Best Grease for Farm Equipment: Lube up that Tractor Loader PTO Shaft

best grease for tractors and heavy equipment
Image courtesy Jenn Turner via Flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Who makes the best grease for tractors or heavy equipment? A good grease is essential to keep your your tractor loader bearings and grease points working slick on the farm.

Your starting place should be the owners manual. It does not matter if it is a Kubota, John Deere, Case, or another brand. The manual will identify the type of lubrication needed.

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Grease grading

The National Lubrication Grease Institute and American Society for Testing Materials grade and rate grease standards, respectively.

The NGLI uses nine consistency grades: 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. NGLI grade 000 grease is more fluid like than a NGLI 6 grease. When low temp service or pumpability is necessary, a softer grease is used. A harder grease is used when sealing or leakage is a problem.

The ASTM rates the grease consistency grades.

Grease gun history

Today, the grease gun is a standard, indispensable tool for lubricating a farm tractor, such as adding the best grease for PTO shafts.

A grease gun is a tool used for applying lubricant through a nipple or grease fitting up to a particular point where the grease is needed.

Grease guns come in different types, sizes, and applications which may either be automated (mostly used in large facilities) or manually-operated.

There are five types of grease guns made for different purposes and applications. They are available at home centers, retail stores, auto parts stores and at some of the best places to buy tools online.

Types of grease guns for tractors

The lever-action grease gun is, by far, the most economical and the most commonly used type. These are found at every hardware store. I use this unit when adding good grease to my antique John Deere utility tractor’s PTO shaft, spindles, and bearings.

It is convenient for various light applications and operates by simply pulling the lever to generate enough pressure to push the grease out from the gun.

Both hands are required when using this gun, so you need to position and tighten first the nozzle into the grease fitting before dispensing the grease.

Cordless grease gun

A cordless is a this battery-powered type of grease gun makes the task of dispensing grease easier (especially in tight spots).

This reduces operator fatigue as it requires no pumping action – the power source provides the energy required for dispensing the grease.

A large agricultural operation my require a cordless grease gun to pump grease into all of their tractors.

Shoulder straps (for easy carry and portability) and other much needed frills are provided to ensure freedom of movement for both hands when moving around.

Naturally, you’ll have to contend with recharging or replacing the batteries when needed.

Hand grip gun

A hand-grip gun entails using a pump positioned at the butt of the gun.

By pumping, you generate a buildup of air in the device to produce the pressure needed to eject the grease from the gun.

The action involved may be ideal for some, but may not be the best option for most since it can easily sap one’s energies.

Pistol grip gun

A pistol grip gun allows the use of a single hand and works well in tight spots and seemingly hard-to-reach positions.

It’s easy to operate considering that the grip handles come in a variety of sizes.

Buyers may also choose between left and right hand fit.

To operate, simply secure the nozzle to the grease fitting and then apply the required amount of pressure to the trigger and you’re done.

Air powered

An air-powered grease gun functions by way of compressed air directed to the gun by a hose that produces enormous pressure to eject the grease.

With its impressive power, this type of gun is intended largely for industrial and commercial purposes.

This type of grease gun is not practical or economical for domestic use, as it is bulky.

It costs rather a lot and actually dangerous in the hands of an untrained lubrication technician or an overly eager DIY enthusiast.

Buying a grease gun to lube tractors

Determine the usual lubrication quantities your facility requires. You would not want a high-end, high-volume gun for lubing up a few grease Zerks on your small garden tractor, which requires less grease than heavy equipment.

Identify unusual areas you need to lubricate. Certain areas or points are much easier to reach with a particular type of gun than the others.

Knowing these things will help you to decide the type of grease gun to buy and which extension – rigid or flexible – is needed for your convenience.

Manufacturers usually indicate the maximum pressure and strokes-per-ounce of their product.

Still, you’ll have to figure out how much grease the gun can deliver since the indicated strokes-per-ounce vary from one maker to another.

This must be understood so as not to over- or under-lubricate a piece of equipment or machinery like a chainsaw chain.

Don’t forget to consider how your chosen grease gun needs to be loaded. Would it be by bulk, suction fill, or cartridge?

Know the type of grease fittings you’re going to use, and what type of guns these fittings work with best.

Some fittings have a ball check at the head to prevent dirt and contaminants from reaching the bearing.

Hydraulic fittings are commonly used in most facilities owing to their availability in standard and metric sizes.

It would be great if you find a product that does not need to be totally disassembled before it can be cleaned.

Finally, look for manufacturers offering a lifetime warranty on their grease guns. This ensures the product’s quality and durability.

Lastly, always keep in mind the purpose for which you’re buying a grease gun. Using good grease to lube up an old Minneapolis Moline tractor may not require a bucket of grease, just a few good grease tubes and an inexpensive gun.

Choose features and specifications according to your intended use.

If grease needs to be applied on machine parts that are difficult to reach, then buy a grease gun that can be fitted with a special applicator, extension, or attachment.

Find the best grease for tractors in 2022 on Amazon.

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