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Hydraulic System Safety for Farming Equipment – Prevent Hydraulic Hose

Supplier: Gates Australia

For more than 100 years, Gates products have offered trouble-free and long-lasting service in the most demanding working conditions of farming machinery.


Gates comprehensive range of agricultural replacement hose and fittings cover a multitude of applications on combine harvesters and tractors.

Operators of today's agricultural and farming equipment must deal with tougher operating conditions and hydraulic systems with increased performance requirements – higher pressures, higher temperatures and stricter regulations.

Today's advanced hydraulic systems allow machine operators to perform many functions so that farmers can produce goods at a competitive price. It is important that farmers keep up with system advancements so that they take advantage of the benefits and can safely operate them. 

Among the basic components of every hydraulic system is a series of hoses and couplings that transport fluid under pressure from a pump to an actuating mechanism that converts the fluid into motion or force. In a way, hoses and couplings are a critical sub-system of the larger hydraulic circuit that includes the fluid, reservoir, hydraulic pump, hydraulic valves and the actuator.

The Importance of matched hose and coupling systems

Suppliers offer hundreds of different types of hydraulic hoses, and thousands of different couplings and fittings. When selecting hydraulic hose and coupling systems the first step must be to match hoses and couplings from the same manufacturer.

Different manufacturers use different materials that can result in a variety of hose styles. They design their hose and coupling components to fit their own tolerances. Hoses from various manufacturers may have similar dimensions and constructions, but different rubber compounds and reinforcement materials. Couplings are individually designed and tested to handle the hose manufacturer’s unique product.

An improperly matched or coupled hose will likely fail, causing downtime and possible personal injury. It is important for farmers to insist on matched hose and couplings. Gates matched hose and couplings are not only safer but also provide leak-free assemblies and are up to 3 times longer lasting.

Hydraulic system safety

Pressure, temperature, flammability, mechanical parts and electricity are all factors to consider when working with hydraulic equipment. With hydraulic fluid under pressure, the following dangers are encountered:

  • Fluid escaping from a pinhole can be virtually invisible and yet cause serious injury. Avoid touching and even approaching any part of a pressurised hydraulic system. Serious emergencies arise and medical attention is needed when fluid punctures the skin, even if no pain is felt.
  • Leaking hydraulic fluid is hazardous and it can contaminate the environment. In fact, even a small amount of oil can pollute up to a thousand litres of water.
  • Hose bursting, whether due to improper selection or damage, can cause injury. If it bursts, you could be burned, cut or injected.
  • Coupling blow-off can occur if an assembly isn’t properly made or installed. The coupling could come off and hit or spray a person in close proximity, possibly resulting in serious injury.

To protect against the dangers of pinhole leaks and hose bursts, Gates has introduced the innovative and unique LifeGuard™ protective sleeve. 

The LifeGuard™ Sleeving System contains up to 10,000 psi bursts and up to 5,000 psi pinhole leaks at 100°C for up to five minutes. After redirecting the explosive force down the length of the hose, the LifeGuard™ sleeve disperses the energy and fluids at the hose ends via carefully designed “channel” clamps. The leaked fluid then allows for fast hose failure detection. No other flexible connection safeguards operators, equipment and the environment like LifeGuard™ sleeving.

Abrasion and contaminants can lead to hose failure

A primary cause of hose failure on fluid power equipment is cover abrasions (pictured) resulting from cuts, friction caused by other moving parts or from mechanical impacts. Exposed hose reinforcement is susceptible to rust and accelerated damage leading to failure.

Gates abrasion-resistant hose covers have been tested and found to last up to 300 times longer than standard rubber covers. This feature increases service life, lowers maintenance and eliminates the need for costly hose protectors such as guards, sleeves and bundling.

Contaminants are the natural enemy of hydraulic systems, causing more than 70 per cent of all failures. If not controlled, particles that are too small to be seen can reduce hydraulic system efficiency by as much as 20 per cent. Maintain hydraulics on farming equipment by ensuring contaminants from the environment, contaminated hydraulic fluid and system wear contamination are kept out of the hydraulic hose.

Gates Hydraulic Hose and Couplings for agricultural machinery

The M2T® MegaFlex® hose is ideal for high-pressure, oil line, hydraulic applications on mobile equipment used in agriculture especially in tight or confined areas. The M2T® wire-braid hose can handle tight bend radii which allows use of shorter hose assemblies to save money and has a long life in demanding impulse and bending applications.  The high level of flexibility is great for easier routing and plumbing in tight areas and the green and silver layline for faster, easier identification in the field. 

Gates M3K Mega3000® wire-braid, oil resistant hose offers a high level of performance. M3K has a working pressure rating of 3,250 psi, high burst pressure rating for safety – 13,000 psi, tight bend radius, and improved layline for easy hose identification in service. Tested at 133% working pressure, at 100°C, and 600,000 cycles this innovative constant pressure hose offers a range of benefits to users operating a wide range of equipment in agriculture.

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