Hot maintenance tips for critical mine equipment (part 2)

Tip 2:  Drive Train Fluids

Whether you have trucks/support equipment with electric wheel motors or mechanical drive systems, oil selection is a major factor to consider. Like engines, these components are working in both cold and hot environments, pushing or pulling heavy loads and are prone to external contamination and wear metals accumulation.

For mechanical drive trains, you want heavy-duty oils designed to withstand shock and heavy loading. Oils with a combination of a high viscosity index and additive system help provide outstanding performance under severe high and low temperature conditions. Multigrade or synthetic drive train oils offer the widest operating temperature range to handle the load under any condition.

Depending on your equipment, often you consolidate the number of fluids to help reduce cross contamination risks and reduce the number of lubricants at your mine. For example, in applications calling for T0-4 fluids, a multigrade premium T0-4 oil may be best suited for transmissions, differentials and possibly the hydraulic systems as well.

For wheel motors, selecting the right fluid that is designed to protect critical components and keeping that fluid clean can pay significant dividends. Synthetic gear oils with a wide viscosity index offer the best option for protecting heavy loads yet can flow in colder temperatures. Gear oils with extreme pressure additives offer the best protection against shock loading and helping to coat all surface to protect against metal to metal contact. The right synthetic wheel motor oil will also resist oxidation and have a robust additive package to allow for extended service life. Using by-pass filtration can help extend the oil life, as well as extend the life of the wheel motors themselves, which can help reduce life cycle costs on your fleet.