Choosing the Right Grease for Your Heavy Equipment

Choosing the Right Grease for Your Heavy Equipment
Choosing the Right Grease for Your Heavy Equipment
Author: Small Business Expert | July 1, 2020 | Topic: Used Equipment

Tips on Choosing the Best Grease for Heavy Equipment

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.

What Are the Different Types of Grease?

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:

  • General purpose grease for lighter-duty equipment
  • Multi-purpose grease for high-temperature applications
  • Extreme pressure grease for heavy, fast-paced applications

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?

Consult the Owner’s Manual

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.

Use the Grease That Fits Your Machine

All machines have their own requirements and specifications. For instance, the best grease for excavators may differ from the best grease for dozers, and so on.

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.

Consider Your Work Conditions

Factors such as temperature, pressure and other environmental elements can have an impact on your grease requirements. Some of the considerations include:

  • Temperature: Hot and cold weather tend to affect the consistency of most grease types. The best lubricant for your heavy equipment in the summer is typically a thicker multi-purpose grease, which lasts longer in hot weather. Fluid greases often work better in winter conditions.
  • Pressure: There are greases designed specifically to operate in high-pressure work environments. Many moly greases hold up well under extreme pressure and can protect your moving parts during major applications.
  • Wet and dry conditions: If you’re working in damp or wet areas, normal grease is likely to wear off more quickly. Marine-grade lubricants are excellent for projects that take place under wet conditions, as they can withstand some water contact.

Visit a Dealer Near You Today

Why wait for your machine components to wear down when you can protect them with a powerful grease solution? To learn more about the best grease for your excavator or material handling equipmentcontact your Cat® dealer today.