"If there's ONE, single hydraulics skill, above all others, you can take to the bank,
that skill is: TROUBLESHOOTING.
Dear Hydraulics Practitioner,
The increasing complexity of today's hydraulic equipment means there's a lot to know about proactive maintenance, if optimum reliability is to be achieved.
And it's my observation that this increasingly specialized knowledge is grossly undervalued in the marketplace.
But despite my loud and regular protests to the contrary, the 'Holy Grail' of all hydraulics skills is and always has been: fault-finding.
Yup, whether you and I like it or not, the hotshot troubleshooter, the man who can cast his eye over a hydraulic system and quickly zero-in on the fault without breaking sweat, is 'Top-Gun' in the hydraulics world.
He's a soldier of fortune.
Admired by some; envied by many.
And the good news is, it's just become A LOT easier to join the ranks of this elite and highly sought after group.
Let me explain...
Beginning of last year one of our members engaged me in a conversation about the skill of troubleshooting (it IS a skill all on its own). To cut a long story short, his view was that many people (mechanics, technicians, etc) will never become competent troubleshooters, no matter how much effort is put into them, because they lack the necessary talent.
In other words, he was suggesting troubleshooting can not be taught; or if it can, only to those candidates with the right 'aptitude'.
I didn't automatically agree with this assessment. That troubleshooting ability is some kind of black art which can only be mastered by those gifted with special powers. And it's a view I'd heard before. But since it wasn't an issue I'd stopped and given a lot of thought to, I went away and pondered it at length?
After spending some time considering my own experience and that of the many technicians I've worked with, supervised and trained over the years, I came to the conclusion that troubleshooting is NOT any kind of black art at all.
It is indeed a learned skill.
And if something can be learned, it can be taught.
Furthermore, I concluded that learning how to troubleshoot effectively is NOT like learning math, where you need mathematical aptitude, or music where you need musical talent.
In other words, I'm convinced NO mystical powers are required to become an expert troubleshooter.
Bottom line: troubleshooting is a skill ANYONE can master. Anyone who WANTS TO that is.
Then I started thinking, "If someone wants to become a hotshot troubleshooter where do they turn?"
A book on the subject would be an obvious place to start.
So I went to Amazon.com with the intention of buying every book I could on troubleshooting generally, and hydraulic troubleshooting specifically. Wanna know how many books I came away with?
Zilch, nought, nada. Nothing!
Oh sure, there were a couple of hydraulics books which featured the word "troubleshooting" in their title, but when I drilled down there was NO meaningful substance to it.
This exercise was very revealing. I mean, if no one has ever written about troubleshooting in a meaningful way, how is anyone supposed to learn it? Or anyone other than a legitimate expert supposed to teach it?
No wonder there's so many fitters, mechanics and technicians out there equipped with nothing more than a trial and error, hit and miss, pluck and chuck approach to troubleshooting.
It's incredibly frustrating for them and very expensive for the machine owner.
And it explains why the few who truly master this skill are highly-paid and jealously guarded by their employers.
Troubleshooting is indeed a skill you can take to the bank.
So anyway, here's what happened next. I started thinking to myself, "Sooo Brendan, are you gonna step up to the plate? Are YOU gonna attempt what no one else has? Are YOU gonna write THE troubleshooting 'bible'? Are you? Huh?"
And I gotta tell ya, this was not a mission I accepted lightly. Because the task was err... more than a little daunting. But I embraced the challenge anyway. And after a hard, 12-month slog, the end result is: The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting.
Before I tell you all about The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting, and explain the approach I took in its creation, let me tell you what it's NOT: It's NOT a text book. And it's NOT a correspondence course. It's a training program that combines printed materials, computer simulation and screen-capture videos.
AND it's chock full of practical, troubleshooting know-how you can absorb at your own pace, at your convenience, and in the comfort of your own home, office or workshop. Here's how it works...
You've likely heard the parable about the hungry man:
Give him a fish and you feed him for a day;
teach him HOW to fish and you feed him for life.
Just as there are two ways to help the hungry man with his daily calorie intake, I concluded there's two ways to assist someone trying to solve a hydraulic problem.
You can give him detailed, step-by-step, no-thought-required instructions to solve the specific problem he's struggling with today. In other words, just give him the fish.
The problem with this is two-fold. First, while this may get him out of today's bind, he gains no advantage in dealing with the problems that will arise tomorrow.
And second, the type and variation in problems hydraulic systems can encounter are infinite. So it's just not possible to produce a manual that contains specific, step-by-step instructions for solving every conceivable hydraulic problem anyone may ever encounter. Even if it could be done in a single lifetime, I doubt there are enough trees left in the world for such a document to be printed!
The alternative, which is the approach I took, is to give the would-be troubleshooter a framework that can be adapted and applied to any hydraulic problem he may ever encounter. In other words, give him a fishing rod -- and show him HOW to use it.
And this is what The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting is: a TOOL that equips you to tackle not only the hydraulic problems you're struggling with today, but also those of tomorrow and beyond.
Of course, what this means is, if you're someone who would prefer to be just 'given the fish' then The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting is NOT for you.
The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting is designed for anyone who:
This means if you're a:
OR, like I was when I started out:
AND, you don't mind doing a bit of thinking for yourself, then read on, because The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting is definitely for you.
You may be familiar with the 80/20 rule or Pareto's Law - named after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who first recognized it in 1897. Put simply, Pareto's Law states an almost universal truth that nothing is evenly distributed.
Applied to troubleshooting, the 80/20 rule means that not all hydraulic problems are equally difficult to solve. In fact, based on my long experience in the hydraulics biz, I'd say the split between 'easy' and 'hard' is around 90/10. In other words, at least 90% of the hydraulic problems you're ever likely to encounter are easy to nail -- IF you follow the correct procedure.
I'm going to say that again: IF you follow the correct PROCEDURE.
In fact, if the right procedure is followed, it's possible to solve all sorts of hydraulic problems with little or no hydraulics knowledge at all!
Not convinced? Let me prove it to you with a real-life example. During the last wheat harvest I visited my cousin's farm. Over a cup of coffee, my cousin started telling me about a problem he was having with one of his combine harvesters. The engine was losing power intermittently. One minute the harvester would be in the crop going like gangbusters, the next thing the engine would just die.
It was a naturally aspirated engine and the air-intake was all clear. So suspecting a fuel supply problem, he'd cleaned-out the fuel tank, changed the lift pump, fuel filters - and had even tried gravity feeding the diesel injection pump directly. Still the problem remained.
So then he swapped out the injection pump with a used spare. No difference. Next, he had the original injection pump tested and calibrated and re-installed it on the engine. No change. Plus, the problem had confounded everyone he'd asked so far. Not only was my cousin pulling his hair out; the issue was giving him angina. I'm not kidding.
After considering what I'd just been told for a minute or so, I said, "It could be the _________ ." And as it turns out, I was right.
If you haven't figured it out yet, I'll tell you what the problem was a bit later -- so do keep reading. But the main point is: I'm NOT a diesel engine specialist. But I do consider myself a troubleshooting expert.
And through the application of sound troubleshooting process, I was able to solve a problem that had stumped knowledgeable men with far more diesel engine experience than me.
Imagine how that feels?
Everyone starts looking up at you because you're suddenly 10 feet tall.
Truth is, I can't even explain how the _______ was actually causing such a problem. But it doesn't really matter. Because my diagnosis was correct. The problem was solved. And the wheat harvest could continue in earnest.
One of the many things that makes The Definitive Guide unique, is I lay out 12 principles which I've identified as essential for effective troubleshooting. And by "effective troubleshooting" I mean: correct diagnosis in the shortest possible time.
When understood and adhered to, these 12 principles become the anchor for a logical, step-by-step troubleshooting procedure anyone can follow - whether you're a seasoned pro, or a still-wet-behind-the-ears novice.
It's the same procedure I use whenever I'm troubleshooting anything, and the very same one I used to solve the engine problem described above.
What's the alternative? A common one is 'pluck and chuck' by guesswork. In other words, just replace one component after another until the problem goes away. Not only can this be VERY time consuming, when you consider how pricey hydraulic components are these days, it can also be horribly expensive.
The other option is to call in outside help, at a cost of anywhere between $50 and $150 per hour, depending on the market you're in. But this is not always a silver bullet either. Because the uniform the guy shows up in may give him credibility, but it doesn't guarantee he's any good.
If on the other hand you're armed with The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting, you're a man with a PLAN. And it covers much more than my time-tested and proven troubleshooting procedure. Here's a taste of what else is in store?
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LOOK LIKE A DUNCE, don't act like one. Why even qualified experts sometimes make BIG troubleshooting mistakes -- and what to do about it -- page 6.
An amazing and largely unheard of diagnostic trick that can save you hours. And you can do it with any multimeter. That's right, any digital or analogue multimeter -- page 18.
WARNING: Your #1 troubleshooting tool can ruin a hydraulic system in seconds. Make any of these 3 mistakes when using it and you'll be in deep do-do -- page 84.
Two things every troubleshooter must understand to be effective. And why one is 10-times more important than the other -- page 9.
When it's safe to ignore a "hot" component, and when it's not -- page 70.
The 7 truths which are every troubleshooter's best friend. Even when you're faced with the most complex of hydraulic problems -- page 9.
Cylinder problems? How to quickly determine if it's the piston seal or not. And all you need is a pressure gauge for this simple test -- page 64.
One thing you must always do before reaching for any diagnostic tools. Skip this and there's a good chance you'll end up with egg on your face -- page 22.
If you are now a "B" or "B+" technician, learning this one, little-known troubleshooting technique will catapult you towards the ranks of "A" or even "A+" technicians, who always get first pick of the best jobs -- page 46.
The fastest way to mess up any troubleshooting effort. And what to do about it if this happens to you -- page 26.
The quickest, easiest and safest way to check pump condition. Best part: you don't need a flow meter -- page 13.
What must NEVER be allowed to sway your judgement in a troubleshooting situation -- page 30.
A simple test that instantly tells you WHY a hydraulic system is overheating -- page 69.
The best way to ensure the duration of any troubleshooting effort is a short as possible -- page 36.
THE #1 cardinal sin of troubleshooting. Making this mistake just once can be career destroying. I give you 3 strategies for avoiding it -- pages 39, 41, 45 and 49.
How the presentation of flow-test results can HOODWINK you into changing-out a perfectly serviceable component. And what you must understand to avoid this costly and embarrassing mistake -- page 17.
CAUTION: how a very simple problem can quickly unravel into a terrible nightmare. And the two questions you must always ask yourself to make sure this does NOT happen to you -- page 53.
Why your inner 'mind-game' matters. Motion beats meditation, but this is not always true when troubleshooting -- page 81.
The easiest way to conquer the troubleshooting process: the simple, 12-step procedure that will transform you into a reliable and effective troubleshooter, no matter what your level of experience. This is the "master secret" of knowing what to do and when to do it -- page 57.
PLUS, there's a lot more. But at least now you get the picture.
It's taken me 25 years to put all the pieces of this puzzle together on my own. If you've got quarter of a century to spare, you could probably do the same. But I don't recommend it. Not when The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting lays it all out in front of you in an easy to understand format.
Have a listen to what Casey Ruttan, an instructor and consultant with the Hydraulic Safety Authority of Canada told one of his recent classes about it:
Click on the > button, to watch the video.
I only wish this training was available to me when I started out. Because it would certainly have fast-tracked my way up the 'food-chain'. Especially since troubleshooting expertise is, and always has been, the most in-demand and highly prized skill of all.
It was back then. Still is now.
You can get there slow. Or you can get there fast. Frankly, slow sucks. But the good news is you can always buy speed. And in this context, The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting is a 'Ferrari'. Here's what I mean:
"Brendan, thanks again for all your shared knowledge. I've learnt more from YOU in 6 months than I've been taught by my bosses at work in the last five and a half years."
V&H Trucks Inc, Kansas City, USA
Why would you wanna work your way up the ladder s-l-o-w-l-y when you can stand on my shoulders and 'leap-frog' your way to the top?
Anyway, if you've been paying attention to what I've said so far about troubleshooting, you might be thinking: "What about the other 10%?" That one hydraulics problem out of every 10 that's harder to solve. Those that require a little more knowledge and experience to get to the bottom of.
Well firstly, the principles outlined and explained in The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting apply equally to ALL hydraulic problems, regardless of their apparent complexity (just like beauty, complexity is in the eye of the beholder). This means if you have The Definitive Guide, you do in fact hold the keys to a fast and successful resolution of ANY hydraulics problem.
And secondly, in Part II of The Definitive Guide, I cover specific strategies for diagnosing and solving the most common types of hydraulic problems you're likely to encounter.
With that said, I know members with varying levels of hydraulic knowledge and experience will invest in this training. And because I want as many as possible to be able to confidently tackle and solve the widest possible array of problems using it, I'm going to roll up my sleeves and give a LIMITED number of these members a helping hand.
That's right, you and I working together as a kind of troubleshooting 'dream team' - see full details below. But obviously, I can't do this for everyone. So if you'd like to be one of the few, be sure to RSVP today.
OK, now that you've got a handle on what The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting is all about, now let me explain exactly what you get:
I'd encourage you to enrol in a hydraulic troubleshooting course at your local vocational college. But you can't. Such a course does not exist. Heck, what would they use as the class text? There aren't any of those either. Believe me, I've searched and searched.
But if you COULD get this training from a vocational college, it wouldn't come cheap. Just last week I received a brochure from my local chapter of the Fluid Power Society advertising hydraulics courses at a local vocational college. The tuition fees ranged from $875 to $1375.
But that's not the end of it. I've done a lot of part-time study while working full-time. And it can be real stressful trying to attend lectures - or worse still, missing them, when you've got urgent work or family issues to deal with.
The foundation of my system is the program's printed materials (152 pages) organized and presented in 'study guide' format. Review exercises with answers are also included for continuous self-assessment of your understanding.
This means you can progress at your own pace, studying at a time and place convenient for you. This removes the stress of trying to juggle work and family commitments. Plus, you don't have to endure the time and expense of travelling to and from lectures.
To assist, accelerate and reinforce your learning, you also get 10 videos on USB flash drive. These videos have been prepared and recorded using state-of-the-art computer simulation software and screen-capture video technology. Here's a short clip from one of them, covering the use of a flow meter in a hydraulic troubleshooting situation:
Click on the > button to watch the video.
The topic of each video has been carefully selected to reinforce and build upon the key concepts presented in each section of the study guide. Furthermore, the videos are fully integrated into the program's printed materials. Which means you are prompted when to watch each of the videos as you progress through the training.
The total running time of these videos is 119 minutes. And based on what hydraulics training videos with a similar running time sell for - these videos are easily worth $200 on their own.
As with all my products, the price of The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting includes FREE shipping to anywhere in the world - a $50 value. So the investment is the same no matter where you live.
If you're one of the FIRST 12 to enrol in The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting BEFORE , I'll roll up my sleeves and work right along side you on a hydraulic problem (or problems) of your choice. Not physically of course, but I'll be there with you in a 'virtual' sense.
Not only will I give you two solid hours of my best troubleshooting advice -- tailored to your specific problem (which you can use all at once or bit by bit), you'll have complete and unrestricted access to my entire hydraulics vault. Which means if, in my very extensive technical library, I have any information that's relevant to the issue you're seeking to solve, you'll have access to it. And if I don't have it, chances are someone in my professional network does. PLUS, there is no 'use-by' date on this troubleshooting support. You can call it in whenever you need to.
As my long list of consulting clients know, I bill my time at $250/hour. So this bonus IS a genuine $500 value - that I don't NEED to throw in. Because the unique training presented by The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting videos and study-guide, is by itself, a sound investment for any serious hydraulics professional or hydraulic equipment user (were I to present this same training in a classroom setting, nobody would gain entry for a penny less than $1500!)
But because I'm going out on a limb here; by taking a stand against the popular view that troubleshooting can only be mastered by a gifted few, I'm VERY determined to ensure my troubleshooting-top-gun students succeed with this.
In other words, my primary objective with this is to deliver solutions, and not just a training program (even if it IS a ground-breaking one). Because getting stuck is damn annoying, very frustrating and usually stressful.
HOWEVER, once these remaining 12 coaching/consulting, troubleshooting support slots are filled, this $500 FREE Bonus will be withdrawn - at least temporarily, and quite possibly forever. So if you want to kick your hydraulic troubleshooting expertise up a notch, so you can solve hydraulic problems 'in-house' or get paid movie-star money to do so for others, AND have me personally coach and advise you along the way, then don't fiddle around, secure your copy of The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting today.
You take NO RISK whatsoever by evaluating The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting. Because if in the unlikely event you're not absolutely delighted for any reason - or no reason at all, I'll cheerfully refund your entire investment in full. No questions asked. There is no fine print. It's as simple as that.
PLUS - this is a lifetime guarantee. You can return it next month, next year or ten years from now. I can only make this promise because I'm real confident you'll NEVER want to.
Even though troubleshooting training is NOT even available from your local vocational college - or anywhere else for that matter, similar training of a hydraulic nature can set you back $1300 (not counting travel expenses and study materials). PLUS you get 10 videos on USB flash drive - worth at least $200. Add to this FREE shipping - to anywhere in the world - a $50 value... AND the coaching/consulting time with yours truly, worth $500, for your fast response, and that comes to $2,050.00 total.
You DO NOT need to pay $2,050.00 to become a highly-paid and in-demand troubleshooting 'Top-Gun'. Nor do you need to spend 25 years trying to figure this out for yourself (like I did!). I must be going soft in my old age, because if you're one of the FIRST 12 to respond before midnight this I'm willing to give all this away to you for only $499.00.
So basically, I just gave you a $1,551.00 discount on what it would cost you if you COULD get all this troubleshooting training and support somewhere else. (And you can't).
OR, if you're a hydraulic equipment owner or user and you wanna slice 'n dice it another way: How much troubleshooting assistance can you get elsewhere for $499? On a one-time only basis, not a lot. On an ongoing basis, none at all.
As attractive as this offer is, experience tells me that only about 1 out of every 10 people who receive it will respond. Although that's OK with me from a business standpoint, it still bothers me personally.
You see, I know how much fitters, millwrights, mechanics, technicians, engineers and hydraulic equipment users will benefit from this training. I read their emails; I talk to them on the phone; I meet them personally at seminars, and hundreds each year tell me that:
"A lack of specialist knowledge is our BIGGEST hydraulics problem."
And because troubleshooting know-how sits right at the top of this pyramid, I hate the thought of someone not getting this knowledge because of some error or omission in my explanation. Which is why I've racked my brains to come up with possible reasons that might be holding you back.
Here they are:
"I don't know much about hydraulics"
You don't need extensive hydraulics know-how to benefit from The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting. If you DO have some hydraulics knowledge and/or exposure to hydraulic equipment - great, you'll hit the ground running. But it's certainly NOT an essential requirement.
"My computer skills aren't very good"
The very fact that you're reading this tells me you already have the necessary computer skills for this training. You DO need a computer (PC or Mac) to watch the 10 tutorial videos which are an integral part of The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting. But this only requires inserting a USB flash drive into your computer's USB port. And my 9-year-old can do that.
"Will the videos playback on my Apple Mac?"
"Will I get a diploma or certificate when I complete the training?"
Yes. If you complete and turn-in your answers to the review exercises at the end of each section, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.
"I prefer to work in Metric rather than US units (or vice versa)"
Both US and Metric units are used in the Definitive Guide. But this isn't a big issue either way since there's virtually no calculations required.
"I'm mainly interested in mobile hydraulic equipment rather than industrial (or vice versa)"
The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting is equally relevant to both mobile and industrial hydraulic applications. And to applications that aren't hydraulic at all!
"I already have a stack of books about hydraulics"
The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting is NOT a book. It's a training program which combines printed materials, computer simulation and screen-capture videos. And besides, there are NO books devoted entirely to hydraulic troubleshooting in a meaningful way. Believe me, I've looked.
"I live beyond Siberia, so shipping will be too expensive"
Worldwide shipping is included, so the price is the same no matter where in the world you live.
"It looks like a great deal, but I'm not sure I can afford it right now"
Let's say you demonstrate to your boss your newly acquired hydraulic troubleshooting expertise and he gives you a raise of (only) $50 per week. Then you'll recover your entire investment in less than 10 weeks.
And if you think this kind of raise is unrealistic, think again. In the past few weeks alone I've heard from 2 of my students. One has just secured a raise of $320/week ($8/hr). And the other, $400/week ($10/hr). So don't ever underestimate the value of real, authentic troubleshooting know-how. And the payback that comes from investing in yourself.
On the other hand, if you're a hydraulic equipment owner, you only have to use The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting to solve just one problem and you'll likely recover your entire investment in full.
PLUS - you can spread the investment over 3 months - with our optional Equalizer Payment Plan, if you wish.
"I almost balked at the price, but within a matter of months I had more confidence than I could believe. The knowledge of how to attack any hydraulic problem with your efficient troubleshooting methods had me outshine a number of more experienced diesel mechanics and technicians. This upset some of the older tradesmen. So I now keep the methods I learnt from you low key. Your information and lessons are the most powerful tools in my arsenal."
Agnes Water, QLD Australia
About that problem with the diesel engine I solved earlier. It was the injectors. The problem wasn't really that complicated. But then, as I've explained already, most troubleshooting situations aren't -- IF proper procedure and process is followed.
But to my cousin, someone with a combine parked-up in the middle of the wheat harvest, the solution to his problem was worth a small fortune.
Which brings me to the MAIN point: troubleshooting; the skill of being able to solve other people's problems, is a skill you can take to the bank - like no other.
What's more, it's a skill anyone can master. Anyone who wants to that is.
Yours for better hydraulics knowledge,
Author and Publisher
P.S. #1. It's important to note that The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting may be tax deductible. Ask your tax advisor.
P.S. #2. Just the other day I heard from one of our members who has spent $18,000 trying to solve a problem on his hydraulic excavator -- without a result. I feel sorry for him because I'm certain that had he had and followed my 12-step troubleshooting procedure, he would not be $18,000 in the bag with no solution. In other words, this new troubleshooting training is bad news for parts vendors and good news for hydraulic equipment users.
P.S. #3. If you don't get in on this troubleshooting training today, what WILL you do the next time you have a hydraulic problem to deal with? Will you use the costly and time-consuming 'pluck and chuck' by guesswork method and replace one component after another until the problem goes away? Or will you hire outside help, at a stiff hourly rate, with no certainty that the guy who shows up really knows what he's doing either?
The Definitive Guide to Hydraulic Troubleshooting puts YOU in charge of the process. So don't put this off, respond now, before the deadline for this special offer expires this (if not before).
"I've been through this training three times so far and it's AWESOME. I especially like how you use non-hydraulic situations to illustrate the uniformity of your troubleshooting principles. You also bring clarity to some of the most widely misunderstood problems that exist in hydraulic circuits. This training is a 'no-brainer' for anyone wanting to be a better hydraulics technician. Thank you for sharing your vast experience."
Instructor and Consultant
Hydraulic Safety Authority of Canada, Inc
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