If you grease your equipment on a regular basis, it’ll last longer and if you’re new to tractors and farm equipment, it’s important for you to know how to use a grease gun and how to grease all of your equipment. It’s not a big deal to do, but it can be a messy job and nobody really enjoys doing it. To get the grease job done properly, there are some things worth noting; Anyway, I get lots of questions about greasing, so I’m going to tell you 12 things you may not know about grease and grease fittings. Here we go:
Grease is actually oil with a thickener in it and the grease gets worked out of a roller or ball bearing or a joint when it’s in use, this keeps the fitting lubricated and eliminates friction. Since the grease is coming out, you’ll need to add more as you use the machine. For a farm tractor keeping the fittings and bearings need grease to keep running smoothly. The fittings the grease goes into are called zerks, also called grease fittings, named after the inventor a Wisconsin fellow name Oscar Zerk who worked for Nash Motor Company. Inside the zerk is a little tiny ball check valve with a spring behind it. When there’s no grease gun coupler connected to the waist of that fitting the ball is pushed into a socket at the entrance of the fitting, so it keeps it grease from coming out. When you put that grease gun coupler on and apply pressure, it pushes the ball back and allows grease into the fitting. If you’re trying to apply grease with your lever or power grease gun and the grease squishes out and just won’t go in the zerk, you may have some caked grease or corrosion accumulated in the fitting. It might even be a little dirt or grime that’s preventing the ball from moving against the spring and allowing the grease to flow. A little bit of grease coming back out is normal, but it’s important to keep it clean around any grease fittings so you won’t be pushing dirt and dust into the zerk. The internal components are very small and just a little bit of dirt and grime can cause a problem. Of course, it could even be an inexpensive grease zerk installed by the manufacturer and you may have others that just won’t take grease. In that case, replace those zerks with quality ones.
You need to set your own schedule for lubricating, not all grease fittings need to be greased at the same intervals, it depends on hours of use, temperature, and work conditions. If you’re using your tractor a lot you may want to grease it more often than the recommended intervals. If you are using a brush hog, tiller, or anything with a PTO shaft, you should be lubricating all the zerks at least after every 12 – 15 hours of use. The more a PTO shaft spins and the more pressure it’s under, the more often you need to grease it. If you’ve never been around equipment and grease fittings, you might not be familiar with how to use a grease gun, or you might wonder how to know when you’ve got enough grease in there. When it starts coming out of the grease joint that is fed by the zerk, you’re done. You need to pay attention while you are pumping in the grease because it might start coming out where you don’t expect it to and you’ll be left with a gooey mess. If you can’t see it you might be able to hear it as it will make a crackling sound when that that old grease material is pushed out of the joint and it will make noises that you’ll learn to recognize after you’ve greased that area a couple times.
You need 2 hands to do the job, one to hold the barrel of the grease gun and one to cycle the lever, of course if you have an air drive gun or a recharable electric one, you can do the job with one hand. The handiest item to have is a grease gun coupler. It fits between the grease gun and the zerk. On one end it connects to the end of the grease gun and on the other it has a lever operated clamping device with 3 internal tempered steel jaws that grip the waist of the zerk so that you don’t have to hold pressure on it while you pump the grease. One of the best ones is Tech Team’s#790 grease gun coupler https://techteamproducts.com/product/zerk-and-grease-fitting-connector-set-00790/ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0812BPQS2?ref=myi_title_dp If you want other ideas you can do a hey Siri or hey Alexa Google search or watch the video https://youtu.be/HqDU4HBI3b8 Any good-quality, basic multi-purpose grease will work fine. If you’re using a combine, or a skid loader, or a hay baler–anything that takes a lot of pressure and will be running all day long, then you may need to move up to a synthetic lubricant.