Manufacturers of hydraulic aircraft jacks recommend 90 day maintenance and testing be done on your jack(s) once every 12 months. Testing may also be advised outside of the regular schedule if an event takes places that could potentially damage the jack. For example, being dropped or having something dropped on the jack that may cause damage to the structure or the hydraulic system. Below is an example of maintenance and aircraft jack proof load testing guidelines recommend by most hydraulic aircraft jack manufacturers.
90 DAY PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
CHECK THE HYDRAULIC SYSTEM FOR LEAKS
- Hydraulic lines; hoses and fittings.
- Hand pump; cylinder, fittings and seals.
- Reservoir; welds and fittings.
- Air operated pump (optional equipment); fitting, air side and oil side seals.
CHECK THE JACK STRUCTURE FOR CORROSION, BENDING, CRACING, EXCESSIVE WEAR, ETC.
- Ball lock pins.
- Mechanical extension.
- Welded joints; tripod legs, cylinder and foot pads.
- Ram lock nuts; gouge marks and cracks in thread.
- Jack pads.
CHECK FLUID LEVELS WITH RAMS FULLY RETRACTED
EXTEND RAMS TO VISUALLY INSPECT FOR CORROSION, FOREIGN MATTER, EXCESSIVE WEAR OR LEAKS AROUND THE SEAL
CHECK PAINT CONDITION AND TOUCH UP ANY EXPOSED AREAS
ACTUATE THE HAND PUMP AND RAISE THE RAM TO FULL EXTENSION AT LEAST ONCE
APPLY DOALL, RPM, LPS OR EQUIVALENT WATER REPELLENT THAT IS BUNA N COMPATIBLE TO THE RAMS
OPEN THE RELEASE VALVE AND VERIFY THAT RAMS FULLY RETRACT
It is possible for all of the above maintenance to be done without the assistance of the manufacturer or a third party service provider. The only difference is that if you do it yourself the maintenance will not be certified, which may or may not meet your internal or external compliance mandates.
12 MONTH HYDRAULIC AIRCRAFT JACK LOAD TESTING PROCEDURE
Annual load test includes everything in the 90 day maintenance checklist as well as:
- Checking the hydraulic fluid for contamination (dirt or water) then draining and flushing the fluid if necessary.
- Capacity test to 105-110% of the jack’s rated capacity. This means that the tester will apply a load above that expected in actual use to ensure complete safety and confidence in everyday applications
By following the above guidelines, you are not only extending the life of your jack, but ensuring proper function and safety for those using the tools and the crafts being supported by them.