One of the most important factors for ensuring machine productivity, reducing downtime, and lengthening the life of components is having the correct lubricant. The best way to achieve optimal performance is to follow the specifications spelled out in your owner's manual. We've put together a list of lubricant tips and best practices to compliment the guidelines provided by the manufacturer.
Why hydraulic oil is important
Hydraulic oil or fluid is needed to transfer power from the engine to the components. However, it also plays another important role of protecting the hydraulic components by lubricating the parts it comes into contact with.
Hydraulic oil best practices
- Ensure zinc content is above 300 ppm – Zinc is added to hydraulic fluid to minimize wear on pumps, motors, valves, and other hydraulic system components. Standard fluids contain 300-500 parts per million (ppm) of zinc, while premium brands contain up to 1,200 ppm. Choose an oil that has at least 300 ppm of zinc to avoid excessive or premature wear.
- Use hydraulic oil with water emulsifiers – Water can lead to serious damage in your equipment if it separates from the oil. Hydraulic oils that contain emulsifiers disperse water, reducing the risk of component damage.
- Always filter – You should always filter hydraulic fluid before adding it to your machine, even if it's new. Filtering will help you avoid contamination that can lead to component wear and equipment failure.
Why transmission oil is important
Transmission oil is necessary to improve clutch performance, prevent wear on gears and bearings, and ensure components stay cool during operation.
Transmission oil best practices
- Choose the right oil – Always check your owner's manual to see its recommendations for the correct type of transmission oil. If you're going to be working in varying conditions and seasons, it's important to use a multi-season fluid. If you select a multigrade oil, you will avoid unnecessary oil changes with the different seasons.
- Change oil regularly – Change your transmission oil at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer. When changing oil, avoid contamination by washing the transmission tank before removing the cap, drain the oil quickly, install filters carefully, and don't open filter packages before they are ready for use.
Why grease is important
Selecting the correct grease for your equipment is critical to ensuring optimal engine and component performance. Grease minimizes friction and wear created by everyday operation.
Grease best practices
- Follow manufacturer guidelines – Your operator's manual will outline the grease specifications to satisfy minimum engine requirements. Select a grease that exceeds these requirements to ensure the best performance and longest parts life.
- Remove old grease before adding new – Whenever grease is changed in any part of your machine, it's important to always purge the old grease. The old and new grease may not be compatible, which could cause serious problems for your equipment.
Contact Columbus Equipment to Find the Right Lubricants for Your Machines!