We’re Brrrrrreaking Records
How about that: a record-breaking year already!
Yes, the New Year rang in with the coldest temperatures on record for many parts of North America, including our hometown in the balmy south of Canada. Through most of the holiday season, our days were dipping down to lows well past ‑20oC (-4oF). That’s cold enough to give your toughest machines the shivers!
If you’re running equipment in the Far North, you are probably used to preparing your equipment for this kind of cold. The rest of us, though, need to think a little harder about winter maintenance and lubrication.
Geared up for cold weather
At BEKA, cold weather operation of our lubrication pumps has always been a key design feature. The need to keep machines running smoothly through the dead of winter led us to one of our major engineering innovations: our springless pump drive.
Traditional spring-drive grease pumps have a built-in problem when cold makes the grease thick and heavy. The spring is unable to rebound properly, so the pump elements can’t fully recharge.
BEKA’s EP autolube pumps avoid the problem entirely by replacing the spring drive with an eccentric gear. The gear is always under power, so it continues to reload and pump grease. That’s how we’re able to keep pumping grease reliably down to -25°C (-13°F)
Know your grease
Even with our eccentric gear drive, we always give our customers a heads-up about using the correct grease for their winter conditions. In most of Canada and the northern states, your Fall maintenance schedule should include a switch from #2 to #1 grease. Without the extra flowability of #1, even though the pump is working, the grease may not move effectively onto your bearing surfaces. While our systems are designed to relieve any back pressure that might build up, they can’t turn cold grease into a free-flowing fluid.
In most cases, a switch to #1 will carry you through short cold snaps, such as the one we’ve been experiencing this year. If extreme cold is the norm for winter in your area, of course, you need to move up from #1 to Arctic grease.
Here’s another heads-up: when you change grease, be sure your new grease is compatible with the grease that’s already in your system. Different chemistries between products can turn your grease into a solid mess. Take time to talk to your grease supplier about when to switch, and which greases are compatible. Watch this space this Fall. We’ll remind you again about how to get your gear primed for winter with BEKA pumps and the right grease.
Got a lubrication question? firstname.lastname@example.org
The BEKA customer service team has a world of experience with all kinds of mobile and stationary equipment. We’ll be happy to help you find the solution to any lubrication problems you might be having. Just call 1-888-862-7461 or send an email with your questions.
In the meantime, stay warm.
Jacquie McDougall, Chief Operating Officer