Most people do not have the interest, patience, or time to wad through all the information provided in technical bearing data and procedures offered by most bearing manufacturers. This is because, the amount of data that they provide is to much for most of us to sit down, read, and understand. For someone who owns a tree stump grinder and wishes to run the operating costs down, the inability to read and understand the technical data and procedure to be able to maintain the equipment themselves means that they have no other option but to outsource bearing maintenance services.
The cost of purchasing a single replacement bearing alone runs over £100. If you factor this cost in your overall machine maintenance, you’ll realize that replacing the bearing takes up a huge portion of the maintenance cost. For this reason, we’ve created this guide to help those who wish to reduce costs by increasing the service life of their machine’s bearings. Read on to learn more!
Reasons for premature Wear in Grinder Bearings
The use of low-quality lubricant and poor or inadequate maintenance are two of the main reasons why bearings on stump grinders wear out prematurely or fail. To avoid this, it is recommended that you top-up grease using a conventional hand-held grease pump when out in the field, and at the end of each day, you should grease the bearing using an air compressor-driven pneumatic grease dispenser.
Also, when re-greasing the bearings, it is best that you purge the contaminated grease until the clean one starts 3xuding from the bearing. The best lubricants for this exercise are EP-2 high melting point grease and the heavy-duty molybdenum disulfide enriched EP-2 complex grease.
So, in summary, when it comes to lubricants, there are three things we can do to maximize the service life of a stump grinder’s bearing. They include:
- – Using the correct type of lubricant
- – Applying the right quantity of the lubricant
- – Re-greasing the bearing frequently
2. Inadequate or Incorrect Bearing Adjustment
If you are in need Of a stump grinder tree service in North Carolina, the second most common reason why their bearings wear prematurely is incorrect or inadequate adjustment. The problem with this type of machine is that, it isn’t easy to access the bearings for adjustment purposes. To do this, you need a specialized tool that can work around the obstructions and access the bearing.
You can fabricate such a tool by yourself using an Allen key by grinding away excess material using a bench grinder to shape the key into a right-angled punch. Make sure you the key doesn’t overheat or turn blue by frequently cooling it with water. Fabricating this tool may seem like a lot of work, but if you really want to save some money by avoiding repair costs, then you’ll put in a bit of initiative and determination and do it yourself.
Detecting and analyzing premature bearing failure is a technical subject by itself in nature. This usually involves the use of specialized equipment, such as oil, ultrasound analysis equipment, infrared sensors, vibration sensors, heat sensors, and so on. All these gadgets are great as they provide us with a lot of useful data. However, it would be costly and impractical for you to purchase all these specialized testing equipment for your personal use at home. And if you could afford to buy them, it might be a challenge to read and interpret some of the data they generate.
So what can you do? The answer is trusting in your natural senses to roughly monitor your stump grinder’s bearing performance. You can do this by resting your hand on the pillow block bearing after running it for like one or two hours. If the block is too hot to touch, then it means that the bearing is worn and needs maintenance.
If there are violent vibrations as a result of excessive play within the bearing, what you should do is make adjustments according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Also, if you hear rumbling or knocking sounds from the bearing, it means that this component is excessively worn and it is time to replace it.
Stages of Bearing Failure
Bearings rarely fail in one go. They usually take time going through a couple of stages before they completely fail. The stages that stump grinder bearings go through are as follows:
Stage 1: Vibration
Vibrations are one of the signs that indicate a bearing is about to fail. By analyzing these vibrations, you may be able to tell how much service life a bearing has got left in it. You can use a specialized tool to do this. This device produces signal data in the ultrasonic frequency range band of 250 to 350 kHz. Any data within this range indicates that the bearing had about 10-20 percent life remaining in it.
Stage 2: Ringin
The second stage of bearing failure is ringing. You can use the tool we mentioned above to analyze this. The tool will measure the natural frequency of the ringing sound. If the results indicate that it’s ringing at a frequency of between 500 to 2000 Hz, then know that your grinder’s bearing has 5 to 10 percent life left.
Stage 3: Temperature
At this stage, you’ll feel high temperatures when you touch the block covering the bearing. This indicates that your bearing has 1 to 5 percent of service life left in it.
Stage 4: Vibrations and Noise
This stage is marked by higher levels of vibration, ultrasonic noise, and a great increase in temperature. At this point, the bearing won’t last more than an hour. After this point, you won’t have any other option but to call in a costly replacement, something that could have been avoided if you performed regular maintenance on your stump grinding equipment.