Hydraulic lifts provide a quiet, powerful, and nearly invisible solution to all boat lifting tasks. Commercial models are made of heavy-duty marine-grade aluminum that offers durability and strength to lift boats weighing up to 12,000 pounds, although smaller capacities are also available on the market.
Hydraulic boat lifts offer the following benefits:
- Accommodate deep water and shallow water installations
- Fit large boats in tiny spaces
- Provide quiet, easy, and smooth lifting
- Feature different width and height options.
Having said that, a hydraulic lift is quite an expensive investment and you don’t want to ruin it within a few years of operation. Here are the tips to avoid damage to your hydraulic lift:
Check Lift Parts Before Use
Hydraulic lifts are made up of different components that work together to lift a boat. Regularly check these parts to ensure that everything is where they should be. Check if the controls, hydraulic system, pneumatic, air, and electrical systems are working properly. Wiring and cable harnesses should also be checked for wear and tear.
The best prescription for hydraulic lifts is preventive maintenance. Keep the contaminants out of the hydraulic system to avoid common breakdowns and failures. Still, some contaminants can penetrate the system and damage close-fitting surfaces of the system. So, extra care should be taken through regular fluid changes.
Keep away Contaminants
Protect your hydraulic lift from contaminants by cleaning the area around hydraulic filters, fill plugs, and deep stick before removing the components during routine checks or changes of hydraulic fluid. Keep the fluid containers tightly sealed during storage, and when refilling, pour directly from the container into the hydraulic system.
Regularly Change the Fluid
After the initial 50 hours of operation, be sure to change your hydraulic fluid and filter. Regular fluid changes will eliminate contaminants and keep your hydraulic system working optimally for longer.
Check Fluid Levels Before Use
Verify that the hydraulic fluid levels are adequate before you begin to operate the lift. Also, ensure that the oil is in good condition − any milky or foamy appearance should be a red flag that there’s a leakage that allows air into the system. Air often causes jerky and slow lift operation.
Finally, if you do store your lift out of water every fall, be sure to store your lift together with the cradle or platform. This way, your hydraulic ram on the system’s cylinder won’t be exposed to environmental degradation during the off-season.