Rebuild Cat 990 proves value of automatic lubrication

After over 3.5 years and 12,500 hours of intensive use, one of the Caterpillar 990 wheel-loaders belonging to OBA Bulk Terminal Amsterdam was in need of major maintenance. The rebuild, which was professionally carried out by Caterpillar dealer Pon Equipment in Almere, showed that the pins and bushings were still like new, despite the machine being operated in extreme conditions. This could directly be attributed to the installed Groeneveld automatic lubrication system, which even operates with NLGI 0 grease for this specific application in coal transshipment.

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The Caterpillar 990 receiving a complete rebuild at Pon Equipment in Almere, after which the wheel-loader was as good as new for many more years of reliable service. 

With a large terminal in the western port area of Amsterdam, OBA is one of the largest storage and transshipment companies for coal, agri-bulk, minerals and bio-mass. Operational continuity is essential in such modern storage and transshipment terminals. The uptime and productivity of machines is crucial, which certainly applies to the large Caterpillar wheel-loaders used at the site. “Caterpillar machines are renowned for their long life-span and their high reliability. However, even the very best machines cannot operate without maintenance; and certainly not without effective lubrication”, emphasises Henk v.d. Velde, head of the maintenance department and MTD at OBA Bulk Terminal Amsterdam. “Manual lubrication is simply not a viable option. That is why we have been using Groeneveld's automatic lubrication for many years. And successfully too, as recently demonstrated during maintenance carried out on a Cat 990 by dealer Pon Equipment. After 12,500 operating hours, which is equivalent to 3.5 years of intensive use in a three-shift system, the pins and bushings on the large wheel-loader were still comfortably within factory tolerances. They could simply be re-assembled.”

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1.Pins and bushings like new and comfortably within tolerances after over 12,500 operating hours at OBA Bulk Terminal in Amsterdam;

0 grease for heavy-duty activities

Although earth-moving machines are generally lubricated using NLGI 2 grease, high quality NLGI 0 grease was selected for this specific purpose at OBA. The lubricating properties of such 0 grease are certainly equal to those of 2 grease, but 0 grease is better at passing through the bearing. “This causes the grease build-up on the outside of the bearing to be continuously refreshed, thus preventing coal dust from entering the bearing. And dirt like coal dust is deadly for pins and bushings”, states Theo Knijf, manager Technical Support & After Sales at Groeneveld.

To effectively lubricate the 19 lubrication points on the 77-tonne Caterpillar wheel-loader, a Groeneveld automatic lubrication system is fitted with a 50kg barrel pump, which is more than sufficient to operate for a week in a three-shift system.

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Even quality products like the Caterpillar 990 require effective lubrication, and Groeneveld's automatic lubrication system serves this purpose perfectly.