Book Review

Insider Secrets to Hydraulics
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Insider Secrets to Hydraulics

By: Brendan Casey

Paperback - 128 pages
Published by:
1st edition
Publication Date: 2002
ISBN: 0958149305


  • Part 1 - "Prevention is Better than Cure" - the Science of Preventative Maintenance
    1. Maintaining Fluid Cleanliness
    2. Maintaining Fluid Temperature and Viscosity within Optimum Limits
    3. Maintaining Hydraulic System Settings to Manufacturers' Specifications
    4. Scheduling Component Changeouts before they Fail
    5. Following Correct Commissioning Procedures
    6. Conducting Failure Analysis
  • Part 2 - "Houston, We Have a Problem" - the Art & Science of Troubleshooting
    1. Troubleshooting Basics
    2. Symptoms of Common Hydraulic Problems and their Causes
    3. Locating Internal Leakage
    4. Troubleshooting Hydrostatic Transmissions
    5. How to Avoid Costly Troubleshooting Mistakes and Rip-Offs
  • Part 3 - "Let the Buyer Beware" - Insider Secrets to Repairing and Replacing Hydraulic Components
    1. Fundamentals of Hydraulic Component Repair
    2. Repairing Hydraulic Cylinders
    3. Choosing a Hydraulic Repair Shop
    4. Evaluating a Hydraulic Repair Shop
    5. Common Repair Rip-Offs and How to Avoid Them
    6. How to Buy Replacement Components at the Lowest Possible Price
    7. How to Safeguard New Component Warranty and Get Free Repairs After Warranty has Expired

Our Review

The author, Brendan Casey, has spent 15 years working in the Hydraulics industry, and his experience and expertise shows in this book. Jam-packed full of practical suggestions and tips, and backed up by his obvious knowledge of the subject matter, this book has the potential to save many organizations lots of money. The book is short, easy to read, and worth its weight in gold.

The book is divided into three sections - the first deals with Preventive Maintenance issues, including highly practical discussion of oil sampling and analysis as it relates to hydraulic systems (you can read an extract of this section here). Other, particularly useful sections relate to the commissioning of new hydraulic systems, and the return of these systems to service following maintenance - often the cause of many failures.

The Second Section discusses troubleshooting and fault-finding in Hydraulic Systems, and gives many useful examples of how simple performance monitoring and condition monitoring techniques (including thermography) can be used in a logical manner to pinpoint the cause of hydraulic system problems. This section also gives some very useful tips on how to ensure that you are getting value for money from your hydraulics technicians.

The Third, and final, Section discusses how to get maximum value for money from your hydraulic purchases and repairs. Brendan's experience as an industry "insider" comes to the fore here, as he highlights the many ways that are available to avoid being "ripped-off" by unscrupulous operators, as well as giving other insights into the structure of the hydraulic components industry which will help readers to understand the points of leverage that they may have in negotiating better deals with their suppliers.

Overall, a very readable, very practical, well-written book that should be on the bookshelf of every engineer, supervisor, planner and technician that deals with hydraulic equipment.

You can purchase this book direct from the publishers at

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