Darren Stanley, Geoprobe® Service Resource Center Technician offers a few suggestions for all machine owners to keep the hydraulic system in top shape.
- Check the hydraulic fluid level at the beginning of each work day while the machine is completely folded and the fluid is cool. The fluid level fluctuates when the unit is folded versus unfolded as the fluid moves from the hydraulic tank to the individual cylinders. Hydraulic fluid also expands as it heats, so it’s important to allow for fluid expansion in the tank without overflowing.The proper hydraulic fluid level is important to the hydraulics system in your Geoprobe® machine. Check the hydraulic fluid level by looking at the sight glass on the side of the hydraulic tank (a Geoprobe® Model 54LT is shown), or on some units, by checking the dipstick on the hydraulic cap. Check your Owner’s Manual for the correct fluid levels.
- Check the hydraulic fluid cooler daily to keep it free of dirt and debris that may prevent it from getting clean air. Darren suggests rinsing the hydraulic cooler frequently to prevent hidden dirt from building up between the fins on the cooler (do not use power washers). Each machine has a different cooler location. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for specific hydraulic cooler locations.
- Change the hydraulic fluid and filter ... before it’s too late! As your machine runs, the hydraulic fluid breaks down and looses its ability to lubricate the hydraulics system properly. It can also become contaminated with dirt and debris causing the hydraulic filter to plug and restrict flow. Result: your unit overheats. Broken down fluid, dirt and debris, as well as running your machine at high temperatures, prematurely wears the unit’s pump, manifold, valve body, as well as seals and O-rings. Follow the service schedule in your Owner’s Manual, and when in doubt, service your unit before you get too busy to take care of it at the scheduled time!
Geoprobe® brand probing machines now use Mobilfluid 424 (P/N RP53131) for the hydraulic systems which should be easier for probe owners to buy locally. Mobil motor oil, 15W-40 (P/N 5976), is now used in Kubota engines in track-mounted units and for the power packs in stand-alone machines.