How To Maintain Heavy-Duty Bearings

How to Maintain Heavy-Duty Bearings

Bearings are a crucial component for several functions on heavy-duty equipment, supporting motion between moving parts whilst minimising damage caused by wear and tear. Being so instrumental in the functionality and longevity of your heavy machinery, it is important for you to know how to identify problems early on and properly maintain bearings to prevent issues down the line.

This article will explain how you can identify when problems with heavy equipment could be caused by faulty bearings, and what you can do to keep yours well maintained.

Symptoms of Damaged Bearings

One of the most common indicators that something is wrong with your bearings is a persistent noise or vibration during operation. This could be a loud humming or rumbling noise that increases as you turn or accelerate, a grinding or whining noise when in motion, or a clunking noise when driving on uneven terrain. You may also start to experience issues driving and steering your equipment.

Due to the variety of bearings your equipment uses, symptoms like this can vary tremendously depending on the issue. Similarly, such issues are also common when other parts fail, such as your alternator or hydraulic pump.

Therefore, when you notice any issue, it is important to diagnose it as quickly as possible so you can minimise further damage and keep your equipment safe.

How to Maintain Heavy Duty Bearings

Ensuring bearings are properly lubricated is the key to minimising friction and protecting your equipment. Make sure to select a suitable lubricant for the parts and application, and check how often lubricant needs reapplying.

Also, ensure bearings are well-protected against contaminants that damage the surface of the bearing and limit their service life. Maintaining filters and ensuring proper lubrication goes a long way in safeguarding your bearings from contaminants such as dust which is incredibly common on construction and mine sites.

Check for leaks , if the lubricant is leaking out the bearing is at risk and dirt and dust can enter the bearing and cage.

Constant exposure to excessive heat can also damage bearings. Ensuring cooling systems  are well maintained and giving your equipment time to cool down greatly improves the lifetime of bearings.

Due to the demanding conditions of construction sites, and how susceptible bearings are to accidental damage, they are one of the most commonly replaced parts. Bearings preserve their functionality even when damaged, however you should never rely on damaged bearings. They greatly increase the safety risks for your operator and can cause damage to other parts of your machinery over time. This can lead to catastrophic failure, resulting in costly downtime.

If you need replacement bearings for your heavy-duty equipment, we are here to help. As one of the largest part suppliers in the UK for heavy equipment, we stock bearings for Caterpillar, Komatsu and Volvo machines from OEM quality manufacturers such as Timken. For more information about our available stock and how we can supply you with high-quality replacement parts, contact us today on 01604 491133 or email us at sales@jatrac.co.uk.  

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