Cool Operations: Select the Right Auxiliary Hydraulic Cooler for Your Compact Track Loader

Fecon hydraulic cooler

As compact track loaders continue to play a large role in landscaping, forestry, right-of-way maintenance and other applications, optimizing performance and efficiency is important. One crucial component that can contribute to the smooth operation of these machines is the auxiliary hydraulic cooler. By reducing the overall operating temperature of your hydraulic system, the cooler helps extend run time in high ambient temperatures and increases the life of your hydraulic oil and components. This function is especially helpful in areas that require high-flow attachments such as mulchers.

However, it isn’t as simple as buying the first cooler you find. Selecting the right one requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure compatibility and performance. Read further to learn how to pick the perfect cooler for your CTL.

Consider Cooling Capacity

Fecon auxillary cooler on track loader

High-flow hydraulics and long hours on a jobsite — especially on a hot day — often mean that operators need to rest and cool the machines to prevent overheating them. This downtime can eat into productivity, which can make everyone a little hot under the collar. An auxiliary hydraulic cooler helps keep everyone calm, cool and collected by keeping the hydraulic components of your CTL operating at lower temperatures. This lengthens the run-time of your machine, which means more work accomplished and a stronger bottom line.

Therefore, it is essential to assess the cooling needs of your CTL. Consider factors such as the hydraulic system’s flow rate, pressure and operating temperature range. Additionally, evaluate environmental conditions and the intensity of hydraulic system usage. Understanding these requirements will provide a baseline for selecting a cooler with the appropriate cooling capacity. You’ll also want a cooler with the power to beat the heat. The best in their class offers a cooling capacity up to 120,000 Btu per hour with a flow up to 48 gpm for maximum performance.

Look for Ideal Fit and Easy Installation

Perfect fit is another element necessary for peak performance. Space constraints can significantly impact your selection. It’s crucial to ensure that your cooler fits snugly on the top of the cab without hindering the CTL’s operation or compromising safety.

With space being a premium for a CTL, you want a cooler that is small but mighty. Some models offer a small but durable frame with an all-steel design weighing about 200 lbs plus mounting brackets. With adaptable mounting rails, these models also offer versatility by fitting a variety of compact carriers.

Enjoying the productivity-boosting benefits of a cooler also means easily attaching the accessory to your machine. Assess factors such as mounting location, accessibility and structural integrity to determine the most suitable mounting method. Manufacturers with customer care in mind will supply installation kits and online resources that support simple setup for operators to get them up and running as quickly as possible. You can also inquire about installation options with your servicing dealer.

Set a High Bar for Low Maintenance

Fecon hydraulic cooler on a Bobcat compact track loader

Proactive maintenance is key to keeping your cooler — and your operations — humming. This can include cleaning off built-up contaminants, looking for hydraulic oil leaks or replacing hardware. Implementing a regular preventive maintenance schedule for inspecting and servicing the cooler ensures that any potential issues are addressed promptly before they escalate into major problems, minimizing downtime and extending the cooler’s lifespan.

Still, the best choice for a cooler is one that’s purpose-built to expedite cleaning and get your CTL back on track. One consideration is easy access for inspection and service to simplify upkeep tasks and reduce the time and effort required for maintenance. Look for options that feature a tool-less hinged lid as well as a removable intake screen that allows the operator to remove debris without extra equipment. This minimal maintenance design means that operators can move on with their work more quickly. Another consideration is models that offer high-quality filters and screens that can prevent debris and contaminants from entering the hydraulic system and reduce the likelihood of component damage.

Keep Your Cool

When choosing the best cooler, don’t sweat. Contact a reputable manufacturer, who can provide valuable recommendations and help you navigate the selection process effectively. This way, you can ensure the perfect pairing of cooler for your CTL so you can take on the heat all day.

Jeff Stanley is the senior vice president of product development at Fecon.

Compact track loaders are the most popular category of compact equipment in America. Learn why with loads of track loader features right here.