Improving Fleet Efficiency with Proper Grease Selection

Grease plays a vital role in the performance and longevity of any truck fleet. Fleet trucks are constantly competing against the harsh environment of the road, from drastically fluctuating temperatures to heavy loads and varying weather conditions. A heavy-duty or quality multipurpose grease can effectively protect your valuable equipment against wear, contamination and environmental factors while extending the life of bearings and other components.

Strict regulations and mandatory OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) approvals help categorize grease types through different specifications and ensure that operators only use greases specifically approved for the intended fleet application.

However, having common specification approvals does not mean that greases perform in a similar fashion. Often, each grease manufacturer will have different specifications and formulations to meet the needs of their clients. This is why it's important to compare these options to the needs of your fleet to find the perfect heavy-duty grease to protect your equipment and maximize the effectiveness of your maintenance program. If you are questioning which grease is the right fit for your needs, never hesitate to contact the grease manufacturer's lubrication specialist, who can walk you through the various products in their line and help you make an informed decision.

Grease Selection
For many operators around the world, a successful grease lubrication approach usually includes the use of a few select greases that deliver proven value and effectiveness to the user. This guarantees that your trucks are healthy and that your drivers experience as little unplanned downtime as possible. There are many factors to consider when selecting the appropriate heavy-duty grease for your fleet.

One of the first aspects to consider is a grease's ability to handle extreme pressures. Your fleets will be carrying a variety of loads and weights, and it's important to have a grease that can handle the demand. This directly correlates to longer component life and reduced downtime.

The next factor to review is a grease's overall mobility. It's important to make sure that your new grease can provide quality mobility and pumpability to ensure that all of your components are adequately protected, even during fluctuating temperatures and environmental changes, which fleets commonly face.

You should also investigate the grease's ability to resist corrosion, both from freshwater and saltwater sources. When exposed to moisture and oxygen, the metal components will react and form an oxide. This byproduct cannot adhere to the metal surfaces and will eventually flake off, causing pitting. Extensive pitting can lead to weakened parts, disintegration, and eventually full failure. This resistance level will give you a better idea of how often you will have to regrease and the expected level of protection that the grease can provide to your trucks.

Finally, you should review a grease's water washout resistance, both for environmental conditions and truck washdowns. A grease's water washout resistance is the measure of its ability to resist the effects of water while staying in place and protecting your components. This effectively prevents failures and damage to your systems while increasing the component's overall service life.

No matter which grease you pick, it's important to do your due diligence. A quality, heavy-duty grease has the ability to make a strong impact on the overall health and lifespan of your fleet, equaling greater returns and a safer working environment.

Switching to a Different Grease
Making sure the right greases are being used in order to optimize fleet performance is one of the primary concerns for any maintenance team. Because of this, there are several reasons why operators may want to switch their grease selection.

One common reason to switch greases is if you are dissatisfied with the performance of your current selection. For example, if you notice a consistent increase in load size or demand for your trucks, it's best to reevaluate your selection to ensure that the grease is keeping up with the demands of your fleet while providing the necessary protection against wear and contamination.

Another prevalent reason to change greases is to streamline grease inventory management. There are several justifications for this, including lowering overall grease expenditures and consolidating the maintenance and regreasing process. This can make it simpler for your lubrication staff to efficiently grease and maintain your fleet.

Finally, it could be that the OEM has changed its grease recommendations for a particular part or application. When an amendment is made to OEM guidelines, it is important to thoroughly review your current grease selection and how it aligns with the new recommendations. If changes are required, you can contact a trusted lubrication supplier to help guide your selection process.

A quality lubricant supplier can help guide fleet owners and maintenance staff through the selection process and discuss key factors that should be considered when selecting a new grease. This includes aspects such as component lubrication requirements, the overall age and health of the equipment, environmental factors and conditions, your preferred method of grease application, and your desired regreasing intervals.

Luckily, grease conversion procedures are well defined by component OEMS, and they revolve around how to successfully purge a previous grease while sometimes being able to extend the time between regreasing intervals. During this purging process, you can displace most of the old grease with your new selection and ensure a smooth transition for your team and equipment.

By following this guide and working with a quality lubrication partner, you can efficiently select and implement a new heavy-duty grease selection to help maximize the effectiveness of your maintenance program and ensure that your drivers are set for success on the road.