Most troubleshooting guides walk the user through a series of if-then procedures to eventually find the cause of a malfunction. This can be a time-consuming task that may or may not find the cause of a problem. A limitation to this method is that it does not teach the user how to troubleshoot. Rather, it simply walks him or her through a predetermined array of steps based on findings. A new book by Brendan Casey, The Hydraulic Troubleshooting Handbook, instead focuses on the 12 principles of effective troubleshooting.

Casey explained, “The book focuses on the principles of effective troubleshooting, rather than the more typical flow charts, if-then lists, etc. It lays out 12 principles essential for effective troubleshooting, and by effective troubleshooting, I mean correct diagnosis in the shortest possible time. When understood and adhered to, these 12 principles become the anchor for a logical, step-by-step troubleshooting procedure anyone can follow—whether you’re a seasoned pro or a still-wet-behind-the-ears novice. It’s the same procedure I use whenever I’m troubleshooting anything.”

What’s the alternative? Casey explains a common method is “pluck and chuck” by guesswork, where you just replace one component after another until the problem goes away. Not only can this be very time consuming and expensive, it does not necessarily reveal the source of the problem, so it will likely recur.

The Hydraulic Troubleshooting Handbook, 166 pages, sells for  $97, with free worldwide shipping. And for a limited time, orders will also include two free eBooks: How To Read Hydraulic Schematics and How To Leverage 80/20 In Maintenance and Troubleshooting. Recipients will also receive a one-month free subscription to Casey’s Hydraulics Pro Club print newsletter and interactive CD (a mini seminar in every issue). For more information about the book or to order, click here.