Your work never stops, so your vehicles and machinery can’t stop either.
Our job is to keep the world running smoothly. We do that by making sure your engines run as smoothly as possible. To get the most out of your heavy-duty engines, you have to be prepared for a variety of challenges and obstacles that could arise.
Whether you spend your days chasing long white lines, moving the earth or tilling the land for next season’s crop, choosing the right oils, greases, and lubricants ensures that your equipment is protected to keep it running.
Grease: Nothing moves without it
How to choose the best grease for every application
From axles to bearings, grease keeps your equipment’s moving parts running smoothly. Grease, unlike oil, is a semi-solid and viscous lubricant that stays in place. It is used in machinery applications when you need not only a lubricant, but a seal to keep out dust, dirt, water, and other contaminants.
Selecting the correct grease will optimize friction and wear resistance, leading to longer component life, reduced downtime, and lower operating costs. Many factors go into the selection of an appropriate grease, such as operating loads, temperature, speed, and environmental conditions.
When selecting a grease, you must consider the application and operating conditions in which the grease will function. For a better understanding of what goes into a good grease, concentrate on its three components: base oil type, thickener type, and performance additives.
The base oil used to formulate greases is usually mineral oil, synthetic, or a combination of the two. Grease base oil viscosity is important to know as it determines the combination of speed and load the grease can handle in the application. The base oil type and viscosity also influence the temperature range of the grease and its ability to meet special demands, such as biodegradability and food grade requirements.
Thickeners form the “body” or “backbone” of the grease by providing a fibrous, sponge-like structure that holds the other components in place, giving the grease consistency and the ability to stay put. The properties of the thickener influence several important performance aspects of the grease, including thermal and shear stability, resistance to contaminants, flow behavior, and load-carrying capacity.
This means that when selecting grease for any application, careful consideration to thickener technology is needed, in addition to selection of base oil type and additive content.
Many different types of additives are used in greases to impart specific properties to the finished product. Additives help limit the effects of adverse conditions such as heavy shock loads, wear, rust and corrosion, and oxidation.
With so many factors to take into consideration and different types of greases to choose from, selecting the right one for your application can be confusing. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a grease for each application.
High temperatures can cause grease to soften and flow away from bearing surfaces, resulting in oxidation or carbonization. A grease combining complex thickeners and synthetic oils is best for hot applications.
Resistance to water and contamination
Grease protects from corrosives. However, if the grease is not adequate, surfaces can corrode, contaminating the grease and leading to reduced lubrication capability. The treat rate and type of thickener determine a grease’s ability to act as a barrier to fluids and contaminants.
Applying shear forces to a grease over time usually reduces a grease’s consistency. Typically, high-speed bearings have low loads and require low viscosity. Excessive viscosity will lead to internal heat generation and increased energy consumption.
The ability for grease to flow under pressure through the lines, nozzles, and fittings of the grease dispensing system is important for cold temperature applications and centralized grease systems.
Bearings operating under high load need a grease with an adequate protective film layer that supports the load and minimizes wear. Typically, low-speed, high-load applications require a higher viscosity base oil.
Over time, the base oils and additives in grease become depleted, causing increased wear of bearing surfaces. As a result, regular maintenance is required to replenish the grease.
Food- or pharmaceutical-grade greases must satisfy requirements imposed by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies.
- Simple soaps (e.g. lithium-12 hydroxystearate)
- Complex soaps (e.g. lithium complex, aluminium complex, calcium-sulfonate complex)
- Non-soap thickeners (clay and polyurea)
Lithium grease is the most widely used multi-purpose grease. It is commonly used in automotive wheel bearings and chassis applications. It also has many industrial applications such as bearings in compressors, fans and pumps, and home electric products. It is typically used where operating temperatures and loads are moderate.
All of the Phillips 66 lithium greases have a solid foundation of corrosion inhibition, extreme Pressure, and anti-wear performance, with different options available in base oil viscosity and consistency, to meet variations in application speed and grease distribution methods.
Lithium complex soap greases
Lithium complex thickened greases were developed to meet the increasing demands on lubricants required by machines and vehicles operating under the most severe conditions. Lithium complex greases have improved properties compared to lithium greases, including excellent pumpability over a wide range of temperatures, as well as improved thermal stability and load carrying capacity.
Typical applications include a wide range of plain and roller bearings, wheel bearings, electric motor bearings and fan bearings. It has become the most widely used grease in the U.S.
All of the Phillips 66 lithium complex greases have a solid foundation of corrosion inhibition, extreme pressure performance and anti-wear protection, with different options available in base oil viscosity and consistency, to meet variations in application speed and grease distribution methods. Greases based on synthetic base oils offer a very wide temperature range and high thermal stability.
Molybdenum (moly) grease
Moly grease contains molybdenum disulfide as an additive and is used for industrial and specialty applications that require a grease suitable for oscillating movements and frequent starting and stopping. Typical applications include pins, bushings, turntables, and slow-moving bearings.
All of the Phillips 66 moly-containing lithium complex greases have a solid foundation of corrosion inhibition, extreme pressure performance and anti-wear protection, with different options available in base oil viscosity and consistency, to meet variations in application speed and grease distribution methods.
Calcium sulfonate soap grease
This grease has excellent thermal stability, water resistance, and load carrying capabilities. It offers extraordinary corrosion protection for use around fresh or saltwater. It is commonly used in automotive, agricultural, food, mining, and steel mill applications. This grease is typically an upgrade to other multi-purpose greases such as lithium and lithium complex greases.
These greases’ functional structure and performance attributes provide a single multi-functional platform which can replace multiple greases and thus decrease complexity, avoid compatibility issues, and reduce cost.
Polyurea thickeners are polymer based and can be tailored in many ways to meet specific demands. For example, these polyurea greases can be tailored to meet specific shear stability or flow behavior requirements. They are commonly ash-less and exhibit inherent oxidation-resistant properties, allowing them to handle high temperatures and high speeds over long time periods. Typical applications include sealed-for-life wheel bearings, electric motor bearings, and fan bearings.
All of the Phillips 66 polyurea greases have a solid foundation of corrosion inhibition and anti-wear performance, with options available for extreme pressure and lower consistency, to meet variations in application load and grease distribution methods. These greases target high-speed applications.
Aluminum complex soap greases
These greases have excellent oxidation resistance and good water resistance, but relatively
low thermal resistance. These greases are typically used for food-grade applications.
Our premium quality aluminum complex grease was developed for use as a lubricant in applications where there is the potential for incidental food contact. It is recommended for use in food plants, bottling and packaging equipment, and other industrial applications requiring a non-staining, EP white grease.
Bentonite clay-thickened grease
The addition of bentonite clay creates a non-soap grease that does not lose its structure even at extremely high temperatures. However, its applications are limited because it offers poor corrosion resistance and have poor high-speed performance.
Our water-resistant, adhesive, clay-thickened EP grease is ideal for use in kilns, dryer ovens, cement plants, steel mills, and other heavy-duty industrial machinery operating at very high temperatures.
Scheduled Maintenance Tips for Heavy Equipment
Well-maintained equipment has less downtime and improves productivity
If a heavy piece of equipment has an unexpected breakdown, it can quickly become a major problem for your budget. Poor equipment productivity caused by downtime and maintenance issues is a leading contributor to increased and unexpected project costs.
A contractor can expect about 800 to 900 productive hours annually from a typical piece of equipment. Based on a 40-hour work week that translates, at best, to a productivity rate of only 62 percent. That means most pieces of heavy equipment have a productivity rate improvement window of nearly 40 percent, which can have a big impact on your bottom line.
One of the easiest and most impactful ways to improve heavy equipment productivity, reduce downtime, and increase revenue is to implement and adhere to a preventative maintenance schedule for each piece of machinery.
Preventative maintenance occurs on a pre-determined schedule, regardless of whether the equipment shows problems operating or not. It allows you to identify and address any defects before they can evolve into more expensive and large-scale issues.
The exact maintenance tasks you’ll need to perform will vary according to the vehicle and the original equipment manufacturer’s recommendations. However, most pieces of heavy equipment have engines that need similar checks performed on them, including:
Use top quality engine oil and other lubricants. Although engine oil represents just a small fraction of your total maintenance costs, it can have a big impact on your bottom line. Skimping on quality or selecting the wrong type of engine oil can lead to more serious issues and costly repairs, along with more downtime and lower productivity later on. Find the right high-quality oil for your vehicles and keep your equipment running smoothly.
Check the coolant, transmission, brake, fuel, and other fluid levels. Frequent drops in fluids indicate a leak that must be identified and repaired. As with engine oil, make sure you are using correct type of high-quality fluids to prevent costly repairs.
Do all of the machinery’s parts move as smoothly as they should? Do the controls respond appropriately? Problems with these elements could indicate issues with the accessory operators on the equipment.
Cleaning the equipment and performing a visual inspection to look for anything that appears out of place can make finding problems easier.
Maintaining your equipment is critical for avoiding downtime and job interruptions caused by equipment failure. Most – 80 percent – of equipment failures happen randomly, outside of the break-in and wear-out periods. Implementing a preventative maintenance schedule can minimize these breakdowns.
Regularly inspecting your vehicles and performing routine maintenance helps ensure that a piece of machinery will not have to have an issue or breakdown before it receives attention. While scheduled preventative maintenance won’t stop all breakdowns from occurring, it can significantly reduce their number. With so many factors that can cause lost time on projects being outside your control, such as inclement weather, maintaining your fleet is a proactive approach you can take to reduce equipment downtime and improve productivity.
You’ve heard the old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The same idea holds true for heavy equipment maintenance and repair, and it’s called the 1-10-100 rule. According to this rule, if preventative maintenance costs you $1, on-time defect correction will cost 10x that, and a total equipment failure would cost 100x that.
While some people still consider preventative maintenance for heavy equipment to be a burdensome expenditure of time, money, and resources, that’s the wrong perspective to take. On the contrary, neglected, poorly maintained equipment will have more breakdowns, more downtime, and more safety issues, along with a shorter lifespan.
It’s true that preventative maintenance will take a vehicle out of operation for a short time. But scheduling maintenance ahead of time allows you to control when each vehicle is serviced based on project needs, ensuring that each vehicle is ready to work exactly when it’s needed.
When you consider these factors, it’s easy to see that preventive maintenance is really an investment in safety, efficiency, cost-efficiency, and productivity that delivers a measurable return on your investment.
Here are some benefits you can expect from preventative maintenance:
Studies show that equipment maintenance can save up to 40% of cost overrun on construction projects with reduced downtime and improved productivity. Also, a properly maintained engine has better fuel efficiency, leading to lower fuel costs.
A safer worksite
Regular maintenance keeps equipment and safety mechanisms working correctly, protecting workers from getting hurt on the job.
Stopping work to make repairs or to fix a breakdown uses precious project hours, increasing the total time to complete the job and reducing efficiency.
Preservation of warranty
For some warranties, neglecting basic service tasks could void the protection of the policy.
Insurance coverage protection
Depending on the details of your fleet’s insurance policy, damage caused by neglecting maintenance may not be covered.
Phillips 66 Keeping the World Running Smoothly
We keep the world running smoothly by making your jobs run as smoothly as possible. That’s about having just the right lubricant for just the right job. From graders to end loaders and dozers to cranes, we offer the most innovative engine oils and lubricants for every piece of heavy equipment on any project—from the moment you break ground until the final inspection is complete.
With hundreds of lubricant formulations for thousands of applications, you can count on us to have a solution that will keep your equipment running smoothly.