Senior Airman Christopher Pritchett, 4th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, attaches a hydraulic line to an F-15E Strike Eagle, Oct. 1, 2015, at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. Aircraft assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing and 916th Air Refueling Wing were repositioned to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, in preparation for Hurricane Joaquin’s possible landfall. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Proactive Maintenance: When IS the Right Time?

Oct. 20, 2021
Proactive maintenance models can reduce operation costs up to 30% over a reactive maintenance model, according to the ASME.

Content has been updated as of Oct. 20, 2021.

“Now is not a good time.” It's a popular cliché and an evergreen excuse. Fact is of course, when you're looking into the future, there's never a good time to do anything. Because it's always easy to identify some logical reason why right now is not a good time to act.

Sure, the future is always uncertain. But it's a cop-out to use it as cover for permanent inaction. And it seems to me a lot of hydraulic equipment users succumb to this with respect to proactive maintenance. Consider this from one of our members who works for a large corporation which is a major hydraulic equipment user:

"Brendan, having read a lot of your information I can see the benefits to our business. Unfortunately we are down-sizing, including my staff, and right now I can't afford the time to look into our hydraulic systems more closely, nor can I delegate the responsibility to someone else."

Firstly, you don't have to take my word for it. According to a 1985 study published by ASME, rotating equipment maintained under a proactive maintenance model costs 30% less to operate versus a reactive maintenance model. And while this is not a recent study, there's no reason to suggest it's any less valid in 2016.

Secondly, for someone who is already convinced of the economic benefits of getting their hydraulic equipment running lean and mean, this inaction is ironic. But not really surprising in the context of this discussion. Because the short translation is: "I can see the benefits, but now is not a good time."

Trouble is, when things are booming and production is king, the story is slightly different, but the short translation is exactly the same: "I can see the benefits, but now is not a good time."

In a way, you can't argue. Because there is never a good time. When things are going gangbusters you're too busy. And when things are slow you don't have the resources. This results in permanent inaction.

Which is why right NOW is the time to sort out your hydraulic equipment. Because not having a proactive maintenance regime in place is a costly mistake. And to discover six other costly mistakes you want to be sure to avoid with your hydraulic equipment, get "Six Costly Mistakes Most Hydraulics Users Make... And How You Can Avoid Them!" available for FREE download here.

About the Author

Brendan Casey | Founder and author

Brendan Casey is the founder of and an author of several hydraulic maintenance and troubleshooting books. A hydraulics specialist with an MBA, he has more than 20 years experience in the design, maintenance and repair of mobile and industrial hydraulic equipment. Visit his website,, for more information.

Continue Reading

BOOK 2, CHAPTER 12: Fluid Motor Circuits

March 18, 2009
Table of Contents

Motor leakage variations

Oct. 18, 2006
affect low-speed performance

Sponsored Recommendations

7 Key Considerations for Selecting a Medical Pump

Feb. 6, 2024
Newcomers to medical device design may think pressure and flow rate are sufficient parameters whenselecting a pump. While this may be true in some industrial applications, medical...

How Variable Volume Pumps Work

Feb. 6, 2024
Variable volume pumps, also known as precision dispense pumps, are a positive displacement pump that operates by retracting a piston to aspirate a fluid and then extending the...

What is a Check Valve and How Does it Work?

Feb. 6, 2024
Acheck valve, a non-return or one-way valve, is a mechanical device that allows a gas or liquid to flow freely in one direction while preventing reverse flow in the opposite ...

The Difference Between Calibrated Orifices and Holes

Feb. 6, 2024
Engineers tasked with managing fluid flow talk about both holes and calibrated orifices, but they are two distinct entities. A hole can be any opening, but a calibrated orifice...