july2023 - 22

SPOTLIGHT ON LUBRICATION
The LockNLube Grease Coupler is
one example. Bob Dietz & Sons, an
excavation company in New Paltz,
N.Y., has been using LockNLube
couplers for years. Brian Dietz,
co-owner, said they put them on
every grease gun they have to lubricate
their entire fleet of trucks and
off-road equipment.
" Lubrication is just one of those
LockNLube
things that's a real hassle, " Dietz
said. " Using LockNLube tips on our
grease guns has totally transformed
the process. Greasing is easier, faster,
and cleaner. It's also safer and
more efficient because it becomes a
one-handed process. You can even
push grease into fittings that have
been somewhat resistant. "
Dietz & Sons uses a mix of lever-action and pistol-grip grease
guns, as well as battery-operated tools. LockNLube's Boren said
a lever-action grease gun provides additional power over a
pistol-grip. A lever-action also provides more grease per stroke,
reducing the time and effort required to grease each fitting.
But the real key is the locking coupler.
" Without a good coupler, the technician is left wishing they
Greasing:
Manual or auto?
» The AECP
(Automatic Electric
Cartridge Pump) from
SKF is installed on
a vehicle or piece of
equipment (as shown)
to provide automatic,
timed lubrication to
20-plus grease points.
The AECP leverages
standard grease
tubes as opposed
to incorporating a
lubricant reservoir.
SKF Group
The pros and cons of manual
grease guns, automated lubrication
systems, and slick solutions that
fall somewhere in between.
By Gregg Wartgow
T
22 Fleet Maintenance | July 2023
here is no disputing the importance of ensuring all grease
points on a commercial vehicle remain properly lubricated at all
times. What's up for debate, though, is how to actually go about
applying the grease. Manual, auto, or something in between?
One benefit of lubricating with a hand-operated grease gun
is that the technician stays close to the vehicle.
" The ritual of greasing is an opportunity for inspection, " said
Jay Boren, president of LockNLube, a manufacturer of grease
guns, couplers, and greasing accessories.
Using a manual grease gun also gives the technician a feel
for how grease is moving into the fitting. Is the fitting taking
grease easily, slowly, or not at all? Close proximity to that
process helps determine if a fitting ever needs to be cleaned
or replaced, for example.
Hand-greasing
As stated earlier, some fleets find hand-greasing does offer some
benefits. Hand-greasing becomes even more appealing when
the technician uses tools that make it easier.
had a third hand, " Boren said. The LockNLube is designed
to create a leak-free connection while also ensuring that the
coupler remains aligned with the entry point of the zerk and
doesn't pop off under pressure.
" To release a LockNLube coupler, the technician pushes
down on the thumb lever and pulls straight back, " Boren
explained. " Traditional couplers must be forced off to the
side at a 15- or 20-degree angle, which can create issues with
recessed fittings and other tight spaces. "
For these reasons, some fleets appreciate the hands-on
approach to greasing. They also like the minimal upfront
investment, as well as the fact that " weekly greasing " provides
a sense of security. But there's more to consider than simply
the volume of grease being pumped into a fitting on a weekly
basis. It's how long that grease lasts.
This is where an automated solution may provide an additional
level of protection.
How an automated system works
To gain the efficiency benefits of an automated lubrication
system, a fleet must spec the right system size for a given vehicle
and application. But first, let's look at how an automated
system is designed to function.
An automated greasing system is installed on the vehicle
frame. Generally speaking, a pump distributes lubricant to
different grease points through a series of hoses. Some sort of
timer-based mechanism tells the pump when to send grease
to a given grease point, along with how much.
Lubecore's Multi-Line Spyder comes in three sizes, with
reservoirs large enough to hold roughly four to 13 lbs. of grease.
" It's important to match the grease reservoir capacity to
the oil drain interval, " said Jan Eisses, president of Lubecore
International, a manufacturer of automated lubrication
systems. For instance, the larger size could allow 14 grease
points to be properly greased for 100,000 miles. But maybe
the fleet doesn't need to go 100,000 miles. It's important to
have this conversation with the lubrication system provider
to choose the right option.
SKF has recently introduced an automated greasing system
that is designed to make things even easier on the technician.
" Anywhere you might normally use a grease gun is a good
application for our new AECP (Automatic Electric Cartridge

july2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of july2023

Hitched Up – Using AI without losing what's important to your business
Equipment – AEB adoption speeds ahead
In The Bay – Bright ideas to speed up lighting and electrical repairs
Shop Operations – Battle of the bulging budget
Lubrication – Greasing: Manual or auto?
APUS – APU innovations take heat off fleets
Diagnostics – Don't distress; de-stress your diagnostic process
Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting & Skills Contest
Fleet Parts & Components
Tools & Equipment
Product Spotlight: Wheels and brakes
july2023 - 1
july2023 - 2
july2023 - 3
july2023 - 4
july2023 - 5
july2023 - Hitched Up – Using AI without losing what's important to your business
july2023 - 7
july2023 - Equipment – AEB adoption speeds ahead
july2023 - 9
july2023 - 10
july2023 - 11
july2023 - In The Bay – Bright ideas to speed up lighting and electrical repairs
july2023 - 13
july2023 - 14
july2023 - 15
july2023 - 16
july2023 - 17
july2023 - Shop Operations – Battle of the bulging budget
july2023 - 19
july2023 - 20
july2023 - 21
july2023 - Lubrication – Greasing: Manual or auto?
july2023 - 23
july2023 - APUS – APU innovations take heat off fleets
july2023 - 25
july2023 - Diagnostics – Don't distress; de-stress your diagnostic process
july2023 - 27
july2023 - Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting & Skills Contest
july2023 - 29
july2023 - 30
july2023 - 31
july2023 - 32
july2023 - 33
july2023 - 34
july2023 - 35
july2023 - 36
july2023 - 37
july2023 - Fleet Parts & Components
july2023 - 39
july2023 - Tools & Equipment
july2023 - 41
july2023 - Product Spotlight: Wheels and brakes
july2023 - 43
july2023 - 44
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