Lubricant and Oil Best Practices
Having the right lubricant for your equipment can mean the difference between optimal machine operation and costly downtime due to premature component wear, resulting in major repairs. To ensure the best performance possible, adhere to the specifications in your owner's manual, and follow our tips and best practices for choosing the right lubricant.
Hydraulic fluid plays two roles for your machine. The first is transferring power from one component to another, and the second is protecting the hydraulic system by lubricating the parts it comes into contact with.
Watch out for zinc – Due to its anti-wear and antioxidant properties, zinc is a common additive in hydraulic fluids. However, it can also cause the corrosion of yellow metals and is harmful for the environment. For this reason, many machine owners use synthetic additives that have the same component protecting properties as zinc without the damaging effects. In any case, check your owner's manual to ensure the metal of your components is compatible with zinc additives.
Your oil needs water emulsifiers – Water can cause serious harm to heavy equipment engines and components. For that reason, it is important to choose hydraulic oils that include emulsifiers, which disperse the water and reduce the risk of damage.
Filter before adding oil – Before adding hydraulic fluid to your equipment, you should filter it first. Filtering avoids contamination that can lead to premature component wear and major system failure.
Choosing transmission oil
Transmission oil is critical to optimal clutch performance and necessary to protect gears and bearings from wear. It also helps keep components cool when in operation.
When deciding on which type of transmission fluid to add to your machine, always consult your owner's manual, and consider the weather you'll be working in. If the machine will be operating in various types of conditions and temperatures, find a multi-season oil to avoid unnecessary changes each season.
Changing transmission oil
How often you replace your transmission oil and filters will depend on your specific equipment and engine. Follow the guidelines described in your machine's owner manual to find the correct intervals.
When changing the transmission fluid, you should take care to avoid contaminating the system. Wash the transmission tank before removing the cap, drain the oil as quickly as possible, keep filters sealed in their package until you are ready for them, and install filters carefully without dropping them.
Grease is necessary to reduce friction and wear and maintain optimal equipment performance. When choosing the right grease, check your owner's manual to learn the specifications that meet the machine's minimum operating requirements. Select a grease that exceeds these requirements to maximize life and performance of its parts.
Always consult your owner's manual for lubricant information or contact the experts at Kelbe for guidance.