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Fluid Management: Hydraulic Oils - Doug's Tip of the Month

Fluid Management – Hydraulic Oils

A common question amongst maintenance personnel is around the life expectancy of our Hydraulic Oils in their machines. For the most part, many maintenance personnel reply that they expect a very short time because of the aggressive environment surrounding the manufacturing equipment.

And this is true if we recognize that the oil will suffer just two adverse effects in the equipment: Contamination & Degradation.

Premium hydraulic oils are capable of maintaining their initial characteristics and protect the equipment for a very long time…..even several years in a properly designed hydraulic system and with a proactive maintenance program.

Rule of thumb: The cleaner and dryer that you can keep your Hydraulic Fluid, the longer it can stay in service and this will also help keep equipment in service.

6 areas to help extend the life of Hydraulic fluid while protecting equipment:

1. Choose the Right Product: Premium Hydraulic Fluids such as:

  • Fleetline AW Hydraulic Fluid
  • Kendall Four Seasons, Hyken or Megaflow AW HVI Hydraulic Fluids
  • Phillips 66 Syndustrial or Powerflow NZ
  • Petro-Canada Hydrex, Environ or Purity Food Grade Hydraulic Fluids.

A few Premium Hydraulic fluids characteristics:

  • Advanced Technologies in Base Oils and Additives:
    1. Keep the oil and system clean
    2. Have outstanding contamination control
    3. Have exceptional protection against wear
    4. Control demulsibility

2. Prevent Contamination:

  • Keep strict housekeeping control.
  • Change from metal screen breathers to a desiccant breather.
  • Use proper filtration and filters with an Absolute Ratio β according to your needs.
  • Segregate type of lubricants to prevent compatibility concerns.
  • Consolidate Inventory of Lubricants.
  • Fix leaks and the air intrusion in the equipment.
  • Do not use after-market additives or mix products.
  • Identify and ‘Lube Tag’ the equipment and the oil being used.

3. Avoid Waste

  • Repair leaks
  • Use the golden rule: The right product in the right place with the right amount.

4. Protect against deterioration:

  • Maintain proper storage and handling of hydraulic fluids.
  • In outside storage, stack drums horizontally or upside down to prevent water contamination
  • Monitor equipment operation to avoid: high temperatures, excessive air exposure, static or electric discharges.

5. Extend Useful Life

  • Purchase Premium products to meet your equipment’s needs.
  • Determine the optimum practical drain interval.
  • Establish a system of simple checks in the field to assure the integrity of the oil and its operations – Send in routine used oil samples to a laboratory. Monitor ISO Cleanliness,
  • Try to maintain and ISO Code of less than 18/16/12.

6. Personnel Training on Lubricants

  • Training generates experience and this is the base of an optimum use and preservation of the lubricants and the benefits that can be achieved.
  • Do not let unauthorized/inexperienced personnel handle lubricants.
  • Hydraulic lube oils are the heart and soul of your equipment - maintaining a staff that can take proper oil samples and interpret the laboratory testing results will pay huge dividends back to any operation.
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Enhancing Efficiency Saves in the Long Term: Petro-Canada Lubricants

Last week we had the pleasure of meeting with Petro-Canada to discuss the benefits of their Duron line of Heavy Duty engine oils. There are a lot of resources available that we thought might be helpful for fleet managers and operators, so we are going to share some of the tools and info below and hopefully its helpful as you are looking at the numbers for your fleet and deciding on products and service intervals.

A large part of the group discussion centered around how using a premium engine oils can benefit end users ultimately by offering superior engine protection that extends the life of your equipment, extending drain intervals to keep your equipment operational a higher percentage of the time (versus downtime in the shop) and improving fuel efficiency, which both lessens non-work time spent fueling, and has a real measurable impact to your budget. There is a calculator available here :  Petro-Canada Duron Calculator that can give you an overview on fuel cost and idle time savings. If you would like to factor more variables in, give us a shout we have a scaled up version we can run through with you.

One of the interesting takeaways for me personally was discussing how too often we get caught up in the per gallon variances among lubricants themselves, where taking a minute to zoom out and consider all of the factors involved, the numbers work out differently. When we are talking about equipment that has landed costs in the hundreds of thousands, and consider that fuel costs are generally a huge variable line item for equipment operators, it really does seem like the longer term numbers make a little more sense to focus on, versus the order to order amounts on particular products.

One of the other resources to work with the calculator that maps out what products best optimized efficiency for different equipment tied to schematics of that equipment, which was helpful to look at for us. You can find those schematics here: Equipment Schematics

Hopefully these resources will be helpful to you. As always, if you have questions or would like to go more in depth on any of the products, feel free to reach out to us.

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Allison Trusts PetroCanada - So Should You!


As a PetroCanada distributor, we're excited about the release of their new Duradrive HD Synthetic 668 transmission fluid.  This product not only has the hard to get Allison approval, it's the new global factory fill fluid for the Allison TES 668, and the only Allison approved fluid for new transmissions (Allison Approval List)

DuraDrive HD products are designed for commercial and heavy duty applications performing under extreme conditions or requiring extended drain schedules. 

DuraDrive HD Synthetic 668 is also fully backwards compatible for all Allison transmissions that require a TES 295 fluid, so this is the ATF you need to keep every Allison transmission in your arsenal performing the way it was built to. 

PetroCanada is so sure your equipment will outperform your expectations with their products they guarantee it. For more info on the testing for Allison certification, the product specifications, and the lubricants warranty, check out this brochure: DuraDrive HD 668

If you would like to speak to an area rep for more product info or to place an order, fill out the contact form below or contact us at 800-289-2875



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DKB becomes Petro-Canada distributor for the Northeastern U.S.

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Dennis K Burke, Inc is pleased to announce that we are now a Petro-Canada distibutor for the Northeastern United States!

For over 30 years, Petro-Canada has developed and produced top quality lubricant products, and we are excited to join with them to deliver these options to our customers throughout the Northeastern U.S.

We will be offering the full suite of Petro-Canada products, from trailer loads of bulk lubricants to cases of grease tubes, so whatever your shop or fleet requires to keep running at optimum levels, we have it!

For more information on Petro-Canada products, check their website here: or contact us at 

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