Hydraulic Hose Failures: Common Causes and Solutions

Hydraulic hoses are critical components in various systems, from heavy machinery to vehicle brakes. These flexible tubes carry high-pressure fluids necessary for these systems to function effectively. However, hydraulic hoses are not invincible. They can fail, leading to system inefficiency, downtime, and potentially hazardous situations.

The failure of a hydraulic hose may seem like an inconsequential event, but it can lead to significant problems in any hydraulic system. A single failure can disrupt operations, leading to increased costs due to repairs and lost productivity. Therefore, understanding the common causes of hydraulic hose failures is crucial. Equally important is knowing how to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

Common Causes of Hydraulic Hose Failures

Hydraulic hose failures can lead to serious disruptions in your operations, causing unexpected downtime and potential financial losses. These failures are often due to various factors that are not always immediately apparent, but understanding these causes is the first step towards effective prevention and the successful management of your hydraulic systems.


One of the most common causes of hydraulic hose failure is abrasion. Both external and internal abrasion can severely impact the integrity of a hydraulic hose. External abrasion occurs when the outer cover of the hose rubs against other parts of the machinery or against rough surfaces, causing it to wear down over time. Internal abrasion, on the other hand, results from the high-pressure fluid flowing through the hose, which can gradually erode the inner lining.

Improper Assembly

Another frequent culprit behind hydraulic hose failures is improper assembly. The process of assembling a hydraulic hose requires precision and attention to detail. If the fittings are not attached correctly or if the hose is not crimped properly, it can lead to leaks and, eventually, complete hose failure.

Temperature Extremes

Hydraulic hoses are designed to operate within certain temperature ranges. When these limits are exceeded, whether too high or too low, it can lead to hose failure. High temperatures can cause the hose material to soften and degrade, while extremely low temperatures can make the hose brittle and prone to cracking.

Incorrect Hose Size

Using a hose that is either too large or too small for a specific application can also lead to failure. A hose that is too small may not be able to handle the system's pressure, leading to bursts. Conversely, a hose that is too large may not seal properly, resulting in leaks.

How to Prevent Hydraulic Hose Failures

Now that we understand the common causes of hydraulic hose failures, it's time to explore the solutions. Preventing these issues is not only possible but also a cost-effective strategy. By implementing the right preventive measures, we can extend the lifespan of our hydraulic hoses, ensure the smooth operation of systems, and avoid unexpected downtime.

Regular Inspections and Maintenance

One of the most effective ways to prevent hydraulic hose failures is through regular inspections and maintenance. This involves checking for signs of wear and tear, such as bulges, cracks, or leaks. If any issue is detected, it should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage. Regular maintenance also includes replacing hoses that have reached their service life, even if they appear in good condition.

Proper Assembly and Installation

Ensuring the proper assembly and installation of hydraulic hoses can significantly reduce the risk of failure. This involves using the right tools and following the manufacturer's instructions during assembly. It's also crucial to ensure the hose is not twisted or bent beyond its recommended bend radius during installation, as this can cause stress and premature failure.

Use Hoses Designed for Specific Conditions

Different operating conditions require different types of hydraulic hoses. For instance, if a system operates under high temperatures, it's important to use a hose designed to withstand such conditions. Similarly, for systems exposed to abrasive materials, hoses with high abrasion resistance should be used. Selecting the right hose for each application can significantly enhance lifespan and performance.

Use the Correct Hose Size

Using the correct hose size is another vital preventive measure. The hose size should be compatible with the system’s pressure requirements and fluid volume. A hose that is too small might not handle the pressure, leading to bursts, while a large one may result in leaks due to improper sealing.

Employ Protective Measures

Employing protective measures can also help prevent hydraulic hose failures. This may include using hose guards or sleeves to protect against external abrasion or routing hoses away from hot surfaces to avoid heat damage.

Maintain System Integrity with Milton CAT

Even with the best preventive measures in place, there may be times when professional assistance is needed. That's where Milton CAT comes in. With years of experience and expertise in handling hydraulic systems, our team can provide you with the support and solutions you need.

Don't wait for a hydraulic hose failure to disrupt your operations. Contact Milton CAT today for expert advice, quality products, and comprehensive services. We're here to help prevent hydraulic hose failures and keep your systems running smoothly.