There is a major difference between replacing your hydraulic fluid and decontaminating the whole system.

There is a major difference between replacing your hydraulic fluid and decontaminating the whole system. Replacing the hydraulic fluid only drains the old fluid and adds new fluid; decontaminating the whole system provides a much more comprehensive clean and permanently eliminates any contaminants or leftover fluids. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to replace the fluid, but “extra-long life” oil hasn’t been invented yet. However, there are situations where the hydraulic system must be properly decontaminated prior to the tanks being refilled.

When should you decontaminate the hydraulic system of your construction machinery?

There are a number of key situations where it is vital to completely drain the system of all hydraulic fluid. If a major hydraulic component of your work site vehicle has recently been replaced as a result of a breakdown or the circuits becoming polluted, the right thing to do is to decontaminate your system in order to eliminate any foreign bodies. However, this is also true for equipment that has not been in use for a prolonged period of time. Generally speaking, if there is a major defect with a hydraulic system, it is vital for it to be completely purged.

At CODIMATRA, we recommend extreme caution when it comes to changing the type or brand of fluid you use. You are advised not to combine different types of hydraulic fluids, given that their different components might not be compatible with each other. We would also recommend that you decontaminate your hydraulic system.

How to decontaminate the hydraulic system of your construction vehicle

  1. Turn to an expert in hydraulic decontamination:

Initially, the decontamination company will need to assess the condition of any oil leftover in the hydraulic system. This will enable you to further your investigations into any potentially faulty parts. Specialists will be able to assess the type of particles present in the fluid, whether solid or otherwise (metals, iron, bronze, brass, rubber, silicon, water, etc.). What you will need to do is to send them a sample of your hydraulic fluid, or they can travel to you to take the sample for themselves. Following analysis, you will be given a quote detailing how much the whole operation would cost.

  1. Rent a decontamination unit and do it yourself:

Many companies will suggest that you carry out the decontamination process yourself. This might be easy for seasoned professionals, but it can prove costly if it is not properly carried out.

Contaminants and impaired hydraulic oils will have a negative impact on the performance of the system and the longevity of your hydraulic vehicles. If you believe your hydraulic system to have been compromised by some form of contamination or system breakdown, it’s time to decontaminate it.