How to avoid damaging a portable hydraulic press

Undercarriage - 22/06/2021

An example of breakage caused by incorrect use of a portable hydraulic press, and useful advice on how to avoid damaging them during routine maintenance operations.

Improper use of a portable hydraulic press during track maintenance is one of the most frequent causes of failure. 

When assembling or disassembling chain joint pins, it can happen that, as a result of haste or distraction, operators do not correctly assemble the various components of a portable hydraulic press before using it, thus causing an improper use leading to the breakage.
In the following sections we will analyse an example of breakage caused by misalignment of the press components during use (one of the most common errors) and we will provide some practical advice on how to avoid this.

Effects of incorrect use of a portable hydraulic press  

The following pictures show an example of breakage in the U section of a portable hydraulic press. 

Breakage caused by incorrect use of a portable hydraulic press_1  Breakage caused by incorrect use of a portable hydraulic press_2  Breakage caused by incorrect use of a portable hydraulic press_3


As can be seen, the U section has been significantly distorted on both sides causing complete breakage of the support on the right and partial breakage of the striker seat on the left.

Breakage caused by incorrect use of a portable hydraulic press_4  Breakage caused by incorrect use of a portable hydraulic press_5  Breakage caused by incorrect use of a portable hydraulic press_6


An analysis of the material and surface of the damaged area revealed no casting defectsin the support (a potential cause of the breakage) nor any of the typical signs of fatigue fracturing. Furthermore, considering that the threaded accessory fixing hole is still pristine, it can be hypothesised that the striker plate, an essential accessory for the press, has never been used.

It can therefore be deduced that the breakage was caused by overloading in the U section of the press, caused by misalignment in both directions (X axis and Y axis) between the pusher, pin, chain links, and striker seat.

How can this damage be avoided?

3 practical recommendations for correctly using an ITR portable hydraulic press

We have seen how components misalignment can cause a portable hydraulic press to malfunction, resulting in substantial structural damage. It is good practice to always consult the manual of use and maintenance provided by the manufacturer (click here to download the manual of use for your ITR portable press), however there are 3 precautions that operators must always adopt to ensure that the device functions correctly:

  1. Use the striker, a fundamental and essential accessory that is positioned in the relevant U seat to facilitate the alignment of all the press components along the central axis, and enable a more even distribution of the forces in play.

  2. Before assembling or disassembling a chain joint pin check that the pin, link, and striker are perfectly aligned.

  3. Move the piston forward slowly and carefully to check that the press is operating correctly and so that you can intervene rapidly with corrective measures before any permanent damage is caused.

The correct sequence for pin assembly and disassembly is illustrated below.

Schematic pin assembly sequence

Portable hydraulic press_pin assembly sequence

 

Pos. 

Description 

Chain joint pin 

Chain 

Quick coupling for pusher

Universal coupling for pusher 

Disassembly pusher 

Pin centring 

Centring pin 

Striker 



Schematic pin disassembly sequence


 Portable hydraulic press_pin disassembly sequence

 

Pos. 

Description 

Chain joint pin 

Chain 

Quick coupling for pusher 

Universal coupling for pusher 

Disassembly pusher 

Striker 

 


Would you like to find out more about ITR portable hydraulic presses and their use?

For quick and safe in-field track maintenance, a portable hydraulic press is certainly the most convenient instrument. Contact the author of this article for more information on our portable hydraulic presses with manual or electrical pump units.

 

Write to the author
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Any manufacturers’ names, brand or product names, trademarks, part numbers, symbols, drawings, images, colours and descriptions appearing in this document are for reference purposes only, and it is not implied that any part listed is the product of these manufacturers. All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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