Bobcat 873 Hydraulic Problems: Include Solutions

The Bobcat 873 is a reliable and versatile piece of machinery, prized by many for its performance in construction, landscaping, and other heavy-duty applications. At the heart of this workhorse lies its hydraulic system, which powers essential functions such as lifting, digging, and operating attachments. This hydraulic system is instrumental in making the Bobcat 873 a valuable asset for various industries.

The Bobcat 873’s hydraulic system is a complex network of components that work in tandem to provide the necessary power for its numerous functions. The system comprises hydraulic fluid, pumps, filters, hoses, and other critical parts that ensure smooth operation.

Importance of Addressing Hydraulic Issues Promptly

Hydraulic issues can significantly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your Bobcat 873. When these problems arise, addressing them promptly becomes crucial for several reasons:

  1. Downtime Reduction: Hydraulic issues can lead to downtime, affecting project schedules and increasing costs. Timely resolution minimizes the time your equipment remains idle.

  2. Preventing Further Damage: Neglecting hydraulic issues can exacerbate the problem and potentially damage other components. Early intervention can prevent costly repairs down the line.

  3. Safety Considerations: Malfunctioning hydraulics can pose safety hazards to operators and those nearby. Resolving issues promptly ensures a safer working environment.

  4. Operational Efficiency: A well-maintained hydraulic system ensures your Bobcat 873 operates at peak performance, which is crucial for productivity and project success.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into common hydraulic problems that Bobcat 873 owners may encounter and provide effective solutions to address these issues. Whether you’re a seasoned operator or new to the Bobcat 873, this guide will help you keep your hydraulic system in optimal condition.

Common Hydraulic Problems

Loss of Hydraulic Power

1. Causes

One of the most frustrating issues Bobcat 873 owners can encounter is a loss of hydraulic power. This problem can stem from several causes, including:

  • Low Hydraulic Fluid Levels: Low hydraulic fluid levels are a common culprit. A hydraulic system that lacks sufficient fluid will struggle to generate the required power.

  • Contaminated Hydraulic Fluid: Contaminated fluid, filled with debris or foreign particles, can clog hydraulic components, reducing power output.

  • Worn Hydraulic Pump: Over time, the hydraulic pump may wear out or become damaged, leading to reduced power generation.

2. Symptoms

Identifying the symptoms of a loss of hydraulic power is essential for prompt diagnosis. Look out for the following signs:

  • Slow Operation: Sluggish or slow hydraulic functions when operating your Bobcat 873.

  • Inefficient Lifting: Difficulty in lifting loads, especially heavier ones, is a common symptom.

  • Unusual Noises: Unusual sounds coming from the hydraulic system, like whining or grinding.

Hydraulic Fluid Leaks

1. Causes

Hydraulic fluid leaks can be a messy and costly issue if not addressed promptly. Common causes include:

  • Damaged Hoses: Worn-out or damaged hydraulic hoses are often the source of leaks.

  • Faulty Seals or O-Rings: Gaskets, seals, or O-rings that have deteriorated can lead to leaks in the hydraulic system.

  • Loose Fittings: Improperly tightened or loose hydraulic fittings can result in fluid leakage.

2. Symptoms

Recognizing hydraulic fluid leaks early is vital to prevent further damage. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Puddles or Stains: Puddles or stains of hydraulic fluid underneath or around the Bobcat 873.

  • Low Fluid Levels: Frequent need to top up hydraulic fluid due to decreasing levels.

  • Inconsistent Performance: As the fluid leaks out, you may experience inconsistent hydraulic function performance.

Slow or Unresponsive Hydraulic Functions

1. Causes

When your Bobcat 873’s hydraulic functions become slow or unresponsive, it can be due to various factors, including:

  • Air in the System: Air bubbles in the hydraulic lines can impede fluid flow, resulting in slower operation.

  • Clogged Filters: A clogged hydraulic filter restricts fluid flow and reduces system efficiency.

  • Hydraulic Pump Issues: A malfunctioning or worn hydraulic pump may struggle to provide sufficient pressure.

2. Symptoms

Knowing the symptoms of slow or unresponsive hydraulic functions can help you diagnose the issue:

  • Delayed Response: Hydraulic functions respond with a noticeable delay.

  • Incomplete Movements: Your Bobcat 873 may struggle to complete movements, especially in colder weather.

  • Jerky Movements: Hydraulic functions may operate in a jerky, uneven manner.

Noisy Hydraulics

1. Causes

Noisy hydraulics can be a sign of trouble in the hydraulic system. Common causes include:

  • Air in the System: Air trapped in the hydraulic lines can cause aeration and noise.

  • Worn Components: Components like the hydraulic pump or motor may be worn out or damaged.

  • Loose Connections: Loose fittings or hoses can vibrate and create noise.

2. Symptoms

Recognizing noisy hydraulics is important to pinpoint the issue:

  • Unusual Sounds: You may hear whining, grinding, or other unusual sounds when operating hydraulic functions.

  • Vibration: Vibrations through the machine, especially during operation, can be an indicator of noisy hydraulics.

In the following sections, we’ll discuss effective solutions to address these common hydraulic problems and keep your Bobcat 873 running smoothly.

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Solutions for Bobcat 873 Hydraulic Problems

Loss of Hydraulic Power

1. Solution 1: Check Hydraulic Fluid Levels and Quality

To address a loss of hydraulic power, start by ensuring your hydraulic fluid is at the proper level and of good quality:

  • Check Fluid Levels: Begin by locating the hydraulic fluid reservoir, typically found near the engine. Ensure the fluid level is within the recommended range as indicated on the dipstick.

  • Inspect Fluid Quality: The quality of your hydraulic fluid matters. Look for any signs of contamination, such as a milky appearance or debris in the fluid. If you suspect contamination, it’s essential to drain and replace the fluid.

2. Solution 2: Inspect the Hydraulic Filter

The hydraulic filter plays a vital role in maintaining the quality of your hydraulic fluid and the system’s efficiency:

  • Locate the Filter: Find the hydraulic filter, which is often situated near the reservoir. Remove it for inspection.

  • Replace if Clogged: If the filter is clogged or dirty, replace it with a new one. Regularly changing hydraulic filters can prevent power loss.

3. Solution 3: Examine the Hydraulic Pump and Drive Belt

The hydraulic pump and drive belt are key components contributing to power generation:

  • Inspect the Pump: Check for any visible damage or leaks on the hydraulic pump. If you notice issues, consult your Bobcat’s service manual for guidance on repairs or replacements.

  • Examine the Drive Belt: Ensure the drive belt is properly tensioned and not worn out. A loose or damaged drive belt can impact the pump’s efficiency. Adjust or replace it as necessary.

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Hydraulic Fluid Leaks

1. Solution 1: Locate and Repair the Source of the Leak

Addressing hydraulic fluid leaks starts with identifying and fixing the source:

  • Inspect Hoses and Fittings: Carefully examine all hydraulic hoses and fittings for signs of wear, damage, or loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged components.

  • Seals and Gaskets: Check for leaks around seals and gaskets in the hydraulic system. If they are compromised, replace them to stop the leakage.

2. Solution 2: Regularly Inspect Hydraulic Hoses and Fittings

Preventative maintenance can help avoid leaks:

  • Scheduled Inspection: Establish a regular schedule for inspecting hydraulic hoses and fittings. This can prevent leaks from developing or becoming severe.

  • Tighten Loose Connections: Ensure all connections are properly tightened to prevent leaks caused by loose fittings.

Slow or Unresponsive Hydraulic Functions

1. Solution 1: Bleed the Hydraulic System

Bleeding the hydraulic system can remove air bubbles that cause slow or unresponsive functions:

  • Locate Bleeder Valve: Find the bleeder valve on the hydraulic system and prepare to release air.

  • Bleed the System: Open the bleeder valve carefully and allow hydraulic fluid and air to escape. Close the valve when only fluid flows out, ensuring no air remains.

2. Solution 2: Check for Air in the Hydraulic Lines

Air in the hydraulic lines can be a common culprit for sluggish functions:

  • Check for Leaks: Examine the hydraulic lines for any visible leaks that may be introducing air into the system.

  • Purge the Air: If air is detected, purge it by opening the affected line slightly and allowing fluid to flow until all air is removed.

Noisy Hydraulics

1. Solution 1: Replace Damaged or Worn Hydraulic Components

Noisy hydraulics can often be attributed to worn or damaged components:

  • Identify Problem Components: Diagnose which hydraulic components are causing the noise, such as pumps, motors, or valves.

  • Replace Faulty Parts: Replace the damaged or worn components to eliminate the noise.

2. Solution 2: Maintain Proper Hydraulic Fluid Levels

Maintaining the correct fluid levels is essential for noise reduction:

  • Regular Checks: Ensure that hydraulic fluid levels are regularly checked and maintained within the recommended range. Low levels can lead to noisy operation.

By applying these solutions to the common hydraulic problems you may encounter with your Bobcat 873, you can keep your machine running smoothly and minimize downtime. In the next section, we will explore preventive maintenance tips to help you keep your hydraulic system in optimal condition.

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Preventive Maintenance Tips

To ensure your Bobcat 873’s hydraulic system remains in top-notch condition, it’s crucial to implement a preventive maintenance regimen. Here are some key tips for maintaining your equipment:

Regular Inspection and Maintenance Schedule

Regular inspections are the backbone of effective preventive maintenance. By following a consistent schedule, you can identify and address potential issues before they become major problems.

  1. Daily Walk-Around: Before starting work, conduct a brief walk-around inspection of your Bobcat 873. Check for leaks, loose hoses, and any obvious damage. Pay special attention to the hydraulic components and connections.

  2. Scheduled Service: Follow the maintenance schedule outlined in your Bobcat’s service manual. This includes periodic checks on hydraulic components, fluid levels, and more. Ensure you adhere to these recommendations to keep your equipment in good shape.

  3. Documentation: Maintain detailed records of inspections and any maintenance or repairs performed. This helps you track the history of your machine’s maintenance and plan future service accordingly.

Proper Hydraulic Fluid Selection and Replacement

Selecting the right hydraulic fluid and changing it on time is critical to the long-term health of your Bobcat 873’s hydraulic system.

  1. Choose the Correct Fluid: Refer to your Bobcat’s service manual or contact your equipment dealer to determine the appropriate hydraulic fluid type. Using the correct fluid ensures optimal performance and extends the life of your components.

  2. Regular Fluid Analysis: Consider periodic fluid analysis to monitor the condition of your hydraulic fluid. This can identify contamination or degradation before they lead to problems.

  3. Change Fluid on Schedule: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing hydraulic fluid. Regular replacement, usually based on hours of operation, helps maintain the system’s efficiency.

Maintaining Clean Hydraulic Filters

Hydraulic filters are a crucial part of your Bobcat 873’s hydraulic system. Keeping them clean and functional is vital for preventing issues.

  1. Inspect Filters: Regularly check hydraulic filters for signs of clogging or damage. If you see significant buildup or damage, replace the filter immediately.

  2. Clean or Replace: Depending on the filter type, you might be able to clean and reuse it, or you may need to replace it. Ensure you know the recommended maintenance procedure for your specific filters.

  3. Scheduled Replacements: Regardless of the filter type, adhere to a regular replacement schedule as per your maintenance manual. This helps maintain optimal hydraulic system performance.

Avoiding Overloading and Misuse of Equipment

Avoiding overloading and improper equipment use is fundamental to prevent hydraulic problems and prolong the lifespan of your Bobcat 873.

  1. Know Your Equipment: Familiarize yourself with your Bobcat 873’s load limits and operational capabilities. Overloading the equipment can strain the hydraulic system and cause premature wear.

  2. Operate Smoothly: Use the equipment smoothly and avoid jerky movements or excessive force. This can help reduce stress on the hydraulic components.

  3. Proper Training: Ensure that all equipment operators are trained and knowledgeable about safe and appropriate machine operation. Misuse can lead to unnecessary hydraulic stress.

By following these preventive maintenance tips, you can extend the life of your Bobcat 873’s hydraulic system, minimize the risk of problems, and keep your equipment operating efficiently. Remember that a well-maintained hydraulic system is key to a productive and reliable machine. In the next section, we will discuss when it’s necessary to seek professional help for more complex hydraulic issues.

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When to Seek Professional Help

While many hydraulic issues can be resolved with DIY solutions, some problems may be beyond your expertise. Here’s when it’s crucial to seek the assistance of certified technicians and the importance of doing so:

Identifying Problems Beyond DIY Solutions

  1. Complex Issues: If you encounter hydraulic problems that are complex, involve internal components, or are not easily diagnosed, it’s time to call in the professionals. Attempting to fix these issues without the necessary expertise can lead to further damage and increased repair costs.

  2. Unusual Symptoms: When you experience unusual symptoms that aren’t covered by common solutions, it’s a sign that the problem may require a professional’s evaluation. These symptoms could be a result of a less common issue that needs specialized attention.

Importance of Certified Technicians

  1. Expertise and Training: Certified technicians have the training and expertise needed to diagnose and repair hydraulic issues accurately. They understand the intricacies of hydraulic systems and can provide effective solutions.

  2. Access to Tools and Resources: Professional technicians have access to specialized tools and resources, including diagnostic equipment and replacement parts. This ensures that the repairs are done correctly and efficiently.

  3. Manufacturer’s Knowledge: Certified technicians are often trained and authorized by the equipment manufacturer. They have direct access to manufacturer-specific knowledge and support, which can be invaluable in resolving complex problems.

Safety Considerations

  1. Safety First: Some hydraulic problems can pose safety hazards. For example, a sudden burst of hydraulic fluid or a malfunctioning hydraulic component can endanger operators and those nearby. Certified technicians are well-versed in safety protocols and can address these issues with caution.

  2. Minimizing Downtime: Calling a professional technician can also reduce downtime. They can diagnose and fix the problem swiftly, getting your Bobcat 873 back to work faster than if you were to attempt complex repairs yourself.

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In conclusion, maintaining the hydraulic system of your Bobcat 873 is essential to ensure efficient and safe operation. By following the solutions outlined for common hydraulic problems and implementing preventive maintenance tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of issues and prolong the life of your equipment.

However, it’s important to recognize when a problem is beyond your ability to fix. Identifying such issues, understanding the importance of certified technicians, and prioritizing safety considerations are key factors in ensuring the longevity and reliability of your Bobcat 873.

Remember that a well-maintained and properly serviced hydraulic system not only prevents problems but also contributes to the overall success of your projects. It keeps your equipment running at peak performance, making your work more efficient and cost-effective.

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