Grease-related maintenance on heavy-duty agricultural and off-road equipment is labor intensive and requires an understanding of specific equipment lubrication needs. Neglect or improper greasing leads to poor equipment performance or outright failure and unnecessary and expensive repairs and downtime.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) recommended greasing intervals often fail to consider unique circumstances, such as extreme service, company maintenance procedures or environmental conditions.
Similar to automotive OEM-recommended oil drain intervals, recommended off-road equipment grease intervals also do not consider the use of high-quality products, which can safely extend lubrication intervals.
Although following OEM guidelines is a good start for developing proper maintenance procedures, unique environmental or equipment circumstances can alter lubrication interval requirements significantly.
Grease Maintenance Challenges
- Difficult zerk (grease fitting) locations
- Operator neglect
- Insufficient application intervals
- Improper grease selection
There are dozens of grease fittings, called zerks, that require periodic lubrication on most heavy-duty equipment. Many zerk fittings are not only difficult to locate, but difficult to access, even for experienced maintenance personnel.
A multitude of hard-to-locate fittings presents serious potential for missed grease points, causing drastic increases in component wear that can lead to component failure and equipment downtime.
Most grease fittings require reapplication after a certain number of hours of operation. Lubrication intervals may change based on extreme duty and environmental factors. The intervals are also likely to be different for each piece of equipment, and sometimes even for different fittings on the same equipment, making maintenance intervals difficult to keep track of as the number of applications increases.
Use of greases with incompatible thickening systems can result in severe equipment wear as certain incompatibilities can cause hardening or softening of grease in equipment components, jeopardizing protection.
- Grease pound-out
- Dirt and contaminant ingress
- Water washout
The repetitive pounding action of everyday operation puts severe strain on equipment pivot points, causing inferior greases to pound out of place.
When pound-out occurs, no lubrication remains to provide separation of metal components, leading to increased wear. Pound-out also eliminates the lubricant seal that keeps water and abrasive contaminants out, leading to rust, corrosion, pitting and eventual component failure.
Heavy-duty agricultural and off-road equipment is frequently subjected to water, dirt, dust, mud, sand and other environmental contaminants. When grease lubrication is insufficient, contaminants can enter the system and cause additional wear.
When inferior grease is exposed to water there is potential for the grease to wash off the equipment components. This not only increases metal-to-metal contact and wear, but also the potential for rust and corrosion.
AMSOIL Synthetic Polymeric Off-Road Grease provides the extra level of protection necessary to help overcome the problems associated with missed grease points and skipped lubrication intervals, staying in place longer and providing better lubrication for extended periods.
- Provides superior lubrication and extended service intervals for off-road equipment grease points, including heavily loaded pivot points, bushings, articulation points, machine implements, universal joints, driveline grease points, equipment wheel bearings.
- Incorporates a calcium-sulfonate complex thickener, which is compatible with most thickeners, including lithium-complex-thickened greases.
- Resists pound-out and keeps equipment properly lubricated during extreme-pressure shock-loading and high-impact operation.
- Exceptional adhesion and cohesion properties, to remain in place during wet operation and cleaning. Superior water washout test values (1% ASTM D1264) effectively protects metal components from water contamination.
- Superior sealing ability actively deters abrasive contaminants from entering pivot joints and provides better seal protection that maximizes equipment life.
- Formulated with 5% molybdenum disulfide, which actively separates metal components even when a lubrication interval is delayed, for an extra level of protection.
For extended equipment life and enhanced peace of mind, especially during severe-service operation, be sure to check out the full line of AMSOIL bearing and chassis greases.
AMSOIL Technical Writer and 20-year veteran of the motorcycle industry. Enjoys tearing things apart to figure out how they work. If it can’t be repaired, it’s not worth owning.