4 Tips for Shipping Success

Whether you’re submitting oil, coolant or diesel fuel samples for testing, mailing the samples can be tricky, especially if the sample jar lid is not tightened securely onto the sample jar. Loose lids can cause leakage and delay the processing of your sample. Here are some helpful tips to not only ensure your samples arrive at our laboratories in a timely manner, but improve your testing experience too.

1. Secure Sample Jars

Make sure the sample jar lids are closed tightly. Fluid pulled from equipment will likely be hot, and this may cause the lid to loosen after the fluid cools down. Also, too much fluid in the neck of the bottle will also cause the lid to loosen as well. Be sure to only fill the sample bottle to the designated Fill Line and make sure the jar is closed tightly by re-tightening the lid by hand until snug. You may also use a strip of silicone tape to secure the lid, but it is not required.

2. Shipping Container

If a hard or soft plastic mailer was provided with the sample jar, place the sample jar inside it and close it securely. The sample can be shipped in that container or protected further by placing it inside a box. Insert packing material to make sure the samples do not shift during the shipping process.


3. Commercial Invoice

International shipments to the United States require a commercial invoice to categorize the items being shipped. Oil and coolant samples should be categorized as Non-hazardous lubrication oil/coolant samples. Tested to destruction. Not Restricted by I.A.T.A. No commercial value. Flash Point >200°C. It is recommended to declare the value of the entire shipment as $10.00. Below is a sample of a commercial invoice.

 4. Shipment Services

Listed below are some of the more common shipping carriers that deliver packages to our testing laboratories. In order to receive your results back in a timely manner, we recommend using services that can track the location of your package so you are able to track down your sample if shipping errors occur.

  • Canada: Canada Post, Loomis, FedEx, UPS and independent couriers
  • Guatemala: DHL, FedEx, Guatemalan Post, UPS and independent couriers
  • Poland: DHL, FedEx, Polish Post, UPS, and independent couriers
  • United States: DHL, FedEx, UPS, United States Postal Service (USPS) and independent couriers

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 30, 2018

Can Your Equipment “Weather” the Cold Temperatures?

Dropping Temperatures Equals a Drop in Health

Our winters in Canada, and those in other countries will agree, are often a time of increased health risks. As temperatures drop and winter sets in, so do a whole host of circulating bacteria and viruses. A virus or illness usually starts with a trip to the doctor to assess the symptoms and typically, the doctor uses both a physical exam and potential blood tests to determine how to restore our health and get us back on our feet.

Cure Your Suffering Equipment

Similar to the human body, another winter phenomenon involving cold temperatures is the health of the equipment you use to keep your business running. Mechanical problems or symptoms often arise during the cold temperatures and can cause your equipment to suffer. Similar to the steps the doctor takes, analyzing the critical fluid inside the machine allows you to understand the causes of the problems. Fluid analysis can also allow you to see what actions need to be taken in order for the equipment to get back on it’s feet and be able to “weather” future cold temperatures.

A Prescription for Coolant Analysis

Coolant analysis is one area that is often undervalued or overlooked. But, coolant analysis goes well beyond checking the freeze protection offered by the coolant in cold temperatures. In fact, more than 40% of engine failures are caused by issues that can be traced to the cooling system, the coolant itself holds clues that appear long before any imminent danger. Coolant analysis can shed light on developing problems caused by:

  • Cavitation corrosion
  • Leaking combustion gases
  • Breakdown of the coolant chemicals
  • Overheating
  • Electrical ground problems

A Clean Bill of Health

It’s easy to see that sampling coolant isn’t just a winter activity. But, just like that trip to the doctor when the sniffles set in, sometimes the best course of action is to look within and proactively, to understand what we’re experiencing with our machine health and to begin to save your equipment, before a failure happens.

Let us prove how POLARIS Laboratories® can provide these same benefits to your equipment health.


Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 30, 2018

Kick Off the New Year With A Review of Your Program

As we move into 2018, could you answer these questions?

What was the return on your fluid analysis investment in 2017?

Did you meet the goals of your program in 2017?

Beginning a new year is a great time to reevaluate your program and its goals. Outlined below are a few aspects of your fluid analysis program that should be reviewed:


Did you provide feedback regarding the accuracy of recommendations in the sample reports? This can be a vital part of a continuous improvement program. For those of you using HORIZON®, you are probably familiar with the “Take Action” function. This is a great place to record your findings and communicate with the data analysis team and let us know if:

  • Were the recommendations spot-on?
  • Did you find additional issues?

By providing this feedback to the lab, future recommendations will be more detailed and accurate and will start you on the path of continuous improvement. Take a moment to capture the cost savings associated to the report in the “Estimated Savings” field. This will allow you to run a report later to determine the return on investment of your program.


The need for training goes beyond the person who reviews reports or oversees the program. Everyone that handles fluids, repairs equipment, obtains fluid samples or is in any way accountable for the cost of the program should receive formal training on fluid analysis.

  • Have you included proper training of personnel as part of your goals for 2018?
  • Has everyone in your organization received training?


As we kick off 2018, I encourage you to share with all your team members the goals of your fluid analysis program and where you are today in relation to the goals. In order to maximize your current program, continue sharing the progress with your team. You will truly be surprised at how quickly you will obtain your goals when everyone on the team is aware of the progress and realizes what a vital part each of them plays in achieving the goals.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 16, 2018

It’s All In The Equipment List

Did you know that reviewing and updating your overall equipment list is a simple way to make your fluid analysis program more effective and efficient? Cleaning, updating and organizing your equipment list can also alert you of problems early before they can turn critical or cause a catastrophic event.

Overall Review

It’s good to do an overall review of your entire equipment list often, this ensures everything is up-to-date and accurate. It’s simple to do – just follow these steps:

  1. Using the data extraction tool under the “Data Management” tab on HORIZON®, download your list of equipment.
  2. Review the list for any updates that need to be made. While reviewing your equipment, here are some things to look for:
    • Equipment that needs to be merged together
    • Equipment that needs to be marked as inactive
    • Any other information that needs updated
  3. Once you have completed your review and filled in any information that is missing or any equipment that needed merged, send the equipment list to our Customer Service team at custserv@eoilreports.com. We will work on getting those changes made within our system in time for them to be reflected in your next round of sampling.

Making Updates

One thing to note – the above steps can be used for doing an overall equipment review. At any time, you can go under the “Equipment Management” tab on HORIZON and click on “Equipment List” and make updates to your equipment within HORIZON as well.

Adding Equipment

Do you have a new group of equipment to add to your account? You can go to the Technical Library and download the Equipment List template. Once you have filled this out, send it to us and we will get everything loaded and updated in our system for you.

Staying on top of your equipment list can help you maximize the benefits of your fluid analysis program and make sure your program as efficient as it can be.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 9, 2018

Out With The Old and In With Advanced Coolant Testing

“Out with the old and in with the new.” To help start 2018 new and free of problems – and engine failure – make sure your cooling system is operating correctly with advanced coolant testing.

Prevent Engine Failures

Approximately 50 percent of preventable engine failures can be traced back to problems in the cooling system. Advanced coolant testing can be used not only when trying to detect the root cause of cooling system issues, but can be added to testing anytime to help make sure the cooling system is working correctly before issues arise. With regularly performing advanced coolant testing on the cooling system early, concerns can be addressed before a snowball effect of corrosion, loss of heat transfer and ultimately, engine failure occurs.

Ion Chromatography

Advanced coolant testing will involve Ion Chromatography, or “IC” testing. The IC test detects degradation acids that can form naturally as the glycol breaks down with age or may form due to issues with the cooling system. The IC will also detect contaminates, chloride and sulfate that may have entered the system without you knowing of an issue. Contaminates found by IC testing can form acids and create corrosion to the system rapidly. Once degradation acids form, the glycol will continue to break down, creating more and more acids that can cause severe corrosion of the cooling system components and will lead to engine failures. Two of the most common issues seen on the engine side due to issues with the cooling system include exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) failures and oxidized oil, shortening the life of the oil and increasing wear contamination.

See Trends

Performing advanced coolant testing regularly will also let you see trending results. This will help indicate possible issues such as air leaks, combustion gas leaks, hot spots or even electrical ground issues. With the ability to trend results, an increase in contaminates or degradation acids would indicate an issue or issues are occurring in the system.

For more information, view our Technical Bulletin and reach out to your laboratory to have advanced coolant testing added to your coolant sample.

Proven Impact. Proven Uptime. Proven Savings.
Let us prove it to you.

Published January 2, 2018