Attach and Remove a Trailed Implement with Remote Hydraulics

Introduction

When using implements with double acting hydraulic rams, both hoses must be connected to the tractor before implement is operated.

This section will show you how to attach and remove a trailed implement fitted with remote hydraulics. Tractors may be equipped with four or more sets of remote hydraulic coupling units. On most tractors, each of these units consists of two ports. Double-acting hydraulic rams require the use of both ports. Some single-acting hydraulic rams also require the use of both ports, while others require only one port. Consult your operator’s manual to find out what is needed.

Hitch the implement

Use a jack, jack stand, or block to hold the implement tongue at the height of the drawbar, when you attach it to the drawbar. Don’t try to lift heavy equipment by hand. Position the tractor square-on to the implement and slowly back the tractor until the drawbar hole and implement hitch hole(s) line up. If you have problems aligning the hitch, back the tractor beyond the hitch point with the implement and tractor drawbars in line. Insert the drawbar pin in the implement hitch hole then inch forward. When the holes align, the pin will drop into place. Place the tractor in park and apply the handbrake before dismounting. Place the drawbar pin through the holes and secure it to prevent it coming out during operation. Use drawbar pins that have a locking device to keep them in place. Never use your fingers to align holes. Raise or remove any implement supports. Where there is a clevis hitch end on the implement drawbar, it should be attached to the top plate of a similar fitting on the tractor drawbar.

Connect remote hydraulics

Connect the hoses to the remote hydraulic couplings by pushing the hose end into the tractor coupling until engaged.

Determine whether the hydraulic ram is single-acting or double-acting and determine if the tractor supplies 1-way, 2-way or both types of pressure. Check that there is no pressure in the hose from the previous operation, you can check by putting a clean cloth over the end of the hose and then pushing the connection point down on a hard surface so that the valve in the end is pushed in and some oil can escape and so relieves the pressure. Some hoses incorporate a screw valve that can be closed to prevent excessive oil loss. Ensure that the remote hydraulic couplings, female couplings on the tractor and male couplings on hydraulic ram hoses, are free from dirt, use a lint-free cloth to clean them. Connect the hoses to the remote hydraulic couplings by pushing the hose end into the tractor coupling until engaged. Some tractors require that the hose connection on the tractor be pulled rearward or pushed forward to release spring-loaded balls that hold the couplings together, others are equipped with levers that lock the coupling in position after the hose is inserted.

Operate hydraulic system

If you are using implements with double acting hydraulic rams, connect both hoses to the tractor before the implement is operated. Do not operate double acting hydraulic rams with one hose disconnected as the ram can multiply the applied pressure from the tractor (e.g. 2000 psi or 14,000 kPa) many times. The ram seals or hoses may rupture and spray high pressure oil, the remote hydraulics will usually work even if the hoses are placed incorrectly

Release pressure from the system by working the control lever back and forth.

Ensure that you have the correct response from the control lever:
-lever back-implement raised.
-lever forward-implement lowered.

-if the lever action has been reversed, release the pressure in the system (see below, disconnecting hydraulic hoses) and simply reverse the position of the hoses.Check that the hoses are:
-long enough to allow necessary movements.
-not twisted or damaged.
-secured by correct brackets or hooks to avoid rubbing on any moving parts of the implement.

Note: not all hydraulic couplings are designed to pull free if the implement comes free from the tractor.

Check the hydraulic system for visible leaks. Don’t attempt to work on hydraulic systems which are under pressure and don’t rely on the tractor’s hydraulic system to support raised equipment while you are under it, always block raised equipment.

Disconnecting hydraulic hoses

Drive the tractor and implement to a firm, level and well drained site. Lower all hydraulically operated components of the implement and stop the engine unless it is fitted with a float on the hydraulic control valve-in which case you don’t need to stop the engine. Check for and release pressure from the system by:
-setting the control levers in the float position.
OR
-if there is no float position, stop the engine and work the control lever back and forth.

Replace each cap immediately. Some oil will be lost.

Make sure the hose is not under pressure, never attempt to disconnect a hose which is under pressure as this may cause difficulties when re-connecting. Disconnect the hoses in turn and stow them away from dust and water. Ensure that connections and dust caps are absolutely clean and replace the dust caps as soon as each hose is disconnected. Make sure the hoses are not kinked or twisted when stowed. The hydraulic systems on some tractors can be adjusted to supply either 1-way or 2-way pressure. Usually a valve located on the control valve body selects the desired action. Refer to the operator’s manual to determine the correct setting.

Unhitching and detaching the implement

Before you unhitch the implement, chock the wheels to prevent rolling if you must uncouple wheel-carried equipment on sloping ground, if the ground is soft, position a bearing plate (e.g. solid timber) under support stands. Lower stands or position supports because many implements are not balanced when unhitched from the tractor. Support the implement drawbar at the correct height so that it is ready for hitching next time and remove and store the drawbar pin. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the implement; generally implements are stored in the lowered position.

Working Safely

In addition to the general safety precautions:

  • Operate the tractor or its controls only when you are sitting in the driver’s seat.
  • Keep assistants clear when the tractor is in gear.
  • Use a low gear to reverse towards the implement.
  • Lock the drawbar in place when you transport equipment.
  • Stay well clear because equipment can be lowered quickly if a hose bursts.

CAUTION: Hydraulic oil under high pressure can penetrate unprotected body parts. Do not use your hands to check for leaks.

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