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One of the most important things you can do for your machinery and its longevity is to make sure it’s properly lubricated. Without the protective barrier, metal-to-metal contact causes serious wear and corrosion which can lead to catastrophic breakdown.
Mimi Falkman is a lubricants expert with Cenex. She says budgets are tight, but the quality of lubrication that you put into your equipment will be what you get out of it.
"So, if you’re using lower quality ingredients or you’re using oils that aren’t necessarily up to specification, they can become extremely thin and they can break down over time so that leaves those metal components without that protective film," says Falkman. "They’re rubbing together, they’re scraping together, they’re causing that wear. Even little tiny metal chips can break off and get in your equipment and cause a bigger issue down the road."
Walk into any farm store and you’ll find a lot of options, which can make your head spin. Study the packaging and the product data sheet to see what benefits that product offers.
"Especially for diesel engine oils, you’re really looking for something that has great oxidation control, one that provides a high total base number. That basically helps a lubricant deal with the natural acids that occur in the combustion process," she says. "And then I think most importantly you need to find one that has great viscosity retention."
As you consider the needs for your own operation, also be sure to follow what the equipment manufacturer recommends.