Under 4 Minute Maintenance: Greasing Excavator Fittings

3 Min
Greasing excavator fittings

Greasing excavator fittings helps the machine move all working parts smoothly. You want to make sure the fittings have enough grease so there won’t be friction between moving components that cause malfunctions or failures. These steps can be used on any make and model of heavy equipment, including excavators and skid steers.

Greasing Excavator Fittings
Step 1: Select the Grease Gun

There are several different grease guns that may be used. You can use an air grease gun, electric grease gun, or mechanical grease gun with a lever. If using a mechanical grease gun, it isn’t advisable to use the lever one with a pistol grip because it can make your hands sore when greasing a lot of fittings.

HD mechanic holding up two different grease guns
Step 2: Grease Moving Points

Any moving point on the machine has a grease nipple, including the arm and the bucket. Before greasing the fittings, always wipe them off to prevent contaminants from getting inside. Fit the end of the grease point on the nipple and apply grease.

Heavy equipment mechanic shows where to grease the moving parts of an excavator
Step 3: Fill Cavities
Heavy duty mechanic filling a cavity with grease on an excavator

There are times when grease doesn’t immediately come out. This may be an indication that there is a cavity inside that requires more grease than expected. Continue to push grease inside until the cavity is filled as you will see grease come out.

Step 4: Grease Multiple Nipples on Pins
Heavy equipment mechanic points to the excavator pins for greasing

For excavators that have buckets and booms, they will have multiple pins, which make up the movable part areas. Each area may have several nipples that will take grease. Grease every nipple along the pin area even when they are near each other. Every thumb and cylinder will also have grease nipples. Sometimes they may be hard to find. The nipple may be located farther up the machine as the nipple will have a hose inside that will lead to the thumb or cylinder.

Step 5: Grease Top of Stick Cylinders
Heavy mechanic pointing out the areas on the stick cylinders you need to grease

You do not have to climb on top of the boom or use a ladder to grease the boom’s hydraulic cylinders or stick cylinders. There will be a centralized location lower down for the grease nipples. These fittings will push grease to both bushings on the boom base, the top of the hydraulic cylinders for the boom, and the stick cylinder that mounts to the boom.

For more maintenance tips, check out our other articles.

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