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Troubleshooting Snow Plow Hydraulics

by Alan Temple

The hydraulic system is at the heart of most vehicles, and even the hulking figure of a snow plow can be felled by problems in that department. Hydraulic fluid is prone to leakages if important seals are broken; likewise if the vital o-ring is damaged. You also have to take into account the basic housekeeping of ensuring there is enough hydraulic fluid in your snow plow for it to operate. The job a snow plow does is vital, and it can power through the snow --- but it will come to a grinding halt if you are not vigilant regarding some of the issues which can occur with the hydraulic system.

Check the level of the hydraulic fluid if you find that the motor is running, but the blades are not working correctly. This can be indicative of incorrect hydraulic fluid being used, or that the fluid level is too low. Replace the hydraulic fluid completely or top up the existing hydraulic fluid, depending on which of these scenarios fit.

Check to eliminate the possibility that a faulty motor, low battery or too much weight resting on the blade could be the cause of blade issues. If none of these are an issue, contact an expert regarding the hydraulic pump if you have problems with the blades because they may be caused by a clogged pump.

Check for damage to the exterior of the pump unit, which could eventually lead to serious leakages, which could be catastrophic for the snow plow and environmentally damaging. You will have to replace the reservoir if the repairs cannot be completed.

Inspect the undercarriage of your snow plow for any evidence of leaking fluids. This would indicate loose or damaged o-ring plug, pump unit or a pump shaft seal. A problem o-ring -- if it is visibly cracked, for example ---- can be easily replaced. Hydraulic leaks should be repaired by an expert.

About the Author

Alan Temple has been writing since 2007 and has published articles for "The Scotsman" and "The List." He now works in the media department of Motherwell Football Club. Temple graduated with honors with a journalism degree at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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