You should consistently lubricate your chain drives to resist friction and wear between moving parts and eliminate daily maintenance of chains and sprockets. Less resistance, means greater fuel economy. Chain breakage only happens when you are operating which can dramatically decrease productivity and operational profits.
Dust and sand stick to wet oils and greases, forming an abrasive paste. This abrasive paste worsens wear on chains, bearings, gears, hydraulic cylinders, and anything else it touches. Fertilizers act as corrosive agents. Heavy loads cause pressure that may not have been anticipated when the farmer made his lubricant choice, resulting in runout of lubricant where it’s needed most. Heat also causes runout when lubricants aren’t viscous enough, resulting in metal-on-metal contact. Water destroys everything it touches over time, even as it nourishes the crops we need to survive. Even more destructive than water are the plant juices that end up on moving parts as equipment passes over crops—nothing will contaminate lubricants faster.
The automatic oiler applies oil when the chain is warm and running. This is the best time to apply lubricant because you get the proper penetration. Consistent oiling minimizes metal-to-metal contact and provides cooling. Oil pumped to a brush located next to the chain maximizes the amount of debris cleaned off the chain while it disperses the oil to the pin bushing joint to help eliminate chain stretch.
An oiler kit has all the parts needed to install on round balers, combines, mower-conditioners, shredder attachments and other hydraulic-activated sprocket-chain equipment. Even the drill bit to drill the correctly-sized holes comes in the kit. All you add is your own tools. You also need to purchase two quarts of the appropriate SAE chain oil for your conditions. (See section on recommended oils.)
The type of oil is as important as the method of application. Most chain manufacturers recommend a good grade of clean petroleum chain oil without additives. Additives generally leave a varnish or gum residue which prevents oil from penetrating the chain joints. The highest viscosity oils flow best between the chain link plates, filling the pin-bushing areas, providing the best wear life. The following table identifies lubricant viscosity recommended for various temperatures.
20-40°F SAE20 40-100°F SAE30 100-120°F SAE40 120-140°F SAE50