How To ‘Gum-Up’ Your Hydraulic Machine

suctionstrainerclogged-resizeOne of our members recounted a story about a switch in hydraulic oils which had a less than ideal outcome. The machines involved are mining-size hydraulic excavators. These diggers were delivered to the end-user filled with the machine OEM’s own branded ISO VG46 hydraulic oil. This oil features a zinc-free, anti-wear additive package and has a viscosity index (VI) of 125 (high VI).

Like a lot of mobile hydraulic machines operating in my part of the world, these machines run hot, or hotter than ideal anyway: 80ºC to 90+ºC (176ºF to 194ºF) . And that’s bulk oil temperature, not the … continue reading »

Hydraulic Maintenance and The Minimal Intervention Mandate

FirstAidCrossLast night I caught part of a documentary about over servicing in healthcare. The ordering of unnecessary and sometimes invasive tests. Performance of surgeries and other procedures which aren’t required or which are not scientifically proven to be helpful. And this issue is more or less universal across healthcare in developed countries. It’s a very costly one too. Not just monetarily, but also in terms of patients outcomes. Plus, the more sophisticated modern medicine becomes, the more complex and difficult this problem is to manage.

While watching this program it occurred to me that there are analogies here for other … continue reading »

When You Are Under Pressure, You Can Rely On This

big question markMany years ago during my relatively short career moonlighting as an oilfield diver, I was on a salvage job off the North West coast of Western Australia. While operating in shallow water, a 2,500 ton support vessel managed to strike an abandoned oil well. The well head pierced the hull of the ship and opened it up like a sardine can. She sailed no further and sank to the bottom.

This was my first marine salvage job. And it was fairly major. A derrick barge was brought down from Singapore to lift the stricken vessel off the well head. The … continue reading »