5 Risks of Manual Lubrication

Whether you’re using equipment for a large production run, fracking, construction, snow removal or something else entirely, you expect it to run without issue. After all, machinery can work continuously without tiring or slowing down — if maintained properly.

Equipment is more likely to break down when it’s lacking adequate lubrication on bearings, pivots, gears and other key components. Historically, a technician with a grease gun has tediously lubricated the key parts of the machine for preventive maintenance. This manual process is considered sufficient by many operators, manufacturers and owners. Because it’s been the only way they’ve performed lubrication tasks, they’re likely unaware of the risks caused by manual lubrication, including the following:

1) Excess lubrication

Maintenance engineers or technicians are responsible for lubricating machines. Without an accurate method to measure amounts, often they provide lubrication until the grease or oil begins to ooze from the machine — a telltale sign of excess lubrication.

  • Over-lubrication adds friction and pressure, which raises temperatures inside the bearing that can compromise life cycles for individual components.
  • Each container of grease may cost thousands of dollars. Why waste a significant amount of it? When lubricating multiple parts on many machines, a company can waste hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) annually on excess grease.
  • Excess grease attracts contaminants that can seep into the machine and create a host of difficult-to-repair and expensive complications.

2) Not enough lubrication

Whether technicians fail to add enough grease, or simply fail to lubricate entirely, the effects on your equipment can be devastating.

  • Friction from a lack of lubrication creates an excessive heat source, which leads to more issues requiring more frequent repairs and maintenance.
  • Without proper lubrication, equipment runs harder and hotter, compromising its life span.

3) Downtime

For safety purposes, manual lubrication occurs when the machine is inoperable. As a result, your entire production or construction schedule grinds to a halt.

4) Safety

Equipment may be massive, with components that are not easily accessible. If technicians have to climb on equipment for lubrication, you may be putting them in harm’s way unnecessarily.

5) Human error

People forget, even technicians. With multiple machines, possibly in multiple locations, it’s difficult to accurately monitor lubrication on all of them. Often, technicians will lubricate only when there’s a problem — obviously, that’s too late.


Graco auto lubrication offers a significant upgrade to manual lubrication, designed for virtually any type of mobile or industrial environment by our experienced group of engineers. Plus, it comes with more information, faster delivery and better service compared to other leading automatic lubrication system providers.

Graco auto lubrication solutions provide certainty for today’s modern equipment manufacturers, managers and operators seeking continuous uptime and optimal productivity from the machines they rely on daily. 


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