Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hydraulic Leak and Bio Oil

We inherited a few GKIV from our sister course the last few years . I was concerned about hydraulic leaks happening on these old machines since they are used on and around greens . Going with the Greens Care Bio oil paid off last Friday. We are short staffed this time of year , so I'm doing double duty and helping out on the course as needed . Friday I mowed approaches with one of the GK's and the steering line ruptured leaking about 5 liters of bio oil in front of 16 green . 
Old technology is never fun to repair in this situation . I was going to do a post on the repair but was getting a little behind .   

The steering lines run down under the floor pan . The machine is a 2000 year model and over time the floor pan wore a hole through the Kevlar rap . Not an easy repair . Well it was easy but a lot of parts had to be removed for repair and it was a little time consuming  .  
Being way under budget last season I was able to get a basic Hydraulic line making kit . So far I have used it a few times making up lines as needed. I'm starting to get pretty good at it now .
This is the Bio Oil from Jacobsen . A lot of manufacturers have their own line .  

After repairing the lines with a high quality replacement  line I also notched out the floor pad and installed these hose guards from Lawsons .
A few pictures of the leak 4 days later .
Some courses will use Dawn liquid detergent and water right away to get rid of the Bio Oil streaks.
I have seen hydraulic leaks in the past from NON bio oils and the damaged area had to be removed and replaced with new sod . With this product, turf should look uniform again in a few weeks.

The lines are faint and my superintendent was impressed that no grass was damaged . He asked about what kind of hydraulic fluid was used in the machine . It was my first time seeing a Bio Oil leak and I'm very impressed . I may look into doing our Toro 3150 Q this winter .It is a little more costly and doesn't last as long as regular hydro oil.   The damage may have been reduced a bit because the oil was spraying up on the floor pan first giving it a little time to cool off . The line also blew around 1.5 hrs. into the job.


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  2. Wow. I can't believe there wasn't more damage! Thank goodness for the Bio oil.

  3. What would you do immediately once the line was compromised? What you steer the machine to the nearest cart path or is there a shut off valve to limit the spillage?

  4. Depends . If it's a green ...get off to the side off the green and out of play . Same for other areas . Best to pull off out of play if possible and shut machine off and get z hold of superintendent or mechanic. Some times if it's for example a reel motor you may be able to drive back to shop if it's not leaking while disengaged