How to Properly Store and Handle Fluids for Your Equipment
Emphasizing proper fluid handling and storage procedures for your work environment helps improve machine performance, reduce frequency of maintenance, as well as decrease owning and operating costs. Find general strategies for safe and effective fluid storage as well as details specifically about handling diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) for Tier 4 engines below.
In the past, technology has been designed to eliminate pollutants and debris found inside a machine. However, this reactive process means that contaminants still have the opportunity to corrode, wear, and clog the machine and possibly infect the engine.
The better solution is to be proactive by keeping contaminants out of fluids and therefore out of the machine. While not all fluids are the same, they should all still be handled and stored with the goal of maintaining maximum cleanliness.
Tips for Safe Keeping
For safe and effective fluid storage, make sure packaged fluids are stored upright in their original containers in an indoor environment with moderate temperatures. Because temperature fluctuation dramatically decreases a fluid’s shelf life, never store fluids outside. Also, be sure to take time to keep track of your inventory so that you can efficiently follow first-in, first out practices. It’s important too to keep all containers away from any heat-generating equipment, such as heaters or steam lines.
With the recent addition of Tier 4 engines in the construction industry, there are also new Tier 4 fluids to manage and maintain. Tier 4 engines using Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to produce clean exhaust run on Diesel Exhaust Fluid or DEF.
Just like any other fluid used in construction equipment, DEF needs to be kept clean and stored properly. Any small concentration of trace elements can contaminate an entire tank of DEF and disrupt the necessary chemical reactions.
To ensure the fluid’s purity, it’s recommended to handle DEF in the same way a medical professional would handle sterilized equipment. Keep all DEF tanks and dispensing equipment segregated from any equipment and materials not used exclusively for DEF. Even if a container first used for a different fluid has been thoroughly cleaned, do not use it for DEF as trace amounts of contaminants will still remain.
In general, the industry recognizes that contaminants contribute to 60-70% of all failures of oil-wetted components. Keep your machines clean and maximize their performance by always following strategies for proper storage and handling of fluids.
We understand the struggles of maintaining heavy equipment and a job site, which is why we want to make finding your next piece of equipment as simple and affordable as possible. Contact one of our experts today to learn more about the equipment we have available.