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Three Reasons Every Shop Needs a Parts Washer

When you’re gearing up to make repairs, reassemble engine parts, or keep industrial machinery in top shape, you don’t want to spend more time than is necessary to get those parts clean. If the shop has been thrown everything and the kitchen sink, don’t settle for any sink to get the job done. The most reliable way to create a more efficient production is to let an appropriate parts washer do the grit work for you. And removing grease, grime, chips, and debris is only the first benefit.

Parts Washers Reduce Labor Time

One of the greatest advantages of a parts washer is its ability to reduce scrubbing time, as well as waste removal labor. Spray cabinets, agitating washers, and even ultrasonic washers (using sound energy) that include heavy duty pumps, large soaking basins, or agitators allow technicians to clean especially large or difficult parts with little effort and minimal scrubbing. This frees up time to tend to other tasks. Though sink-on-drum washers (common for auto shops and smaller parts) require a bit more manual work, their simple and easily moveable design makes waste removal no sweat.

Parts Washers Can Make the Work Environment Safer

Numerous parts washers today use aqueous solutions, a mixture of water and detergents that are less flammable and harmful to one’s health. If possible, switching from a petroleum-based or chlorinated solvent diminishes the risks of workplace illness. Automatic washers and spray cabinets also reduce the amount of hand-contact with the solution to minimize irritation.

Then come the cost benefits. In addition to employee safety, this eco-friendly option will save you money in toxic waste management and costs associated with regulatory and compliance issues. Since aqueous parts washers don’t contain VOCs, the water waste is allowed to evaporate. There will be less remaining waste to manage as a result.

Make a Return on Your Investment with a Parts Washer’s Lasting Endurance

The more automatic and aggressive the parts washer, the more expensive the start-up cost will be. But that’s not to say that a parts washer beyond a simple sink-on-drum will not pay for itself over time. The longevity of parts washers is improved with dual filtration systems, asbestos socks, and oil skimming mechanisms so that you can reuse the washer solutions over and over again. The washer’s continual productivity, coupled with reduced labor time, will realize more efficient assemblies and repairs, resulting in greater profits and yield.

Want to cash in on these benefits? Keller-Heartt’s catalog of Fluidall parts washers and degreaser concentrates will help you get the ball rolling and the grime disappearing.

Benefits of Fluid Storage Tanks for Complete Storage Management

The phrase ‘Less is more’ isn’t limited to your wardrobe or interior design. In fact, that common adage is a motto that can save you money, time, and valuable inventory in your shop. Lubricants and other auto and industrial fluids’ packaging can take up quite a bit of space, leading to unnecessary labor, uncleanliness, and additional waste. The solution is to invest in fluid storage tanks. By condensing multiple drums or containers of a single fluid into one tank, you can reap numerous benefits:
  1. Reducing the number of containers creates more floor space and eliminates clutter that can get in the way of your operation. By eliminating the number of containers, you can more efficiently organize, store, and label fluids.
  2. Compact fluid storage with accessible fill ports makes it simpler to buy fluids in bulk, which is often more cost-effective.
  3. A fluid storage tank has easier mobility, so employees won’t have to roll multiple drums from point A to point B in order to dispense fluid. This is less time-consuming, but more importantly, it is safer for employees who no longer have to strain or risk injury when rolling, pushing, pulling, or breaking (moving from standing position) a drum.
  4. Outside storage, leaky containers, and other contamination hazards can be eradicated with strong, polyethylene storage tanks. Increase your indoor space with stackable tanks and decrease unusable, dirty fluid.
  5. Fluid storage tanks allow you to condense half-full containers of fluid to reduce the amount of waste caused by excessive packaging. Many polyethylene tanks are translucent, so you can easily track the total amount of fluid remaining in your operation.
Are you ready to take advantage of the many benefits organized fluid storage has to offer? Use code STORAGE by the end of February for a 5% discount on lubricant storage equipment, including Fluidall tanks, from Keller-Heartt.

FAQs About Diesel Exhaust Fluid Storage

What is the shelf life of diesel exhaust fluid in storage?

If diesel exhaust fluid is stored between the recommended temperatures of 12°F and 90°F, the expected shelf life is approximately 1 year.

Is it OK to store diesel exhaust fluid in high temperature areas?

Avoid storing diesel exhaust fluid at high temperatures whenever possible. When stored at temperatures between 12°F and 90°F, DEF can be expected to have a shelf life of approximately 1 year. When stored in an environment where high temperatures occur, typically over 90°F, this can lead to reduced shelf life and the formation of ammonia in the DEF.

Does diesel exhaust fluid freeze?

Yes. Diesel exhaust fluid will freeze if exposed to temperatures under 12°F, however, DEF that has frozen can still be used once it has thawed and has returned to a completely liquid state.

Is diesel exhaust fluid a hazardous substance?

No. By comparison to fluids such as diesel fuel and brake fluid, diesel exhaust fluid is less
hazardous, composed of naturally occurring components, and is biodegradable.
DEF is listed as a "non-hazardous" material and can be transported without a DOT
approved hazardous substance placard.

Will diesel exhaust fluid harm my aluminum container?

It is more important to consider what materials will harm the diesel exhaust fluid itself rather than what materials the DEF can harm as DEF will not harm most materials. The metal from aluminum tanks can leach into the DEF causing it to become contaminated.

What materials are compatible with diesel exhaust fluid?

Caution must be used when selecting an appropriate storage material for diesel exhaust fluid as there are many materials that will damage the DEF. DEF approved stainless steel and poly are common materials used in DEF storage. DEF approved storage containers are available from Keller-Heartt here.

Is it normal to see a build up of chalky, white material around the DEF storage containers and nozzles?

Yes, DEF can leave a chalky residue behind when the liquid evaporates. This is normal and can simply be cleaned off with deionized water.

If you are in need of DEF storage equipment, Keller-Heartt can help. Browse our complete selection of DEF storage equipment here and use the code STORAGE at checkout through 2/28/17 to save 5% on all storage products.

The Benefits of Comprehensive Hydraulic Fluid Testing

No steadfast rule exists that can tell you when it is time to change your hydraulic oil. This depends solely on the quality of your oil, as it would be costly and wasteful to prematurely change fluid or filters that have very little contamination. A comprehensive fluid analysis, however, can give you an accurate picture.
Conventional wisdom dictates that your hydraulic oil should be tested, at the very least, quarterly. For systems that are exposed to other elements, including marine hydraulic systems, testing may be more frequent. Some operations that own their own testing kits will have an even better handle on preventative maintenance by finding contamination well before the oil needs changing, or worse, once a failure analysis is needed. While DIY testing is an excellent line of defense for your hydraulic system, additional lab testing offers an in-depth analysis of more than just contamination severity, but also the type and source of contamination.
A lab analysis can give you information on three things: degradation, wear, and contamination. This information is deduced by testing the following:

  • Additive depletion: Are anti-foaming or anti-wear additives degraded?
  • Viscosity: Have particles increased viscosity, making the oil more difficult to pump? Has the pour point changed significantly?
  • Metal wear and contamination
  • Water contamination: Is water present, causing a decrease in fluid viscosity?
  • Changes in acidity
  • Particle Count: How clean is the oil?

Spectrometric analysis for additive and trace metal content, particle isolation for particle identification, and Energy Dispersive X-Ray (EDX) analysis for exceptional contamination, are all common tests performed by laboratories that provide much more information than an in-house, portable particle counter. Though some available technology offers elemental analysis of contaminants, portable particle counters often give information limited to the number of particles and their size.

Furthermore, the analytical techniques in a lab have the added benefit of expert knowledge, and that knowledge frees up the ability to skirt costly and time-consuming employee training in your operation. The process is as simple as taking a sample while the system is operating, either from a valve on the system’s return line just before the filter, or in the midpoint of a reservoir, away from its walls and base. Once the lab receives and analyzes the sample, a thorough report will be sent back with helpful guidance and warning signs for your hydraulic system.

If the time is right to change the fluid in your hydraulic system, Keller-Heartt can help. Use the code HYD5 by January 31st to save 5% on all hydraulic fluid.

The Many Uses of Hydraulic Oil

Whether your hydraulic system is in a car, a lift, a plane, or cruise ship, there is a magical elixir of mineral oils, glycols, esters, and additives to fit the situation. Hydraulic oils are used for many mechanical purposes that include high pressure, extreme temperature, and heavy-duty applications.


Braking systems rely on hydraulic fluid to smoothly bring your car to a stop. Brake fluid, a specialized type of hydraulic fluid, has a high boiling point, which makes it more appropriate for the heat-producing function of braking a car, motorcycle, truck, and even some bikes. These hydraulic fluids are mostly made of glycol ethers or refined mineral oils.

Heavy Machinery

Bulldozers, excavators, cranes, tractors, and lifts, use hydraulic systems to create enough force to move materials and equipment. Many of these systems employ hydraulic cylinders that transfer power through the hydraulic oil between cylinders, often with the assistance of motors. When high-pressure, heavy load conditions are present, a fluid with a higher viscosity grade and anti-wear additives work the best. For plows and applications that operate in extremely cold temperatures, anti-freeze additives are also considered.


Hydraulic oils used in aviation or aerospace applications must fulfill a host of different demands, because they come into contact with a wider range of environments. A high viscosity index, low-temperature properties for high altitudes, and oxidation resistant additives make the oil more reliable for such a demanding industry. Aviation-specific oils are used for flight controls, landing gear, brakes, wing movement, and other aircraft hydraulic motors and pumps.


Boats and ships require hydraulic oils for maneuvering, and these hydraulic applications include steering systems, bow and stern thrusters, anchor windlasses, and shell doors, among others. Hydraulic oils in the marine industry are often biodegradable due to regulations and the fragile environment in which they operate. It is also necessary that these fluids are long-lasting and efficient in cold temperatures.


Non-mineral oil hydraulic fluids, especially water-glycol or phosphate ester synthetics, are suitable for moderate operations where it is dangerous to generate too much heat. Military and metal industry applications, die casting machines, and furnace hydraulic systems commonly use these oils to prevent fires.

Environmentally Friendly

In addition to the maritime industry, biodegradable oils are used in off-shore drilling, forestry, and other applications where leakage can damage the environment. These hydraulic fluids are made from vegetable oil, synthetic esters, and poly glycols. Vegetable and animal oils are nontoxic, but can be less effective and easily oxidize compared to the other water non-soluble hydraulic oils.

For all of your hydraulic needs, Keller-Heartt’s diverse catalogue of hydraulic oils will keep your system efficient and lubricated. Use the code HYD5 by January 31st for a 5% discount on Keller-Heartt hydraulic

Three Questions to Ask Before Choosing Hydraulic Fluid

Lubrication. Anti-wear. Heat transfer. Sealing. Pump efficiency. Hydraulic fluid wears many hats, but unfortunately, that hat is not one size fits all. When choosing the proper hydraulic fluid, the requirements are based on a multitude of factors including the fluid’s components and the hydraulic system itself. The first place to start is with an in-depth analysis of your hydraulic system.

What are the characteristics of my hydraulic system?

The type of hydraulic fluid that you need is dependent upon the type of hydraulic system you operate: vane, gear, or piston pumps. Unlike piston pumps, which run along an oil film, vane and gear pumps involve metal-to-metal contact. According to Hydraulics and Pneumatics, vane or gear pumps require a fluid with strong anti-wear (AW) capabilities over rust and oxidation (R & O) capabilities. Paying attention to the additives and components of the hydraulic fluid can make a great difference fulfilling these needs. 

Furthermore, take into consideration the following:
  • System speed
  • System operating temperature
  • System’s age
  • Load size
These characteristics will come in handy later when choosing a specific ISO grade.

What hydraulic fluid options do you have?

The answer to this question lies in the base stock. Is a common mineral oil-based fluid sufficient for your pump? Or, is there a possible fire hazard that makes a petroleum or mineral oil-based fluid dangerous at high operating temperatures? In this case, a flame retardant hydraulic fluid would be best. This may include a water-glycol or ester-based fluid.

Or, perhaps a biodegradable hydraulic fluid is more aligned with your environmentally-conscious operation. Hydraulic fluids that use rapeseed (canola) oil have a lesser impact on the environment, best for a setting with strong environmental restrictions.

What is the most effective viscosity index for my operation?

Remember the first question? This is where your system’s characteristics make all the difference. Start with your system’s operating temperature. Typical ISO viscosity grades include ISO 32, 46, 68, and 100 or above for particularly heavy-duty fluids. As these numbers increase, the fluid’s ability to maintain its viscosity at higher operating temperatures increases as well. Therefore, a high operating temperature may require a grade of 68 or higher. Consider, however, if a very thick lubricant is fluid enough for your system’s speed.

Don’t forget to also look at the system’s age and condition. Does your system run the same as it did five years ago? Is a certain viscosity still appropriate? Is there any contamination that may compromise viscosity, or that first requires maintenance? Your system may be more nuanced than what it would theoretically be in a new model, so it is important to choose hydraulic fluids on a case-by-case basis.

Now test it!

Of course, the best way to determine if you are correct is to test the hydraulic fluid, and this month Keller-Heart is offering a 5% discount on all hydraulic fluids. Use the code HYD5 through January 31st to take advantage of this deal.

The Do's and Don’ts of Warming Your Car in the Winter

As winter rears its icy head, remember this: Stop at ten and start again.

It’s not a therapeutic counting exercise to relieve road rage, but rather the golden rule for warming your car. It may seem like a no-brainer, but such a simple task does have consequences that we overlook when hitting the remote starter and waiting an extra ten minutes in the toasty indoors. So, let Keller-Heartt be your guide:

Start driving after ten seconds. Believe it or not, your car heats up faster when you drive than when your car is sitting idle in the driveway. This is because the engine will heat up as it does work, thereby helping to warm the interior of your vehicle. After ten seconds of idling, you are not doing your engine or your gas tank any favors. After ten seconds, begin driving or turn off the engine and restart the car when you are ready to go. Let the car idle for long periods of time while it heats up. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, eliminating periods of frivolous idling for personal vehicles is the same as taking five million vehicles off the roads. By reducing emissions, not only are you doing a service to the environment, but also to your fuel savings jar.
Park your car in a warmer place. By parking in a garage, you are already raising the initial temperature of the car, making the time that it takes to heat up that much faster. Overuse the heater, seat warmers, or defroster. Overuse will consume more fuel and cost you more money in the long run.
Use a block heater. For particularly cold climates, a block heater can preheat your engine to ease cold starts, which in turn will help warm your car faster. Preheating the engine’s components, as well as the antifreeze, will protect your engine from extra wear and reduce emissions. Heat your car in the garage, even if the garage door is open. Deadly exhaust fumes can still seep into your car’s interior and into your house if your garage is attached. These exhaust fumes can also be hazardous outdoors, especially when sitting idle near schools or parks where children are closer to the ground and, therefore, closer to the exhaust. These fumes have been linked to asthma, allergies, lung disease, and cancer.

By being economical and implementing these good habits—or kicking out the bad ones—you’ll stay warm without hurting your engine…or your pockets. Save 5% on all Winter Care items by using the coupon code WINTERIZE.