One of the most important tasks to complete to keep your tractor in good operating shape is greasing. Due to the fact that many of your tractors key components do not attach or feed into a grease reservoir, a little human intervention is necessary to keep those parts moving. Examples of parts that need greasing are those engaged in constant rapid motion, or velocity, to enable them to continue smooth movement without creating friction or wear. Consult your owner's manual for specifics as to what type of lubrication your tractor requires, when you should grease, and in what locations.
Some standard zerks (named after Oscar Zerk, the Austrian-American inventor) or grease points are:
Tie Rod Ends, both left and right
Steering Cylinder Ball Joints, both left and right
Master Brake Linkage Shaft and King Pins
Three-Point Hitch Pivot Points
In some cases it is even recommended to grease your seat rails!
The goal of greasing or lubricating is to keep moving parts cool. Part of any good grease job is clean up after the fact; wipe away any excess grease as it can collect dirt and debris. If you wind up with an accumulation of dirt and debris, this in itself can cause friction and damaging heat. Removing these particles goes a long way towards persevering bearings, joints, and other moving parts. Remember your goal is to maintain smooth movement and minimize wear on vital mobile components.
A good grease job is one that is a lot like Goldilocks, that being 'just right.' You do not want to add too little grease to your zerks, just like you do not want to add too much. If you pump the grease gun until you see grease pooling out, you run the risk of stretching out your bearing seals. This can lead to failure by creating a place for dirt to collect and cause harmful heat and friction. It is best use less grease more often, such as with regular lubrication, than piling it all in at once. Also be sure to clean the contact points you intend to grease beforehand so as not to push unwanted dirt in along with the grease.
Your owner's manual will tell you what parts of your tractor to grease and at what frequency. This will be based on hourly usage and, depending on the part, will translate to daily, weekly, or monthly greasing. Lubrication is definitely something that should be added to your regular maintenance plan and monitored with vigilence. Also vital is knowing the type of grease to use; important things to consider are boundary conditions, extreme pressure properties, and dropping point (the temp the grease melts) and how they correlate with your tractor.
Getting to know your tractor's grease needs will improve its longevity and function as well as prevent dangerous thermal accumulation. If you see a part that moves, look for a fitting and grease it! If you have questions, your owner's manual is there for you, and if it doesn't contain the answer you are looking for, the manufacturer is there to help, too. Note their customer service or help line phone numbers in your maintenance log if you haven't already and call with questions as needed.