NEWS | Feb. 4, 2021

CCE: Keep Rust Off Hydraulic Cylinders!

D6 Dozer
Photo by Gertrud Zach

This article initially appeared in PS 782 (Jan 18), p. 20.

Dear Half-Mast,
 
The hydraulic cylinder rods on construction equipment used near salt water environments suffer from constant corrosion problems. Many of the TMs don’t address this issue. What’s the best way to protect a vehicle’s cylinder rods?
 
CW3 C.L.L. 

You’re right, Sir! Salt water can play havoc with the hydraulic cylinder rods on construction equipment.
 
Here are a few things your operators will want to keep in mind before and after the day’s run…
 
  • Eyeball exposed rods for corrosion and pitting that will scrape or damage the rod’s seal. A damaged seal causes fluid leaks which lead to NMC equipment. If you find a rod or seal in bad shape, notify field maintenance.
     
  • Exercise the cylinders weekly no matter what the environment. Moving the cylinder back-and-forth a few times spreads a thin coat of protective oil on the rod.
     
  • Coat the cylinder rod with a light coat of GAA if the equipment will sit for longer than a month.
 
Corrosion or a pitted cylinder will damage the rod's seal
Corrosion or a pitted cylinder will damage the rod's seal