Grease plays an important role in most construction and earthmoving projects. As a major component of your regular maintenance routine, it ensures that all your moving parts are properly lubricated. Waiting too long can take its toll on equipment linkages and joints, so grease is most beneficial when you use it every day. This reduces premature wear and helps extend the longevity of your machines.
While we know greasing is essential, is all grease created equal? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options, here are some tips to help you select the best grease for your equipment.
When deciding on the best grease for heavy equipment, you need to know what greases are available. There are many different types of lubricants on the market — and some may be more effective for certain types of applications than others.
The most common greases include:
The specific lubricant you use can depend on a variety of factors. All greases come with a consistency number, which indicates their overall level of viscosity. For example, NLGI #000 lubricants are fluid greases, while NLGI #6 greases are solid block-like solutions. How do you know which product is right for you?
This is the first step. Often, the owner’s manual for a machine can give you an idea of the grease type that's best. Because every machine is different, it usually helps to follow the recommendations provided when you buy a piece of equipment.
Recommendations can vary, and some manuals may not give you specific directions for lubrication. If not, here’s what you can do next.
Different parts on a machine may also call for different types of grease. Whether you’re working with bearings, couplings, bushings, pins or gears, you’ll need a lubricant that has the proper consistency. For example, a light-duty machine may only need a NLGI #1 grease, while a high-demand machine could require something a little stiffer.
Factors such as temperature, pressure and other environmental elements can have an impact on your grease requirements. Some of the considerations include: