ALS for Off-Highway Machinery & Heavy Equipment

Heavy Equipment

Lubrication is integral in keeping large machinery and trucks running smoothly, and helps ensure the longevity of many types of agricultural, construction and mining machinery.

In this post, we discuss Automatic Lubrication Systems and their influence on off-highway machinery or heavy equipment.

How does an ALS work?

Automatic lubrication systems (ALS) deliver controlled amounts of lubricants to necessary grease points over certain time intervals. They keep machinery operational, save on repair down-time, and help protect against part failure.

We have several different types of systems available for trucks and mobile heavy equipment. Multi-line, parallel, and progressive systems are just a few examples. Multi-line systems feed an individual lubrication point, supplied by an individual line, while the Parallel system utilises injectors which send a measured amount of grease to each point. Progressive systems supply the lubricant in a fixed order to different lubrication points from the distributor.

With an ALS, lubricant can be applied exactly when and where it’s needed while the machine is running. Manual lubrication, on the other hand, requires the machine to be stopped before lubricant can be applied, and may require a person to access hard to reach places, which can pose safety issues. 

Off-Highway: Heavy Equipment Applications

Off-highway vehicles and heavy equipment have applications in various sectors such as agriculture, construction, infrastructure, mining, and all-terrain vehicles. Farm tractors and load-carrying (crop carrying) vehicles are some off-highway vehicles that are employed in the agriculture sector. While excavators and stone crushers are some off-highway vehicles that are utilised in the construction and infrastructure sectors. Other heavy equipment examples include wheel loaders, rubber tyre backhoes, dozers, dump trucks, articulated trucks and haul trucks.

While manual lubrication is still the norm in many applications, the use of automated lubrication systems (ALS) is becoming a more prevalent alternative to improve overall quality and safety through preventative maintenance.

Manual vs Automated Lubrication Systems

An automated system is able to provide continuous and reliable lubrication, whereas manual lubrication would require a person to stand by the machine while it’s running and move a grease gun to every point requiring lubrication, and apply grease every minute. Manual lubrication is often completed at the end of the workday or week, and the lubrication point is either flooded with grease or only a few pumps are applied. This causes inconsistent lubrication and long intervals between lubricant applications, which is not the best way to prolong the life of a bearing.

Want to know more about automated lubrication systems? Get in touch with us today!