Re-Greasing a Truck Chassis: How Often Is Enough?
There is no single answer that applies equally to all equipment, situations and greases, so let's start with the greases themselves.
Oil and Other Stuff
The main ingredient in grease is oil. Different base oils may be used as a starting point, just as they are for engine oils. A synthetic oil may also be used as the basis for a high quality grease.
To the base oil, thickener is added. This is basically a soap substance, the most common of which are lithium compounds, though compounds containing sodium, calcium or barium are also used. Each of these has different characteristics. Finally, additives used to protect against rust, the effects of moisture or to extend grease life complete the grease formulation.
Choosing Your Grease
For heavy-duty truck fleets, it is important to select high-quality greases and apply them in sufficient quantities, taking care not to over-apply, since excess grease is a dirt magnet. Failure to properly grease vehicles can cause mechanical failures and even void warranties.
The first step in selecting the right grease is to consult the owner's manual. Among the specifics to look for is the National Lubricating Grease Institute's (NLGI) classification . NLGI ranks grease consistency from 000 (oatmeal consistency) to 6, (consistency of a block of cheese.)
A grease highly regarded by Acculube's fleet experts is Mobil Delvac Xtreme Grease. This NLGI 2 grease provides great wear protection and versatility. It can be applied to the chassis, u-joints, spring and king pins, the fifth wheel, pin joints, open gears, bearings and other grease points. The product also protects components from rust and corrosion. The use of chemicals, salt and de-icers on today's roads adds a corrosive burden to the longevity of components. Mobil Delvac Xtreme Grease protects vital components by providing excellent resistance against water, including spray-off and wash out. Perhaps even more importantly, it keeps its protective integrity in wet, slippery and high temperature conditions.
Finally, Mobil Delvac Xtreme Grease is formulated to extend re-greasing service intervals by a factor of two- or three-times the normal service interval. Keeping fleets on the road for longer periods of time is what greasing is all about, and Mobil reports that service intervals of 40,000 miles or more are possible under certain fleet operating conditions.