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    This is an imaginary situation test. If you can NOT imagine yourself in a workshop or field environment, then you probably think hydraulics is that cool something to make them lowriders jump, which is true to some extent, but also means that this site is not for you. Sorry, hands-on is mandatory here...
   
    Imagine: you work in a hydraulic workshop and you proudly call yourself a “technician”. Of course, being a highly trained professional you cope with lots of different tasks on a daily basis, you know what a gear pump is (has gears inside) and how to tell left (the watch hand) from right (the watchless hand). Pump repair, in fact, is something you do quite often. Then one beautiful day an axial-piston pump of some crazy brand you have never seen before is brought to your workshop for YOU to repair. It's a 100 kilogram steel scary-looking dirt-covered bastard with a shaft at one end and some hydraulic connections and hoses all around it, dripping oil all over your workshop, and when you put it on a pallet it cracks the pallet and leaves an amber oil pool on the floor.
   
    What are your further actions? (Pick one, be honest...)

   1.You try to lift it to put it on your bench, get a severe back injury and two months of intensive physiotherapy. You quit the job afterwards.

   2.You try to lift it to put it on your bench with a forklift, it falls down and bends the shaft end (cracks the casing, etc..). If your supervisor didn't see it, you tell him that it had already been this way, then proceed to No3. If he saw it, you tell him the forklift sucks and must be replaced. Your supervisor's hair is probably Grey.

   3.You look at it from one side and scratch your mug, then you look at it  from another side and scratch your ass. You spend half an hour walking around it, looking at it from all possible angles, mumbling something like “them sons of bitches, would bring anything here these days...” Then you spend another hour or so marking everything on the pump from top to bottom with white paint (red paint, yellow paint, permanent industrial marker, etc...), making it look like some Indian chief preparing for war. Then you spend the rest of the day disassembling it. You don't disassemble the pump's control as “it's something not to tamper with”. In the end you call your shop supervisor to evaluate the pumps condition, and when he asks you if it is a closed loop pump you look at him and confirm that this IS a pump and  not a motor (you are pretty sure of it as you overheard the client say so), he sighs and doesn't ask you any more questions. His hair is most definitely Grey.

    4.You have the pump stripped down within the hour. Most of the parts are there, maybe a spring or two missing, but they were small and insignificant, so you feel pretty pleased with yourself, as you are far more faster then the guy from No3.  You don't disassemble the pump's control as “it's something not to tamper with and has never been done before”. The cloth that client had shoved into the suction line "for transportation purposes" is still there. In the end you call your shop supervisor to evaluate the pumps condition, and when he asks you what is wrong with the pump you tell him that you don't  know and it's not your job to know such stuff, but you are pretty sure that some malfunction occurred. He sighs and doesn't ask you any more questions. A week later the cleaning lady finds a spring under your bench and gives it to you. You put it in the special drawer of your bench. You have been considering to ask your boss for a bigger drawer as this one is getting full. Your supervisor's hair is Grey.

    5. Out of curiosity you pull out the cloth shoved into the suction line - the pool on the floor suddenly becomes bigger. You think: “what a f*cking big suction line that is” which also means that you fully understand it's an open loop pump. After that you notice the pumps brand. You partially disassemble the control and are curious to know how it works, you also notice that there's a stuck spool in it. When you ask your supervisor about it, he says you shouldn't have tampered with such a delicate thing and looks at you as if you had betrayed all that's saint to him. You sigh. The complete rotary group is replaced. As you feel sorry for the client you get the spool unstuck, though you don't understand what it is there for. If your hair isn't Grey yet, but it's going to get so pretty early.

    6. You have enough experience to evaluate the pump's condition and your opinion most of the times coincides with that of your supervisor's. However you would question some of the opinions you hear, as they sometimes don't make sense to you. Both you and your shop's foreman find the stuck spool. He tells you it's some kind of crazy Japanese control. You are pretty sure its something else (let him save the face and listen politely). Both of you agree that the stuck spool is the problem that had brought this pump to the shop. The pump still gets a new rotary group as commission's commission and the client has deep pockets. The foreman's hair is still Grey because of the No3 and No4.

    7. You don't work at any shop but own hydraulics machinery. After having read the above you start to doubt if the recent 5k eur excavator pump overhaul was really so necessary...

If you answered:

1. This site is absolutely not for you. Consider getting a good medical insurance though...
2. Someday you might hurt yourself or others. Use a crash helmet at all times. The rest is the same as No3
3. Your case is very severe, but there's hope. You lack basics. Try to read one article, if it seems Chinese learn basics first, don't waste your time here otherwise.
4. "Fast and Furious" is your favorite movie. Congratulations! The rest is the same as No3.
5. Typical case of "mentally challenged" boss vs smart employee. You probably do lots of overtime. Read, man, the world will be ours!!!
6. Typical case of smart but constantly busy boss vs smart employee. Leave the bossing for the boss and the technical part for yourself, at least for now. Definitely will find something interesting here. If you're smart enough you'll be your own boss pretty soon.
7. Yeah, about that overhaul... It probably was necessary, it most probably could've cost you less... But if you have read so far, you are curious to the point that you might actually find something interesting here and eventually learn how to save a buck or two in the future.

    In other words - you must have basic hydraulics knowledge and experience to fully appreciate the articles. You can start with The Most Basic Basics.

    If you still can not relate to workshop or field environment,  but have read so far, you are either a studying theoretician, which  leaves you a remote chance to find something useful here, or you are not reading this right now.