How to identify – and prevent – failures caused by inadequate lubrication
Truck lubrication is a basic task. Oil drains, filter changes and greasing typically take an hour or less, and the commercial trucks on the road today can go tens of thousands of miles between oil drains.
But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not important. When a truck owner fails to maintain proper lubrication, there can be serious consequences.
This is where you can help.
By teaching customers about possible lubrication-related failures and the associated risks, service providers can correct improper lubrication strategies, make repairs and prevent future damage.
Identifying lube-related failures first requires an understanding of how lubricants work and what they do to keep a truck running.
While its most obvious use is providing lubrication and eliminating friction between engine components, engine oil also works to clean and remove contaminants from an engine, seal combustion areas and act as a cooling agent by assisting with heat transfer, says Lou Wenzler, technical sales support director at Cummins.
“Oil is the lifeblood of an engine,” he says. “When you think about the durability of the product, it is the blood of the engine. Adhering to the manufacturer’s published oil drain intervals is critical to overall engine life.”
“It really is an amazing product,” adds Jim Gambill, commercial and industrial brand manager at Chevron Lubricants. “People take it for granted because you can’t see the difference it makes, but it’s one of the more amazing things going on in the engine.”
But engine oil isn’t the only lubricant that affects the functionality of a truck. There also are lubricants designed to operate in specific component systems (transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid), while grease is used to lubricate a variety of components throughout a truck or trailer chassis.