Tech Tips: Dump Trailer Voltage Issues with Brad
“At Texas Pride, we design our hydraulics system to be really robust and really reliable. However, if you have problems with your hydraulics down the road, whether it’s raising the dump bed, lowering the dump bed, today I’m going to take you through a few troubleshooting tips.” -Brad Walker
Dump trailer not working like you think it should? Sounds like Tech Tips are in order. Warranty Manager and Chief Engineer Brad Walker walks you through the various steps to check potential voltage issues on your Dump Trailer.
All you’ll need is a basic voltmeter.
After following these steps, if you still have an issue, please give us a call: 936-348-7555.
Tech Tips: Dump Trailer Voltage Issues with Brad
At Texas Pride, we design our hydraulic systems to be really robust and really reliable. However, if you have problems with your hydraulics later on down the road, whether it’s raising the dump bed, lowering the dump bed, today, I’m going to take you through a few troubleshooting tips to help you figure out what’s going on with your dump and all you’re going to need to do that is the basic volt meter.
So these are the components that you’re going to find and your double acting hydraulic system. The first thing we’re going to have is two deep cycle marine batteries. If you ever find that you need to replace a battery later on down the road, it’s important that you match the specs that are on the label on the battery, particularly the voltage and the cold cranking amps. From there, we’re going to go from the batteries over to the hydraulic pump and sitting on top of the hydraulic pump is a start switch solenoid. That solenoid is going to take power down into the hydraulic pump whenever you mash your controls. These two solenoids beside the start switch are going to be your up and your down solenoids, the square one being your down the round one being your up. And so when you control your hydraulics with your remote, it’s going to take power to either one of the solenoids, and then hydraulic fluid to the cylinders, and it’s going to go up or down appropriately, the reservoir itself, pretty straightforward. That’s where the hydraulic fluid is going to be stored. If you find that you need to add hydraulic fluid to the system later on down the road, it’s-it’s basically known by either universal tractor hydraulic fluid or an ISO 32, which is the viscosity of the fluid itself. If you stick to those two designators, you can’t go wrong.
So if you do find that you’re having trouble with your dump, the first thing that you need to check is the power flow throughout the system. To do that, you’ll just need a basic volt meter. So the first thing that you’re going to do is turn your volt meter on direct current, we’re going to go to our batteries, put both leads on each terminal of the battery, make sure that we’re getting at least 12 volts on both batteries. If the system has two batteries, it needs both batteries. So we need full 12 volts on both. So on this
particular setup, we’re good, we have more than 12 volts on both batteries. And from there, we’re going to trace that power through the system over to the next stop, which is going to be the start switch.
The next thing that we need to check is to make sure that that voltage is getting from the batteries to the start switch. So what we’ll do is, as you can see, there’s a positive battery cable coming to this side of the start switch. So we’ll put a lead from our voltmeter on that side, we’ll ground out the other side, and we should be getting basically the same voltage at that point as we got on the batteries.
The next thing that we need to check is the start switch itself. So we need to make sure that that voltage is going from one side of the start switch to the other, and then going down into the hydraulic pump itself. So to do that, you kind of need three hands, if you have somebody with you, it would be good to give them the remote, I’m going to cheat a little bit and put it right here so I can get a finger on it. But what we’ll have to do is put one lead on the volt meter on the copper band on the pump, we’ll put the other one on our ground on the battery, and then we’ll have to operate the hydraulics. So it doesn’t matter up or down, either one works, will operate. And when you do that, on your volt meter, you should be getting 10 plus volts, you’re going to get a little bit of a voltage drop across the start switch, but it needs at least 10 to operate correctly. If you find that you’re not getting 10 plus volts on that side, or if you’re not getting any voltage at all, that means that the start switch on that pump is bad and needs to be changed.
Now we’ve ensured that we’re getting all the power that we need from the batteries down into the hydraulic pump. Another potential problem that you could see with the dump trailers is that it’ll work in one direction, but not the other. Basically, that could be one of two things, either an issue with one of the solenoids, either the up or the down solenoid, or it could be an issue with the remote itself. There’s a very, very easy way to isolate that. If you’re looking down on your solenoids, the top leads, there’s a red and a green, the green goes to the square solenoid, which is your down, the red goes to the round solenoid which is your up. So what we’re going to do is very simply unclip those leads, and we’re going to move the red to the square, and we’re going to move the green to the round. And all we’re doing is we’ve changed the power flow from the buttons. So now our up button on our remote is actually going to be our down and our down is actually going to be our up. So if you find that swapping those leads, makes the direction that didn’t work previously work now, there’s an issue with the remote itself. If you find that swapping leads did nothing and it still won’t go down or still won’t go up. There has to be an issue with the solenoid. And when you’re done with that step, what you want to make sure you do is swap these leads on the solenoids back to their original position. The red going back to the round solenoid and the green going back to the square.
So if you ever find that when you raise the dump bed up, it won’t stay up, one thing that you want to check is the main relief valve. This valve is a little brass knob that sits on top of the down solenoid, which is the square one, We want to make sure that that valve is all the way clockwise. And if that valve is cracked open the least little bit, it won’t hold pressure and the bed will fall down. On the other hand, if you find that the bed is up in the air, and it won’t go down, crack this valve counterclockwise slowly, it’ll
allow pressure to bypass back into the reservoir and the bed will fall down. Just be mindful the fact that when you open this valve, the pump won’t be running, circulating fluid, and so that fluid is going to come out of the pump, it’s going to make a little bit of a mess, but it will get you out of a bind. In the event that you’re still having trouble with your hydraulics no matter what the problem may be, by all means, give us a call. We have lots of people who are knowledgeable and we’re always happy to help. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time.