should be communicated to machine operators on the up-to-date status of the machine.

In case a breakdown happens, the hydraulic systems safety and awareness steps should follow.

In Conclusion

The areas discussed above depict a clear picture of the issues that arise from hydraulic breakdown or systems failures and the impact they have on the company. Putting systems in place that limit the chances of occurrence of hydraulic breakdowns is the first step in lowering the implications. Staff should be trained on how to monitor and maintain equipment and machines. Eventually, awareness eliminates any chances of machine and equipment breakdown and ensures that the team is ready should a breakdown happen.


Tracey Jones

Tracey Jones is the sales & marketing director at CJ Plant Maintenance and has tonnes of experience within this sector. Tracey contributes to the blog, sharing her knowledge and passion for hydraulic repair and plant maintenance.