Hydraulic systems are integral to many industries, primarily in agriculture, construction and aerospace. They are responsible for the unique movement of both vehicles and machines, utilising pressurised liquid to achieve their aims.
Such machinery is susceptible to wear and tear over time, as well as many other mishaps such as contamination that can ruin the system and cause efficiency and productivity to tank as a result. When this happens, you need an expert hydraulics specialist to repair your system. But how much does it cost?
Here we explore the costs, including some of the factors that may increase/decrease it.
Average Hydraulic Repair Costs
The cost of hydraulic repairs in the UK varies depending on the type of repair, the specific system involved, and the extent of the damage or repair required.
- Minor Repairs – Minor repairs consist of things such as replacing seals and gaskets. The cost can be as low as £50 – £150. This makes up both the labour and the parts that need to be replaced, both of which do not demand little.
- Major Repairs – Significant repairs would consist of replacing faulty cylinder barrels or pistons, major components within the system. This is fairly labour intensive, as it requires a fairly substantial stripping down and rebuild, and on top of that some major components may need replacing entirely instead of simply cleaning and fixing. You can expect to spend around £500 to £1500 on these types of repairs.
- Overhauls – An overhaul refers to a complete stripping down and replacing of many or all components within the system. The cost of an overhaul can be anything from £1,500 to £4,000.
Of course, these average costs have to come in ranges. The following section will explore the factors that will determine where in the price range the cost will drop.
Factors Influencing the Cost of Hydraulic Repairs
There are a range of circumstances involving hydraulics that could increase or decrease the amount required for a repair.
Type of Hydraulic System
The bigger the system, the more numerous the components. This results in increased complexity and longer labour times, which include cleaning, diagnostics and repairs. Some smaller systems even have specialised components within them designed for specific purposes, which could lead to complications in identification and repair/replacement.
Extent of Damage
This refers to the specificity of what is damaged and is highlighted in the table below:
|Extent of Damage
|Estimated Cost Impact
|Includes issues like leaks or worn seals.
|Involves repairing or replacing faulty valves, hoses, etc.
|Deals with severe damages like a damaged piston or cracked cylinder.
|Complete System Overhaul
|Required when the system has extensive damage and needs full replacement.
Whether or not you need replacement parts depends on the components in question. For example, seals and hoses are minor components. You could repair them, but it’s usually more cost and time-effective if you simply have them replaced.
If you have to replace them, however, the cost and time that it would take to do so depends on how standard the part is. If they are common, meaning they are readily available due to their frequent use throughout many hydraulic systems, then the replacement will not cost a great deal.
But if they’re rare, or they are custom, then they are made specific to certain systems. This can be expensive due to the bespoke nature of the component and will require to be specially ordered. This can become increasingly expensive if they’re out of stock and need to be fabricated.
The issue gets even deeper when the repairer is confronted with obsolete parts. The effort to locate these parts can push the costs quite high, not to mention it might be outright near impossible to reproduce them.
The urgency of your repairs often results in higher fees:
- Emergency Response – When repairs are urgent, they often need to be addressed immediately, and outside of normal business hours. This could involve overtime labour, which is normally always more expensive, as it’s not often that companies in the UK don’t pay more for overtime.
- Expedited Parts – As we touched on in the earlier segment, sourcing parts quickly means special delivery. Special delivery almost always costs more.
- Potential for more damage – Delaying a repair can lead to the hydraulic system being damaged further, especially if you plan to use it during that time. A small issue, such as a small leak or some irregular sounds can easily snowball into a much bigger issue.
- Operational Lag – Urgent repairs usually mean that a vital piece of equipment is brought out of operation. Whilst this cost will not be represented on the repair bill, work not being done to schedule can have costs of their own. Such as lagging on work, or perhaps losing reputation due to inefficient production.
In conclusion, it becomes clear that there’s a wide range of factors that could affect how much you pay for hydraulic repairs. We can only recommend that you have proper maintenance carried out on your hydraulic system, and ensure that if any faults are detected during operation, you act fast and stop the use of the machine at the earliest opportunity. After all, continuing to use a faulty machine will only exacerbate the problem, and the more complex the damage, the higher the eventual bill.