Trailer Maintenance: Lubrication & Grease Compatibility

8/10/2015 8:48 AM  RssIcon

When it comes to maintaining your Hamilton Cart or Trailer, nothing trumps proper lubrication. Without it your equipment will not perform as intended and it will be at risk for damage. The oil that is secreted from the grease lubricates the moving parts, while offering protection against water ingression which could lead to rust. Take our advice below and avoid costly downtime and prolong the life of your material handling equipment.

What grease should I use?

The shortest and best answer is the same grease that is already present in the equipment. You may ask yourself, why it matters? First, when the equipment was designed, a grease was selected that offers the best lubrication characteristics for your application. Changing the grease may affect those characteristics leaving your equipment underperforming. The second problem with changing the grease is that it can sometimes be difficult to purge out all of the old grease. This is important because not all greases are compatible.

Grease Incompatibility

There are generally three possible outcomes, potentially at varying degrees. First, the oil leaks out prematurely. Second, it may cause insufficient oil leakage. Third, there may be a negative reaction that adversely affects the lubricating abilities of the grease. The end result is that there will be insufficient oil to lubricate leading premature wear, rust or corrosion.

In general there are certain types of grease that are compatible with others in varying degrees. If changing of grease is a must, then try to use a compatible grease, and attempt to purge all of the old grease from the equipment. See the below chart for general compatibility of grease types. Please note that even though the types of grease may generally be compatible, the thickeners used may cause an adverse reaction that may degrade the lubrication ability of the grease. It is possible that two manufacturers of the same type of grease use different thickeners that would render the resulting mixed grease useless. We recommend contacting the grease manufacturer in the event that a change must happen, so that they may advise on the known compatibility of the two greases.

Note: This matrix is based on information commonly used in industry. It provides a general assessment of grease compatibility based upon the structural stability of mixtures of different grease thickeners. It does not address potential additive related incompatibilities or other performance features. Classification may differ for specific greases depending on composition and manufacturing process. It is always recommended to thoroughly remove and clean out any old grease remaining in application prior to converting to a different grease. Source:

What Hamilton Uses

At Hamilton, we commonly use the Alpha 2000 high performance grease from Chemtool. It is a Calcium Sulfonate type grease that has good mechanical stability, excellent high temperature performance and is ideal for water washout applications whether fresh or salt water. The specifications of the grease can be found here - Alpha 2000 specs. If it becomes necessary to change grease, either contact us at Hamilton, or Chemtool directly

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