Common Causes of Hydraulic Hose Failure

Forklift operators examine more than their fair share of hydraulic hoses over the years. While routine inspections typically go off without a hitch, it’s always possible to find signs of hydraulic hose failure, such as leaks, dents, twists, or other damage. When this happens, it’s important to report the problem to a supervisor and avoid using the forklift until the issue has been addressed. Discover the common causes of hydraulic hose failure and how to avoid them so these forklift parts remain in top condition.



Problem: When a hydraulic hose rubs against other surfaces, including other hoses and metal components, the resulting friction wears down the hose. Eventually, this exposes and damages the reinforcing steel wires beneath the outer cover. Such damage can lead to leaks and hose failure.

Solution: Properly secure the hoses so they don’t rub against abrasive surfaces. If you can’t prevent rubbing in a problem area, install a plastic guard or nylon sleeve to protect the hose.


Poor Routing

Problem: Routing hydraulic hoses incorrectly can lead to abrasion, overheating, and kinking.

Solution: Avoid routing hoses through high-temperature areas, pivot points, or places where they can be easily damaged. Then, maintain the minimum bend radius to prevent kinks and failures.


High Temperatures

Problem: When hydraulic hoses are exposed to extreme temperatures, they lose flexibility and become brittle. This happens as the plasticizers in the hose break down, leading to hardening and cracking. These cracks can worsen over time, causing leaks and hose failure.

Solution: Select hoses with appropriate temperature ratings and inspect them regularly to mitigate the risk of heat damage.


Tube Erosion

Problem: Internal tube erosion is caused by high-velocity fluid streams, sometimes containing particles, which gradually wear away the hose’s inner tube. This erosion may eventually compromise hose integrity, leading to external leaks.

Solution: Choose hoses compatible with the maximum expected fluid velocities and abrasiveness. Then, regularly inspect for signs of erosion and replace worn hoses as needed.


Fitting Failures

Problem: Hose failure often occurs at the fitting where the hose and crimp seal meet. Common causes include bending the hose too close to the fitting itself, not tightening the fitting properly, and the hose succumbing to its own weight.

Solution: Careful routing and ensuring proper hose support can prevent excessive bending at the fitting. Then, using a torque wrench for installation ensures the correct force is applied to avoid under- or over-torqueing.


Fluid Incompatibility

Problem: Using incompatible fluids may cause a hydraulic hose to swell, delaminate, or disintegrate from the inside, contaminating the hydraulic system.

Solution: Only use fluids and hoses that are compatible with one another.


Improper Assembly

Problem: Failure to clean and flush the hose after cutting can introduce contamination and lead to failure.

Solution: Ensure that the inner tube is clean and that the fittings are properly clamped after they have been crimped into place.


Trust Ring Power Lift Trucks for All Your Forklift Needs

At Ring Power Lift Trucks, we understand the importance of maintaining hydraulic hoses. That’s why we put our 60+ years of experience to work for you with forklift maintenance agreements, OEM manufacturer parts, and other forklift services. We also sell new and used forklifts with top-notch aftersales support. Contact us at 877-544-5438 to discover how we can help you.



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