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What to Consider When Building a Mobile Hydraulic Machine

Construction worksites utilize a wide range of mobile hydraulic machines and equipment for a variety of functions and tasks. The use of hydraulics greatly assists with moving heavy items and objects from one location to another, removing obstructions, and clearing out the jobsite to make it ready for construction.

Some of the more common hydraulic machines used to perform these tasks could include:

  • Cranes
  • Excavators
  • Bulldozers
  • Forklifts
  • Tractors
  • Conveyors
  • Loaders

It is not uncommon to find jobsites using multiple hydraulic equipment and machines, depending on the type of project.

For construction site managers and other worksite projects, it is essential to know how to properly manage your hydraulic machines and equipment correctly. The process of machine and equipment management begins with determining what types of machines and equipment would be most appropriate to get the job completed on time and on schedule for the project stakeholders.

In certain situations, you may need to create your own customised mobile hydraulic equipment and machines using various hydraulic parts. Designing a customised piece of equipment or machine could potentially save you money when the end product is able to meet your needs and complete the desired tasks while, at the same time, it costs less than investing in pre-built manufactured machines and equipment.

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Another aspect to machine and equipment management is knowing how to ensure your hydraulic systems are properly maintained. Regular maintenance is necessary to avoid unexpected hydraulic system failures, pump failures, and other issues that could cause serious delays in meeting project deadlines.

Whether you opt for manufactured machines and equipment or want to create your own customised ones, it is important to carefully consider and weigh the steps that go into building your own mobile hydraulic machines and equipment. Let’s take a look at the generalized, overall steps needed that can help you get started and avoid certain mistakes and problems.

Step 1: Think about what tasks you need to complete.

The first thing you need to do is decide what tasks you want to complete using hydraulic systems, equipment, and machines. When thinking about these tasks, take note of what types of equipment and machines are needed to do each one. Ask yourself if a customised solution could be developed for where a single piece of equipment or machine could perform multiple tasks.

Step 2: Think about the work environment where the machines and equipment will be used.

Each work environment can mean choosing different types of hydraulic equipment and machines. For example, at an existing site, where you are tearing down an existing structure and building a new one, there are probably already roads with easy access. On the other hand, if you are developing a new location, access might require heavy-duty equipment to clear out the location first before you can put in roads to get to the physical jobsite.

Step 3: Think about the types of weather conditions you anticipate during the project.

Depending on the time of the year, you could experience hot summer days or winter snowstorms. You also need to account for rainy and windy conditions that can affect the performance of hydraulic parts and components used in your machines and equipment.

In addition, hydraulic fluids will perform differently when exposed to different temperatures. In colder temperatures, while fluids will not freeze, they can become thicker and require a little time to warm up before using the machine or equipment. In warmer temperatures, fluids can heat up much faster, so you may need to change to high-viscosity fluids designed to operate in warmer temperatures.

Step 4: Consider any exposure to submerged water environments.

At some jobsites, especially near the coast, water can be an issue when digging out a site. Some of your hydraulic equipment may still have to be able to function while under water. Hydraulic systems are designed to work underwater, so long as they are properly sealed and well maintained.

Just keep in mind, when working underwater, your hydraulic parts and components will require more frequent maintenance to verify the seals are holding and do not need to be replaced. Additionally, if the jobsite requires excavating at deeper depths, you will need to account for added underwater pressure on the system and make any necessary adjustments to compensate for this change in pressure.

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Step 5: What type of corrosion resistance is required for the equipment and machines?

Corrosion can shorten the lifespan of hydraulic parts and components, as well as your equipment and machines. You will want to evaluate various types of corrosive causing agents that will be present at the worksite. For instance, some jobsites use saltwater pressurized sprays for certain processes that can corrode hydraulics.

Other types of corrosive-causing agents you may have at your jobsite could include certain chemicals. In addition, you need to be aware of how snow, rain, and fog all can contribute to corrosion.

In order to reduce the effects of corrosion, you will want to make sure you choose hydraulic machines and equipment that have corrosion-resistant plated metals or have been treated with corrosion-resistant agents. With the latter, you may need to reapply the corrosion-resistant agents at set maintenance intervals to maintain proper protection.

Step 6: Select the right hydraulic parts and components.

The mobile hydraulic machine or equipment you are customising needs to be built using the highest quality hydraulic parts and components. Using good-quality parts will mean your new creation will be easier to maintain. Just keep in mind, with any hydraulic system, eventually parts, components, and seals do wear out and need to be replaced. Replacing them before the system fails also means less expensive maintenance and repair costs and less downtime.

Step 7: How will you get your hydraulic machines and equipment to and from the worksite?

Certain types of machines and equipment are drivable. However, there may be load restrictions on local roads you need to consider to determine if the weight of the machines or equipment will exceed this.

Another option for non-drivable machines and equipment is to tow them to and from the jobsite. When towing hydraulic equipment and machines, you need to be careful that you do not damage them. Prior to towing, you may need to verify certain processes are completed, like locking the motor, securing the equipment or machine to a trailer, and so on.

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Step 8: What type of documentation will be needed to ensure accuracy?

Even after designing and customising your hydraulic machines and equipment, you need to remember you and your employees may not always be the ones using them. In some cases, you may have to hire new employees or contractors to meet project deadlines. These new workers might be tasked with operating one of your customised machines or equipment.

As such, you will want to make sure they are provided with detailed and accurate documentation highlighting how the machine or equipment is to be used and for what tasks. Furthermore, anytime you bring on new workers, it is highly recommended that you make sure they are properly trained on any hydraulic machines and equipment, whether they are operating factory pre-built machines or equipment or something you had customised.

Step 9: Always test machines and equipment at various stages of development.

It is important to conduct tests of any customised hydraulic machines during their development stages. Catching mistakes and problems early on will be far less expensive to correct and fix, rather than waiting until you have a fully finished piece of equipment or machine.

Part of the testing process should involve using it in the manner for which you created it, by running various test simulations of the work environment and conditions where it will be used. You will want to complete all testing and verify the machine is performing as anticipated before deploying it for use at a worksite.

As you can see, there are several steps to customising your own hydraulic machines and equipment. As mentioned earlier, this is just a generalized overview of the necessary steps, and you may have other specific requirements or needs.

For assistance with obtaining high-quality hydraulic parts and components, designing customised solutions, and all your hydraulic system needs, please feel free to contact White House Products, Ltd. at +44 (0) 1475 742500 today! We carry one of the largest inventories of hydraulic pumps, motors, and equipment, and we can ship to just about anywhere in the world!

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