Power At Work

Treat your hydraulic hoses with the respect they deserve

Hoses are integral parts of a hydraulic system, but correct routing, physical protection and proper installation are essential if they are to have a long service life


Just recently, I wrote about keeping newer hydraulic systems clean. But it’s just as important to protect the hydraulic hoses that are integral parts of working machines like combines or send hydraulic fluid to remote pieces of equipment for a variety of functions.

A slow uptake for pure plant oil on the farm

Diesel oil substitute straight from the field seems a logical solution for on-farm energy independence. But in Europe the 100-year argument for PPO in the tank still founders on the rocks of cheap fossil fuel and illogical taxation


Rudolf Diesel registered his newly patented engine in 1893 as capable of running on pure plant oil. Was this too straightforward, even then? The conception of home-produced plant oil was largely ignored. Kerosene, and then the oil that took over the name diesel, were soon accepted as more convenient.

Newer hydraulic systems must be kept clean

Today’s hydraulic systems are much less tolerant of contaminated hydraulic fluids than their predecessors. Fluid contaminate that cannot be seen with the naked eye can indeed jam and/or score the hydraulic pump cylinders or pistons


In the early days, starting in the late 1930s, tractor and machinery hydraulic systems were relatively crude. However, they sure did provide a very useful service by eliminating mechanical lift systems.

It pays to pay attention to proper bolt torquing

Understanding the logic of bolt strain will help you realize the importance of double-checking the torque values, especially on those short bolts that are often used on many vehicle and farm equipment wheels


When I started working in the local repair garage in the 1950s, torquing wheel studs and head bolts was something you did by a guesstimated equal pull on a breaker bar. Breaker bar was (is) still a common term for a half-inch drive-socket holding bar with a swivel head, an integral part of every toolbox contents.

New ideas for more accurate and efficient tillage

A major European implement maker, who puts the emphasis on cost control without quality penalties, is targeting North American markets


Anyone who has followed the world plowing championships over the years won’t need to be told about Lemken, the European master plow-maker producing the light blue implements that have won this award many times. Based in north Germany, the family firm has been making plows for over 230 years now – ever since Wilhelmus Lemken first fired up his blacksmith’s forge there in 1780.


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