Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Common Hydraulic System Issues in Agricultural Harvesters and Solutions

Introduction to Hydraulic Systems in Agriculture

Hydraulic systems in agriculture use pressurized fluids to power machinery, improving efficiency and productivity. They control tractors, harvesters, and irrigation systems, automating tasks for faster planting, cultivation, and harvesting. Hydraulics improve farming by optimizing resource use and supporting large-scale operations.

Importance of Hydraulics in Agricultural Machinery

Hydraulics in agricultural machinery improve power, precision, and efficiency, significantly reducing manual labour. They  help the automation of complex tasks, improve productivity, and ensure reliable performance, which is important for large-scale farming operations. It also supports efficient resource use, enabling planting, cultivating, and harvesting processes.

Basic Components of Hydraulic Systems

Hydraulic systems consist of a reservoir for fluid storage, a pump to move the fluid, valves to control flow and pressure, actuators (cylinders or motors) to convert fluid power into mechanical force, and hydraulic fluid to transmit energy. These components work together to power and control machinery.

Hydraulic System Issues

Common Hydraulic Issues in Harvesters

Common hydraulic issues in harvesters include 

Fluid leaks, contaminated hydraulic fluid, overheating, clogged filters, hydraulic system failure, hydraulic oil contamination, hydraulic fluid levels, and hydraulic pump wear. The harvesters face other issues, which are addressed below.

Hydraulic Oil Contamination

Hydraulic oil contamination occurs when any impurities get mixed with the fluid thus they affect its  performance. Contaminated oil can cause corrosion, deteriorate the cylinder’s performance and lead to component failure in hydraulic systems. To prevent contamination and ensure optimal system efficiency and longevity, regular maintenance including oil analysis, filtration, and timely oil changes should be undertaken. 

Insufficient Hydraulic Fluid Levels

Insufficient hydraulic fluid levels can lead to overheating, increased wear, and reduced efficiency in hydraulic systems. This condition causes air to enter the system, resulting in poor processes and causing the potential damage to components. Frequently checking and maintaining proper fluid levels is essential to ensure reliable performance and prevent costly repairs.

Hydraulic Pump Wear and Failure

Hydraulic pump wear and failure can result from contamination, improper amount of fluid levels, and excessive heat. There are several symptoms such as noise, reduced pressure, and decreased efficiency. Regular maintenance, including checking the fluid quality and levels and replacement of worn components in the right time which is important to avoid pump failure and increase the longevity.

Air in the Hydraulic System

When air gets contaminated in the hydraulic system, it causes decreased efficiency, and increases wear in hydraulic systems. Other consequences include unresponsive controls, unnecessary noise, and potential component damage. Regular maintenance, ensuring proper fluid levels, and letting the excess oil out of the system to remove the unwanted air are all important to prevent air and preserve optimal hydraulic performance.

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting Guide

Troubleshooting hydraulic systems begins with checking fluid levels and quality properly. If levels are low or fluid is contaminated, hydraulic fluid replacement is necessary. 

Hydraulic pump issues, such as wear or failure, can be diagnosed by checking for abnormal noise or reduced pressure. Repair may involve replacing worn components. After that, air removal techniques like bleeding should address air in the system. 

This step-by-step guide ensures efficient checking and maintenance, optimizing hydraulic system performance and longevity.

Checking and Replacing Hydraulic Fluid

Checking hydraulic fluid involves inspecting its level and quality. Ensure the fluid is at the correct level and free from contamination or degradation. Drain the system, replace it with fresh fluid, and bleed air as needed. Regular fluid checks and replacements maintain system efficiency and prevent damage from contaminated or low-quality fluid.

Inspecting and Repairing Hydraulic Pumps

Inspecting hydraulic pumps involves checking for abnormal noise, reduced pressure, or fluid leaks. If issues are detected, remove all the pumps to assess for wear or damage to components such as seals or pistons. Repair may involve replacing worn parts or rebuilding the pump to restore optimal performance and prevent further damage.

Removing Air from Hydraulic Lines

To eliminate air from hydraulic lines, a bleeding process must be performed to release trapped air bubbles. Begin by identifying bleed valves located at elevated points within the system. Open the valves and activate the hydraulic components to force air out. Repeat this process until the system functions smoothly, guaranteeing optimal hydraulic performance.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

Effective preventive maintenance for hydraulic systems starts with checking hydraulic fluid quality through regular analysis and ensuring it meets manufacturer specifications. Establishing maintenance schedules is essential, including routine checks for fluid levels, leaks, and component wear. 

Implementing proactive measures such as filter replacements and oil replacement helps maintain optimal performance. Regularly inspecting and maintaining hydraulic systems prevents costly downtime, improves equipment lifespan, and ensures reliable operation.

Regular Maintenance Schedules

Following regular maintenance schedules is essential for ensuring hydraulic systems optimal performance and longevity. These schedules should include periodic checks for fluid levels, quality, leaks, and inspections for component wear and damage. 

Following the consistent maintenance allows for correct identification and resolution of issues before them, reducing the downtime and maximizing the efficiency and reliability of hydraulic equipment.

Importance of Using Quality Hydraulic Fluids

Quality hydraulic fluids are the primary things for optimal performance and improving the longevity of hydraulic systems. High-quality fluids offer better lubrication, corrosion protection, and thermal stability, reducing wear and extending component life. They also maintain consistent viscosity over several temperatures, ensuring smooth operation in various conditions. By investing in quality fluids, operators can increase system reliability and longevity and minimize maintenance costs.

Advanced Hydraulic System Improvements

Advanced hydraulic system improvements include electronic controls for precise operation, efficient variable pumps, and fluid cleanliness filters. These will help to optimize performance, reduce energy consumption, and increase reliability in modern hydraulic machinery.

Upgrading Hydraulic Components

Upgrading hydraulic components involves replacing outdated parts with newer, more efficient ones. This may include upgrading to variable displacement pumps for energy savings, installing advanced valves for better control, or fitting with the electronic sensors for improved monitoring. Such upgrades improve system performance, reliability, and efficiency, increasing equipment lifespan with less maintenance costs.

Integrating New Technologies in Hydraulics

Integrating new technologies in hydraulics involves implementing innovations like electronic controls, predictive sensors. Electronic controls will improve the better operation and automation, while sensors enable real-time system health and performance monitoring. By adopting these advancements, hydraulic systems become more efficient, reliable, and increase productivity and reduce overall operational costs in various industries.


Hydraulic systems are vital in various industries, offering power, precision, and efficiency. However, hydraulic fluid contamination, pump wear, and air trapping can compromise performance and efficiency with more wear and tear. 

Adopting new technologies like electronic controls and predictive maintenance sensors enables proactive problem-solving and improves overall system efficiency. Through these measures, hydraulic systems can continue to meet the demands of modern industries.

Sea HydroSystems is the best hydraulic cylinder manufacturer in India, with quality as the primary agenda. Our main agenda is to provide the best and most reliable cylinders that work longer. Our design and manufacturing team crafts each component carefully, and the cylinders undergo various tests to meet various standards, ensuring longevity. 

Leave a comment