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Discussion Starter #1
A spinoff from other threads...

I’m looking for a good arctic grease at a reasonable cost. I’m hoping there is something around $20/tube, but could probably defend the receipt for $40-50/tube if it’s what is needed.

I maintain a fleet of loaders for a snow removal company and have an issue with attachment release pins for JRB couplers. These pins are exposed, retract through a loose bore, and can be subject to snow and ice accumulations. A couple of the machines have trouble retracting the pins when taking off attachments (14’ and 17’ plows, various buckets, and a large self-powered snowblower). The machines are stored in a heated shop without attachments so the issue is normally at the end of a storm trying to get everything back inside. The pins retract after time inside the warm shop, but that takes up a lot of space and time.

They’ve all been cleaned, inspected, and greased, but that was with normal grease as it was August (these machines sit all summer) and I wasn’t thinking about negative temps. That now seems to be too thick so I plan on cleaning the pins and applying a cold weather grease to help.

Note: I have an M18 grease gun and plenty of various manual grease guns on hand.
 

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I would guess your problem stems from to heavy of hyd oil in the loader. The lines that run down to the coupler are 3/8”. Cold oil that need to push 12’ down and back you lose a ton to resistance. Put a t on at the coupler cylinder and measure the pressure at the end of the shift and see what you get. Not sure if those couplers get the pressures reduced or if the run at system pressure. It doesn’t help the retract action of the coupler uses the weak side of the cylinder.

As for grease just get some 0 or 00 grease and it will be fine in the cold. My loader with auto greaser I use a gadus 00 and it works fine pushing the grease through super tiny lines all winter.


Good luck
 

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Another idea is when your plowing your building ice between the coupler and plow. This ice build up could create enough pin shear to not allow it to retract. Maybe splash some used antifreeze on the pins and back side of coupling before you hook them up. That may solve your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They’re all running as low of a viscosity hydraulic oil as the machine’s lube chart allows, so low-vis hy gard or hydrau for most. Now that you mention it and I think about it, that oil just sits in those exposed tiny lines off the load arms with no circulation until it’s time to unhook. The pump and main hydraulic systems are warm from operation, but not that tiny pin retraction cylinder hanging out in the air. I’ll probably let one of the problem machines cold soak outside on a dry day and read pressures.

After looking at the specs of a few arctic greases, looks like they’re a 0 grease with additives. So, I could probably find a reasonable 0 or 00 grease. Deere has a 0 grease labeled as corn head grease that would fit the bill. $4 list per tube and easy to source.

I’m open to the antifreeze idea and will toss some on to see how it works. It’s tough to consistently apply anything to the coupler faces when the machines leave for a push. I like to have the machines ready to hop in and leave, and not worry about operators remembering to do it when they leave or reapplying if the machine returns and goes out again.
 

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I would guess your problem stems from to heavy of hyd oil in the loader. The lines that run down to the coupler are 3/8”. Cold oil that need to push 12’ down and back you lose a ton to resistance.
X2. My skid steer has a hyd quick coupler. During the warm months or if it's been in a heated shop the quick coupler is fast. After working outside for a while when it's below freezing the quick coupler moves much slower. To hook/unhook an attachment is sometimes 30-45 seconds vs 3-5 seconds when things are warm.
 

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Those JRB couplers have always been an issue, are they on Deere loaders? If so the pressure setting for them is only 900psi.
On L series loaders Deere bumped that pressure up to ~2500PSI I think.
I would try bumping the pressure up to them if you can. Otherwise we would hose them with panther piss which seemed to help.

Edit- I should also add to exercise them regularly, daily if you can get your operators to do so.
 

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Look up Joey Barnes, AKA The King Of Obsolete, in Linn Lake Manitoba. He will know about greasing equipment in the cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Those JRB couplers have always been an issue, are they on Deere loaders? If so the pressure setting for them is only 900psi.
On L series loaders Deere bumped that pressure up to ~2500PSI I think.
I would try bumping the pressure up to them if you can. Otherwise we would hose them with panther piss which seemed to help.

Edit- I should also add to exercise them regularly, daily if you can get your operators to do so.

Yep, a whole fleet of Deere loaders. For better or worse, but it’s job security...

The fleet is mainly 624Ks, with some older models as well. A TC54H (544H with 2 tilt cylinders) is the worst offender. Operates great, even have an operator that loves it and takes it every time, except for disconnecting at the end of the storm.

If better grease doesn’t improve the operation I‘ll get a gauge on it, trace the hydraulic circuit and figure out how to adjust the pressure higher.

Only possibility for daily exercise is me. Operators only come in when it snows, otherwise they sit in the shop sans attachments.

Look up Joey Barnes, AKA The King Of Obsolete, in Linn Lake Manitoba. He will know about greasing equipment in the cold.
I did google his website, pretty sure I remember reading his tales years ago. Not as much online now-a-days.


What ever grease you use, I recommend a Milwaukee M18 grease gun




:lmao:

Dammit, so I need a second one? I’m a cheapskate and already cheat by buying the bare M18 grease gun and using company 5ah batteries.
 

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I did google his website, pretty sure I remember reading his tales years ago. Not as much online now-a-days.
If you are on the book of faces he is as well. I see him posting regularly in an old truck/equipment group called Dying Breed Diesels. He has a few different posts with pics of trucks and what he's been doing from Dec 15-20th. According to those posts the temp (without wind) has been -28*C to -32*C (-18*F to -25*F) at his place.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Figured I should update with some results. We’ve had quite a few snow storms so I haven’t had time to put pressure gauges on the loaders or trace how Deere regulates the pressure in that circuit, but plan to eventually.

I went with Cornhead Grease on the coupler pins. Comparing the specs vs different arctic greases it seemed like a good, economical compromise as most of the data was similar, and where it different (high load wear resistance, etc) doesn’t apply in this application. I do not use it on any other part of the loader. Another contributing factor is that the loaders are washed after nearly every storm, so keeping grease on the exposed pins while they get high temp pressure washed is a losing battle. At $4 a tube versus $15-20 for true arctic grease I keep a case on hand and liberally reapply it to the pins when they’re back in my bay after being washed. Takes a tube or 2 to do all dozen loaders that are JRB equipped.

So far, the grease has worked great. I’m definitely messy with the application (another benefit of it being cheap is I don’t have to be stingy). I’ve noticed by cold soaking a few machines that most of the restriction is between the pin and it’s matching bore on the coupler, not the attachment itself. By having a ton of this low viscosity grease in the bore, it’s a night and day difference. They are still slower in the cold, but they move easily. I attribute the slow speed to the hydraulic fluid line temp/increased viscosity. I don't care that they’re slow, just that they work.
 
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