Martin Implement Maintenance Notebook: Facts and Friction

Got grease?  Use it liberally!

MACHINES NEED GREASE: A CAUTIONARY TALE
One of the things that sets professional equipment apart from everyday machines like your car is the intensity of the work it does. Big machines running all day, lifting heavy objects, maxing out on their breakout force…well, work like that gets HOT. Friction is a constant, and it’s a constant threat to your machine’s biggest moving parts. Modern equipment is incredibly strong and well-constructed, but it still requires maintenance.  And in the case of lubrication for high-stress parts like lift arms, that means inspecting grease points daily (or after every use) and adding grease as needed; referring of course to the guidelines in your operators manual.

TROUBLE COMING EVERY DAY… 
Our service shop recently saw an unfortunate example of what can happen when your grease gun goes missing.  One of our customers brought in a New Holland W80 wheel-loader which couldn’t load: the rods for the lift arms were bent. As our mechanics set to the work of fixing the cylinders, they first had to get them off the machine and on to the bench. Usually, the pin mechanism which holds the cylinder on the machine will come right off, but this one had expanded due to corrosion, and wouldn’t budge. When pin mechanisms get bad due to a lack of lube, the bolt (which secures the pin to the boom arm) can also break. That’s why you should always grease both ends (barrel and rod end) for each lift arm. Yep, just like it says in the manual.  Unfortunately, our customer wasn’t getting the grease to these areas.

CUT AND PUSH
Normally, all you have to do is pull the pin mechanisms outward to get them off, but because of corrosion, our mechanics had to blaze a new trail…literally.  Using a torch, they were able to cut the pin/ear mechanism off. The next step required a little improvisation. Check out the video below, as they drive the pins inward, with a Rammer hammer powered by a Toro Dingo. (Yes, it does help to have all these great tools at our disposal!) This did the trick, and the cylinders were then removed and serviced. The only rub? The cost of those pins. At $900 a piece, they put the small investment for a little extra grease into perspective!

MORAL OF THE STORY: GREASE IS YOUR FRIEND
If you have a machine that requires a crafty team of highly qualified steel-surgeons (and a Rammer hammer) to run again, call us here at Martin Implement. But we’d much rather sell you the OEM approved lubricants you need to keep your machine running smooth and greasy — like they’re meant to!

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