As we enter summer, it’s a great opportunity to easily address some Preventative Maintenance (PM ) on couplings and drawbar eyes, in your operation . . .
The previous winter and spring conditions are now behind us but they were often associated with wet roadways that result in heavy road grime build up that typically has deicer agents suspended within it. At a minimum, both of these being present on your couplings and drawbar eyes will reduce their useful service life but a more serious issue could be looming if not taken care of.
Road grime is abrasive and will actually act as a sanding agent that can literally grind away at the coupling pintle and drawbar eye loop. Because deicers can be sticky, they actually help promote the road grime in clinging to the surfaces. Furthermore, deicing agents can be very corrosive, which will negatively affect the operational functionality. The potential serious loom can be the road grime buildup covering up damaged components that go unnoticed.
A quick summertime cleaning, inspection and lubrication is the way to go. Remove the bad by cleaning the coupling and drawbar eye thoroughly with a non-corrosive liquid detergent and stiff bristle nylon brush. Once dry, they can then be inspected closely for any worn or damaged components. Premier has wear gages available for all of our couplings and drawbar eyes, which allows for a simple check of the cross section of the pintle horn or drawbar eye loop. The beauty of these wear gages is that they are simple to use and they are in alliance with Federal out of service limits, so you are testing the same way as would be done by an inspector. When all is determined to be good with the coupling, it’s now time to apply lubrication to the pivot points of the latch system. Some couplings have lubrication ports that deliver the lube right to the lubrication point, so this task is very simple. Always consult the manufacturer for what they recommend and make certain any lubricant is kept away from the coupling and drawbar eye contact points. If any lube ends up in this area, clean it off thoroughly as the lube will attract road debris and, once again, start the abrasive sanding process.
An early summer season cleaning, inspection and lubrication will result in longer component life, improved functionality and peace of mind, knowing that these critical components have been inspected and are up to the task ahead. And let’s be honest, it’s kind of nice to get outside and perform a thorough cleaning when the weather is nice.
Premier Mfg. Co.