AUTOMATIC GREASING COULD PREVENT COSTLY BEARING FAILURES, AS MARGO COLE FINDS OUT.
The equipment being used in heavy haulage is getting increasingly sophisticated: cameras and obstacle warning systems in the cab; diagnostic sensors in the engine; GPS-connected tracking and security. But many firms are still relying on traditional maintenance regimes and manual inspections to keep their expensive vehicles in action, even though some routine maintenance activities can be automated.
One such activity is greasing, a task that is usually carried out weekly and can be very time consuming and – to be blunt – quite boring. And while the number of greasing points in a tractor unit may not justify an automatic system, it is a different matter when it comes to multi-axle trailers.
“There are multiple greasing points on each individual steering axle of a trailer,” explains Richard Hamper, UK sales manager for Groeneveld, which supplies automatic greasing systems to the heavy haulage industry. “If you have 10 lines, you’ve probably got 120 individual grease points. To get underneath and grease them is almost impossible. Firstly because of the time it would take, and secondly because of the health & safety criteria: it would have to be done in a workshop over a pit in order to access the points properly.