FARGO, N.D. — In a perfect world, we would stop every hour to shoot a spot of grease into the bearings. But it’s not a perfect world, so maybe let automation do the job for you.
The automated greasing system is called Autogreaser, and it’s standard equipment on every Unverferth grain cart equipped with Equalizer rubber tracks, says Unverferth’s Shawn Berry.
“It’s not that guys don’t want to grease their equipment. Just the opposite. They do. They understand the importance of regular greasing,” said Berry.
“But if you give it five shots of grease in the morning and then nothing until the next morning, that’s not what the bearings want.
“Autogreaser gives the bearings a small shot of grease every hour, throughout the day, as long as the cart is in the field working. Five years down the road when your main pivot points are starting to get a little loose and need replacing, you’ll see that those bearings have been well lubricated their whole life.”
The half-gallon reservoir holds enough grease for 160 hours of field work. The system automatically engages only when the cart is working. All main pivot points are addressed in the Autogreaser system.
Berry said temperature at the time of greasing is also a factor. If you do your greasing in the morning, as many farmers do, the bearings and hubs are cold. Even if the grease itself is warm, it doesn’t flow as well against the cold steel. On the other hand, when the cart is in the field working, the bearings are turning and generating heat, thus allowing grease to flow and fully penetrate every microscopic nook and cranny in the hub.
“Another thing is our bogey wheels and large end wheels. There we use greaseable bearings, but they’re purgeable so you can’t over-grease them or blow out the seals. That’s always a concern for guys.
“Working in wet conditions, we recommend you grease them every day. If conditions are dry, once a week is enough. We looked at oil bath hubs, but decided against them. The problem is you have to rotate them often. If the cart sits for 10 months of the year, eventually the seals start to leak and they all have to be replaced. So we stayed with greaseable hubs on the bogies and end wheels. You grease these manually.
“It’s not the cheapest way to build tracks, but definitely worth the money.”