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Donaldson was founded in 1915 by Frank Donaldson Sr. in the USA. Donaldson was a salesman for Bull Tractors and he was visiting a customer who complained that the dusty conditions caused his tractor to keep breaking down. He made a simple air cleaner on the spot and the air intake filter was born.

The same year, with the help of his parents and siblings, Donaldson incorporated Donaldson Company Inc. Early customers included Deere & Company, and the market for agricultural filters grew and grew, surviving the Great Depression and prospering through World War II due to demand for aircraft filtration and military applications.

Donaldson were quickly seen as the market leader in air filtration for agriculture and then for specialist roadgoing and aviation applications, with a large number of patents to their name and an ever growing customer base. Before Donaldson had invented his tractor filters, it was common for farmers to lose productivity due to dust-clogged and overheated tractors and machinery, so his inventions were widely seen as a route to increased productivity and income growth in a competitive market.

From military and defence contracts to filtration for grain handling systems, Donaldson’s reach grew far beyond the initial application of keeping dust out of tractor engines. However, at the core of the range, Donaldson offered two main types of automotive filter which over the years have become more and more commonly used in the 4WD market: Cyclone and Topspin.

Cyclone pre-filters are the standard product and the most established. With a Donaldson Cyclone, the air is drawn into the filter through slots under the filter body and then collected in the filter bowl, which needs to be periodically emptied. The filter bowl is clear so it is easy to see at a glance when emptying is required.

Topspin filters are Donaldson’s premium automotive offering and the filter head has been redesigned to eject the particles it captures, thus emptying of the filter assembly is not required.

So, do you need a Donaldson head for your 4×4 snorkel? Yes, if you work in agriculture or drive in dusty conditions then it can be invaluable in protecting your engine and avoiding excess dust or sand getting into your engine’s air filter.

Not all snorkel kit are the same and similarly different engines require different levels of air flow, so Donaldson offer a choice of filter diameters and options for different air flow levels. It is important to have the correct filter for your application, as otherwise you can cause air starvation and engine performance issues. With a Donaldson automotive filtration system, bigger is most certainly better.

4×4 Works are proud to be the UK’s largest Donaldson filtration specialist in the 4×4 and off-road market, with solutions for all makes and models from the Toyota Hilux and Land Cruiser to the Ranger, D-Max, L200, Navara, Shogun and more. Whether you are planning a desert adventure or following a combine harvester, Donaldson have a product to keep your air flow clean and uninterrupted.

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