How often do you re-grease your bearings

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How often do you grease your bearings on your trailer or trailers.

once a year
12
39%
once every 2000 miles or close to
4
13%
when ever I go on a long trip over say 500 miles.
4
13%
I don't grease them I have a professional do it for me
5
16%
I have sealed bearings but I grease the spindle
0
No votes
See below I have more to say.
6
19%
 
Total votes : 31

How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby Ron Dickey » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:45 pm

This is a subject that for me was an unknown.
I Packed the bearings my self on my first build 2007 and pulled it until last month without regreasing the bearings.
I did wiggle the tires to see if they were loose but that is as far as I went.

Now I am on a new build the Cross Bow with a Harbor freight trailer.
and the subject of bearings came up and it still going with me!!

The question is how often do you re-grease your trailers bearings?

you can pick up to 2 answers
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby CliffinGA » Wed Mar 13, 2013 9:53 pm

Ron I do mine every other year in the spring right before I start camping. For me thats what my pop did when I was growing up with our boat trailer and never had a problem with them.

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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby Socal Tom » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:30 pm

I think that everyone should make sure their bearings are properly packed before you go on a long trip. I've seen several sets of bearings where the people greased the bearings without filling the hub with grease. The hub should be full ( especially if you use bearing buddys, otherwise how does the inner bearing get greased?

I have bearing buddies ( the zerk fitting on the end of the axle) I try to top it off every long trip. I will probably will open them up again every few years.
If your axle has been submerged for some reason you should repack the bearings ( boat trailers for example) what happens is that people drop their boat in the water while the bearings are hot, as they cool they suck in water and it destroys the grease, and then next trip your axle catches on fire.
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby S. Heisley » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:32 pm

When I got my trailer kit, they said to inspect and grease them then and once a year thereafter.
However, a friend told me it depends on the mileage, kind of like a birthday card I once saw that said:

"It ain't the years. It's the mileage."

However, it may depend a little on both?

I checked mine last year because it had been a year; and, the grease was still a pretty red and everything still looked new; but, that was before the big trip that I did at the tail end of summer. The trailer is tucked in its cozy garage "bed" now; but, I plan to check those bearings this spring. After that 5,000 miles of mountain and desert towing last summer, I'm betting the grease will no longer be a pretty red! It just seems to make sense to check them before the main camping season begins, each year, as well as before and after any large number of miles (#,###) are spent, towing the trailer.
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby eamarquardt » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:45 pm

I have to think that every 5 years or so would be more than sufficient. I think the requirement for doing them more often might be because a lot of "recreational trailers" haul boats and are submerged in water on a regular basis. My Ford van was 12 years old and had 140K miles on it when it was totaled. Never had a problem. My wife's car is 11 years old with 250k miles on it and the bearings are fine. The technology used is the same for cars and trailers. If your are overloading the bearings I don't think that greasing em more often is gonna make a significant difference.

I used to work in a factory and we maintained paper converting equipment with lots of shafts and bearings. We ran 24/7 for three weeks between maintenance days. That's the equivalent of about 25,000 each three weeks. We didn't grease each and every bearing on the line each maintenance day either. We got years of service from bearings. Yup they were on a factory floor but the service wasn't all that much different as far as loads and vibrations are concerned.

If one is experiencing difficulties'/seeing wear on on a regular basis with a shorter service interval than every 5 years or so, I'd opine that you're overloading your bearings and a better (larger capacity) axle is needed.

Just my thoughts.

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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby Corwin C » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:58 pm

From a recent post found here
Corwin C wrote:How often depends on use, my tandem flat bed (which sees a lot of use) gets packed every spring, the TTT on even years of the calendar (every other spring and it probably only sees a few thousand miles between packs.) The elderly neighbor with the boat trailer next door (almost daily in/out of the water) gets re-packed several times a season because of the water issues. Grease degrades with age as well as with use, so just not having many miles is no excuse to not giving them a quick pack. In fact, I wouldn't recommend going over four years even if it doesn't go anywhere. Some greases contain volatile compounds that evaporate out if not in a sealed container.

I feel that how often they are used as well as the conditions that they are used in makes quite a difference. Small tires at high speed, I'd recommend more often than a big tire off-road (unless you're in the mud/water). The important thing is that the parts are cleaned, inspected, and re-packed BEFORE the grease breaks down. There are a huge number of variables here, but in this case, and for the time, effort, and money that this little "chore" requires, more often is definitely better than not often enough.
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby nevadatear » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:24 pm

Per randy of desert metal machine shop. Check at least every other year. Regrease as needed. Depends pn how they look. check more often if you have not changed out your HF bearings to better quality bearings such as Timken.
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby bdosborn » Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:50 pm

CliffinGA wrote:Ron I do mine every other year in the spring right before I start camping.


x2 except I do it every spring.
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby vaddisonme » Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:31 pm

Question here.... So, mylittlemtrailer came with bearing buddies, I think. You just pop off the plastic thing and stick the grease gun nozzle onto the ball-point pen looking thing and squeeze the grease gun until no more goes in, right? So, would I ever need to open the whole thing up and get the bearings out, or could I just keep adding grease every year?
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby slowcowboy » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:44 am

I got wheel bearing grease caps on the ends of my wheel hubs that are greasable with a greese zerk in the end. they use them on boat trailers a lot.

i just pack a grease gun and grease them when I am down the road or they feel hot or when I am hitching up the teardrop to leave.

I dont' grease a lot as this teardrop doesn't get moved every day in a year.

its one of them sit around a lot trailers.

I normaly run a horsetrailer for4 or 5 years with out greasing a bearing.

a lot of this re greaseing bearings depends on how much you pull the trailer and how often.

if your just ocausnal over night camping or a ocasonal one or 2 road trips a year.

you dont' have to re grease your trailer bearings every year.

it depends on how much you pull the trailer and how often its going down the road.

in planin english how much use is it getting

on a ranch job I had we had horse trailers going down dirt roads every day and the high way.

360 days of the year.

we would pull bearings and grease them once every fall.

and most of the newer titains we just went around and shot grease in the grease zerks on the ends of the axle spindles every fall.

I think a lot of people freak out about these trailer bearings more than they need to and grease them more and way to much than is needed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :shock:

you might have to re grease a harbor freight tailer bearings more often than is nessary as they got a tiney wheel going a millon revulations a mintue going down the highway compared to normal trailers.

and they also have very cheaply made crape bearings that are pretty much like junk or disposable.

so they might need grease more often as they won't handle a lot of prolonged high speed highway use like normal american made trailer bearings.

slow
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby slowcowboy » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

cliff I greease my bearings on my boat trailer every time i pull it out of the water!!!!!!!!!

water bearings in water dont' mix. I have a grease zerk on them bearings on that boat trailer

and its grease gun out and greasing the moment I get my boat up on the trailer and I pull away from the boat ramp.

just saying slow
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby Corwin C » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:40 pm

vaddisonme wrote:Question here.... So, mylittlemtrailer came with bearing buddies, I think. You just pop off the plastic thing and stick the grease gun nozzle onto the ball-point pen looking thing and squeeze the grease gun until no more goes in, right? So, would I ever need to open the whole thing up and get the bearings out, or could I just keep adding grease every year?
:frightened:


I work on the highways every day. There are two reservoirs within twenty miles and about this time of year when the ice melts away, the fishermen pull out the trusty boat and take to the water. I see around a dozen of these little boat trailers every spring off the side of the road with bearing issues. Also, I have noticed that almost all of them have bearing buddies installed.

That being said, I'm not a fan of the bearing buddies. I believe that they were developed for boat trailers where you could inject grease after pulling out of the water and then the spring in the bearing buddy would push the fresh grease into the bearing and the water contaminated grease out the back seal as you drive away. The grease that gets pushed out subsequently gets flung all over the hub, wheel, tire, fender, etc. so people quit greasing them every time because of the mess and before long they're running with contaminated grease and end up with problems. I believe, if nothing else, they create a false sense of security.

Properly packing bearings really isn't a difficult job. It takes a little easily learned know how and some time (I can take care of a single axle trailer without hurrying in an hour). Once you are familiar with the process, it's just another little chore that needs to be done on occasion. My tandem axle trailer came with bearing buddies and I have never touched them with a grease gun, I just re-pack the bearings by hand every spring. No mess all over the trailer/wheels/tires/brakes and since I've thoroughly inspected them, no worries.
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby PKCSPT » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:24 am

I went out and bought the stuff to pack my own,, returned it and took it in to have it done. Decided my days of having the patience to do my own work are about done. I mat find it again.
I will take it in every other year.
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby Ron Dickey » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:52 am

a friend said he recommended sealed bearings and one care to offer any comments on them?
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Re: How often do you re-grease your bearings

Postby eamarquardt » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:51 pm

Ron Dickey wrote:a friend said he recommended sealed bearings and one care to offer any comments on them?


I'm not aware of any sealed bearings that are a direct replacement for standard trailer hub bearings. All of the sealed bearings I've ever seen have been radial ball bearings and trailer hubs use tapered roller bearings.

That said, trailer hubs have seals on the inside that are just as effective as the seals on sealed bearings. If you're really concerned about the dust cap end, just apply a little RTV sealant when you install it and it will be air/water/dust tight.

As I've said, it think there are a lot of "old wives tales" about greasing trailer bearings. They are exactly the same as the bearings used on automobiles and you don't grease your cars bearings every few thousand miles if at all over the life of the vehicle. The 2K axles have bearings that are smaller than "usual" and I suspect those that have experienced failures may have been operating the bearings at or beyond their capacity which is likely the cause of any failures they've experienced. Hubs that have been submerged in water to launch a boat are definitely at risk and should be repacked, IMHO, as soon as practical after being submerged if you wanna be safe.

I'd be interested in hearing about any bearing failures and the specifics surrounding the failures.

Me, a 3,500# alxe and a 2000# trailer and I'm good for life.

Cheers,

Gus
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