Barloworld Equipment, the Caterpillar dealer for southern Africa, advises that when working in highly contaminated air, typically experienced in very dusty conditions, maintenance personnel may need to change air filters earlier than scheduled to ensure full airflow and engine power.

As the filter element fills with dust and soot, the indicator moves up the calibrated gauge to show the exact percentage of filter life remaining
As the filter element fills with dust and soot, the indicator moves up the calibrated gauge to show the exact percentage of filter life remaining

However, since it’s not possible to visually determine when a filter reaches capacity, one of the best ways to determine its effective performance and expected life is via a Cat air filter service indicator, which accurately reads its condition.

This easy to install indicator shows maintenance personnel how much filter life remains and indicates airflow resistance even when the machine is not running.

“Knowing when to change the filter will reduce wastage, as well as the risk of unnecessarily introducing contaminants during in-field fitment outside of scheduled service intervals,” explains Barloworld Equipment group product application specialist, Reuben Phasha.

To make sure the service indicator is operating properly, Caterpillar recommends changing it once a year. It should be checked every 250 hours in normal conditions or daily if dust is severe.

The UHE option

Where the indicator readings regularly show operating conditions with a high percentage of fine dust particles or exhaust soot, one of the best options for fleet managers is to install Cat UHE (Ultra High Efficiency) air filters to ensure optimum availability and reduced engine wear.

“Particles collect on the UHE filter’s surface layer of very fine fibres, quickly building a cake that allows less dust to reach the engine,” Phasha expands. “This surface particle cake is more porous than comparable dust-coated media fibres, causing less restriction throughout the filter life.”

The lower restriction allows the engine to breathe more easily, and fuel economy improves because it takes less power to pull in air. Typically, UHE’s unique surface helps extend air filter life up to six times as long as standard filters.

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