January 10, 2019

Fluid Sampling

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Quick Tip Video: Fluid Sampling for Quality Fluid Analysis

At Altorfer CAT, we offer our customers S.O.S. Fluid Analysis, which analyzes the condition of your oil, coolant and diesel fuel. This provides insights into the condition of your machinery’s most critical components and alerts you to irregularities before they can become much larger problems.

Watch the following quick tip video, in which a Caterpillar® representative shows you how to take a good fluid sample without getting any contaminants.


Hi, this is Dave with today’s quick tip.

We’re often asked how to take a good fluid sample without getting any contamination and today I’m going to show you how.

For this example, we are going to take a hydraulic oil sample.

First, you pop the cap off and wipe off the valve.

Before we take our sample, we need to prep our two sample bottles.

Keep the final cap in the bag until you are ready to seal your clean sample, so you don’t contaminate it.

Go ahead and start the machine up.

Insert the tube into the valve and take your clean out sample.

You don’t need to fill the bottle here; just a little bit will do the trick.

Next, use the other bottle to take your sample that will be sent to the fluid analysis lab.

We want to fill this sample all the way up.

Place your clean cap on the bottle.

Label with your machine number and machine hours and send it off to the fluid analysis lab.

Regular fluid sampling is so important as it can help prevent unplanned downtime and extend the life of your machine.

That’s been today’s quick tip, thanks for watching.


Why You Should Make Fluid Sampling a Regular Part of Your Maintenance Routine

Use this quick clip as a training video for new employees or as part of a refresher course for more experienced ones. It’s important to remember that regular fluid sampling and testing offers several benefits, including the following:

  • It helps you avoid costly failures and unplanned downtime. Contaminants are responsible for the overwhelming majority of hydraulic system failures, yet only 50 percent of component repairs are performed before a piece of equipment fails. By regularly testing your fluids, you can gain expert insights into the state of your equipment, as well as recommendations for any minor repairs or replacements.
  • It helps you maximize your ROI. When you have your fluids expertly tested, you’ll be in a better position to maintain the overall health of your equipment by replacing parts as needed. This, in turn, reduces repair and replacement costs over the lifetime of the equipment. Plus, it maximizes the amount of use you can get out of it.
  • It helps reduce repair times. By keeping track of what’s going on inside your machinery through regular fluid sampling and testing, you can proactively schedule regular maintenance — instead of having to deal with much longer downtime because component wear led to a critical failure of the machine.

How to Take a Good Fluid Sample Without Getting Any Contamination 

Using the example of sampling hydraulic oil, the video shows how to pop off the cap, wipe off the valve and have two sample bottles ready for use. The one thing that’s important to remember in this process is to leave the final bottle’s cap in the bag, where it will remain clean until you’re ready to seal up your second sample.

It goes on to show you how to start up the machine and obtain a cleanout sample. Then, using the second the bottle, it demonstrates how to obtain a clean sample and properly seal and label the bottle for analysis. It’s a simple but important process that benefits both you and your machine — once done correctly.

Trust Altorfer Cat For All Your Caterpillar Maintenance Needs

Even reliable Cat engines need regular service, maintenance, parts and repairs. That’s why Altorfer Equipment Management Solutions — EMSolutions — allows you to set up a comprehensive maintenance and repair plan for your entire fleet. As stated, we offer S.O.S. Fluid Analysis, which analyzes the state of your oil, coolant and diesel fuel. In addition, we use the latest tools such as VisionLinkTM and ProductLinkTM to remotely monitor your fleet so you know its level of performance in real-time.

At Altorfer CAT, we’re proud to have over 60 years of service supplying the heavy machinery needs of multiple industries, including construction, mining, forestry and agriculture. Currently, we have 23 locations in 18 cities across Eastern Iowa, Central and Northern Illinois, the Chicago metropolitan area, Northwest Indiana, and Northern Missouri. For quality equipment and trustworthy service, contact us or call 800-333-5993 today!