Hydraulic tipping cylinders are fundamental components to the safe and reliable operation of rigid trucks and trailers. Properly maintained, they will last the life of the vehicle. Unfortunately, maintenance is all too often overlooked, and cylinders suffer abuse in key areas, which can affect both their safety in operation and also their reliability. The core problem seems to be one of time constraints: pressurised schedules that prevent operators taking vehicles out of service even for a few hours, to perform routine maintenance. One can understand this reticence, with a truck inoperative for a day costing around £400. However, on the other side of the equation, there is the fact that, if a truck is taken out of service for preventative maintenance, then the maintenance is scheduled; the operator is in control and can determine the most opportune time for the work to be performed. The alternative could be a breakdown at much higher cost.