Automatic Greasing Systems

Brodie

LawnSite Member
Location
Australia
Hi All,

Ive been looking into the possibility of getting a couple of automatic greasing systems for some of our machines that need daily greasing, e.g. wood chippers and stump grinders.

Its become apparent that even with training and as many policies and procedures I put into place these types of machines are either not getting greased regularly or there are some points that are missed. To reduce this problem I was thinking of going auto.

The problem Im having is narrowing down the extensive range of systems out there. On the lower side of the market there are simple mechanical devices that are attached to each grease point and disperse grease as needed or on the more expensive side that grease the entire machine each time I turn the machine on.

My question to you all is:
1) Have you used these type of systems before?
2) Did you like them and did they work properly?
3) If you know the brand and type of system what was it?

Im not to concerned if it was not on the same type of machinery as i described as I imagine they all work in a similar way. If I'm wrong about this please correct me.

Thanks in advance for you help.

Brodie
 

curtisfarmer

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Southern, NH
My friend who owns gravel pits and has 5 CAT 980 among other things says not buying auto greasers was a big mistake. He know his guys dont grease and spend a boat load of $ on pins, bushings, repairs, and down time.
 

YellowDogSVC

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
TX
I hate greasing. My chipper takes a long time because it has a loader arm on it. I hate greasing my mini-ex, Bobcats, and attachments. With that said, it gives me a chance to see up close whether or not the fittings are taking grease, inspect things up close, and see if there is slop in pins.

If a system was to fail, how would you know until you wore something out? I am ignorant on the auto greasers but unless there is some fail-safe, I would think it might cost you more in the long run.

Just my .02 cents.. and I HATE greasing but buying a quality grease gun and doing it myself has worked out okay but you may have too many machines to be personally involved in that process.
 

tailboardtech

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Butler, Md.
We use a Lincoln set up on one of the excavators the county owns you press a button on the dash to grease it and if it detects a over pressure a red light comes on beside the switch I will say I don't like how they have the hoses routed on the dip stick they are easy to snag but that's the installers issues not Lincolns I think the recover holds about 2 gallons of grease
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Brodie

LawnSite Member
Location
Australia
My friend who owns gravel pits and has 5 CAT 980 among other things says not buying auto greasers was a big mistake. He know his guys dont grease and spend a boat load of $ on pins, bushings, repairs, and down time.
Thats exactly what I'm trying to avoid happening. I don't mind spending money on fixing parts that have legitimately broken or failed after a long or full service life, its just these days we seem to be doing repairs because someone was to lazy to look after the equipment properly.

I hate greasing. My chipper takes a long time because it has a loader arm on it. I hate greasing my mini-ex, Bobcats, and attachments. With that said, it gives me a chance to see up close whether or not the fittings are taking grease, inspect things up close, and see if there is slop in pins.

If a system was to fail, how would you know until you wore something out? I am ignorant on the auto greasers but unless there is some fail-safe, I would think it might cost you more in the long run.

Just my .02 cents.. and I HATE greasing but buying a quality grease gun and doing it myself has worked out okay but you may have too many machines to be personally involved in that process.
I appreciate your views on this as I do see the need for up close inspections of the machines and in all truth when we are greasing the machine is the best time to see problems but on the other hand greasing is not always happening so problems are being missed anyhow.

We are a mid sized company, I personally do still work on the tools to help keep my sanity but it gets harder and harder to be out in the field overseeing everything these days.
We do have a mechanic that runs over our machines monthly and so far we have been picking up problems before they are to big.

Since posting I have been doing some further reading and found as tailboard tech mentioned that there are warning systems for the auto greaser. Of course $$ are spent on that.

We use a Lincoln set up on one of the excavators the county owns you press a button on the dash to grease it and if it detects a over pressure a red light comes on beside the switch I will say I don't like how they have the hoses routed on the dip stick they are easy to snag but that's the installers issues not Lincolns I think the recover holds about 2 gallons of grease
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This is probably the sort of thing that would fit us. Turn the ignition key and grease at the same time. other than the routing of the grease lines how do you find the system. What I mean is it easy to use? Have there been any problems?
 

tailboardtech

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Butler, Md.
I don't normally operate the excavator it belongs to another department I use it mostly when we are doing storm drain repairs since our backhoe won't pick up some of the concrete pipes they use (I try though lol) so idk if they have problems with it or not on this one you turn the key on and press the button so if you don't press it, it won't grease anything. It sits by the front step under the handrail opposite the cab on the front if I am up at the dump tomorrow I will snap a picture of it
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Impact-Vector

LawnSite Member
Location
Atlanta GA
I'm with the comment above. I like to know grease is flowing thru the piece. Wheni uh used equipment that was abused and is locked up with old grease I wonder how an auto would handle that. The answer- it probably wouldn't try. It would use least resistance.

It's part of the deal. Suck it up and spend the money on therapy or hookers ;)
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YellowDogSVC

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
TX

tenndigger

LawnSite Member
Location
Tullahoma, TN
My company is small but I still own 50+ medium and small pieces of equipment that need greasing. In my experience the easy to get to grease fittings usually get greased if you ask an employee to do the job. It is the hard to get to fittings or the stopped up fittings that really need the time and attention before an expensive repair is needed. I personally go over certain areas of my equipment checking things are greased because if I don't it will cost me $ later. I have tried to delegate this responsibility to others with limited success because they don't have the financial stake in it like I do. I am the type that doesn't get upset if something breaks under normal operating but when an operator doesn't tell me something is broken or has been neglected that's when I blow a gasket. I have turned lots of wrenches on my equipment and I know the areas that need special attenion. I would much rather spend 5 minutes replacing a clogged grease fitting than half a day heating and beating out a rusted pin and bushing.
But your question is about automatic centralized grease system. As mentioned before the system is pressurized and grease will flow the lower pressure areas and those areas will receive lubrication. What about the areas where the fit is a little tight and it might not get adequate lubrication. Still a trained person should inspect each area and not trust the automatic system.
 

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