How Do I Choose the Best Hydraulic Fluid?

Malcolm Tatum

In order to obtain the highest level of function from machinery, choosing the best hydraulic fluid for that equipment is essential. The process of identifying and selecting the right fluid focuses on understanding the needs of the machinery, the properties of the fluid options available, and considering the cost of the product. Doing so will help to extend the life of the machinery and reduce the possibility of costly repairs that can result from using fluids and oils that do not offer the necessary protection.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

One of the first steps in choosing the right type of hydraulic fluid is to consult any information available from the manufacturer of the machinery. That data will include specifics about the type of fluid that must be used, including the grade of the fluid, the rating for the viscosity of the product, and any other specific qualities that is necessary to ensure optimum productivity. The goal is to match the properties of the hydraulic fluid products with the need to protect machinery from damage due to friction and other problems over an extended period of time. Using those recommendations as a basis for considering different fluid products will make it easier to quickly eliminate any products that do not comply with those basic provisions.

With a clear understanding of the basic features that the hydraulic fluid must provide, consideration can be given to other factors that might further enhance the performance of the machinery. Here, the goal is to consider synthetic and reconstituted fluid products along with other options, seeking to find products that offer additional protection for the machinery. For example, some synthetic blends of hydraulic oil may be formulated for use with older machinery, making those blends worth considering if the business does make use of production equipment that is several years old. At other times, going with a newly manufactured fluid will be the best approach to protecting the integrity of the machinery.

As with many purchases, price is also a factor when attempting to identify viable hydraulic oil products. While the desire to keep the price as low as possible is important in managing operational expenses, taking shortcuts on quality can result in significant expense later on. By taking the time to identify several different hydraulic fluid options that offer all the necessary qualities, verifying the claims of the product manufacturers, and then considering the pricing of each, the chances of selecting a fluid with the right combination of features as well as an equitable price are greatly enhanced.

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