Whether you’re sampling soil or drilling water wells, regularly greasing and cleaning your rotary drill boosts your productivity and protects your investment. It takes minutes to complete and allows your drill to achieve its best service life.
Knowing where and how often to inject grease prevents minor inconveniences from becoming large operational issues. Slide through these greasy guidelines to ensure you get the most out of your drill:
1. Holy Moly
When injecting grease into grease fittings, be sure to use a molybdenum-based grease because it remains viscous even at high temperatures, which means that it stays inside the fitting longer than oil.
2. Catch it Now to Prevent Regret Later
Start your daily maintenance by checking grease levels because it leads you around most of the drill’s major components, including the drive chain and water swivel. While greasing, inspect the drive chain for any slack that needs to be removed, clear slip plates of grease and soil, and tighten any loose bolts.
3. Drawworks to the Mast
Use a grease gun to inject about two to three pumps of grease into the fittings before starting the drill and every few hours while the drill operates. The slip pads on the drawworks and mast need to be cleaned and lubricated with a light film of silicone spray after about eight hours of operation so the drill can lift the drivehead smoothly and quickly.
4. Locked and Loaded
Like the drawworks and mast, the water swivel needs routine greasing and maintenance. Since it’s already preloaded with grease, add more after about four hours of operation while the drill stem rotates slowly — less than 10 rpm. Grease again immediately after operating, while the drill is still warm, so heated grease can flow into the wear areas.
5. More Isn’t Always Better
Take care to not over-grease the water swivel because it might prematurely wear its swivel shaft. To avoid this, only pump grease into the water swivel until it resists additional grease. If the water swivel seizes while lubricating, use a sharp object, such as a flat screwdriver head, to depress the ball check in the grease fittings and release extra pressure.
Routine greasing is a surefire way to keep things in top condition, but working with a reliable manufacturer is the best way to minimize downtime if a serious operating issue occurs. If there’s no solution in the operators’ manual, having someone you can contact, day or night, ensures that a solution is on its way — be it a spare part or a product engineer.
For more maintenance information and tips, check out our YouTube channel.