Extending Hydraulic and Engine Oil Life on Trucks

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September 3, 2018
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September 3, 2018

Extending Hydraulic and Engine Oil Life on Trucks

Harvard Corporation recently worked with the Solid Waste Management Department of a large U.S. City. The goal of the project was to extend the hydraulic and engine oil life on their trucks.
The Department was noticing that they were spending a lot of time and money changing engine oil every month, and also changing hydraulic oil on a yearly basis. They wanted a way to control and contain contamination (solids and moisture) from getting into the hydraulic and engine oils. This could be done by reducing contaminants ingression and improving filtration.
Here were their targets to accomplish:

  • Extend engine oil change from 1 month to every 3 months
  • Extend hydraulic oil change from 1 year to every 4 years
  • Reduce repair expenses 20%
  • Reduce waste oil disposal 50%
  • Reduce oil expense 40%
  • Reduce downtime

Our client knew that reducing downtime through better filtration was a huge factor in improving their bottom line. This is because contamination in lubricants is responsible for as much as 80% of the wear that leads to mechanical failure.


Hydraulic Oil
Our customer used one of their garbage trucks to test the effectiveness of the proposed solution. They first took a sample of hydraulic oil from the truck, which had high levels of solid and moisture contaminants exceeding ISO cleanliness (ISO 27/24/18).
Here was their solution:

  • Installation of Harvard off-line hydraulic filtration system
  • Installation of Desiccant breather
  • Use of Harvard portable filtration car
  • Successive monitoring of hydraulic oil

After 90 days, another sample of hydraulic oil was taken from the truck. The new ISO cleanliness was ISO 16/13/10.

Engine Oil
Our customer used the same garbage truck to test the proposed solution for their engine oil. The first sample of engine oil from the truck contained a high level of soot, indicating possible injector failures. The ISO cleanliess rating was 21/20/17 with a Soot Rating of .712.
Here was their solution:

  • Replacement of a bad injector
  • Installation of Harvard off-line engine oil filtration system
  • Successive monitoring of engine oil

After 40 days, another sample of engine oil was taken from the truck. The new ISO cleanliness was ISO 17/16/13 with a Soot Rating of .324.
Needless to say, our customer was very happy after seeing results from Harvard’s solutions.
With the use of Harvard off-line filtration system, Harvard portable filtration cart and Desiccant breather, they were able to recover the hydraulic oil and keep it cleaner than new oil. No future hydraulic changes are necessary.
As for engine oil, with the use of a Harvard off-line filtration system the oil remained free of contaminants, extending the oil drain interval from 1 month to 3 months. This equates to changing engine oil only 4 times a year instead of 12 times a year!
Our customer was able to enjoy a 100% ROI in less than a year! They did this by:

  • Extending hydraulic oil changes indefinitely
  • Extending the need to change engine oil every month to every 3 months
  • Reducing repair expenses by 20%
  • Reducing waste oil disposal by 50%
  • Reducing oil expense by 40%
  • Reducing downtime by roughly 20%

Contaminants like debris and moisture are the primary cause of wear and failure. Controlling contaminants WILL save you money.

Before and After Hydraulic Oil Test
ISO 27/24/18 vs ISO 16/13/10

Installation of Harvard’s off-line Hydraulic Filtration System

Installation of a Desiccant breather

Use of Harvard portable filtration car

Installation of Harvard off-line Engine Oil Filtration System