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Discussion Starter #1
Since the beginning of time every trailer we've ever owned have all had oil bath hubs. And as usual when a wheel seal goes out you pull it apart, clean everything up, check the bearings/spindle install a new seal and re-assemble. How do you know when the sealed grease bearings die? I mean I know the obvious "when the wheels fall off" but I just wasn't sure if there was anything to look for. Do they start to leak and sling grease in the brakes like the oil hubs? We bought a used trailer recently and it has grease hubs and wasn't sure on maintenance or what to look for.
 

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Grease hubs should be repacked / inspected once in a while , like at purchase and every 100,000 mi . the grease volume should be about the same as the oil level. Check the hub temp as part of post trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Grease hubs should be repacked / inspected once in a while , like at purchase and every 100,000 mi . the grease volume should be about the same as the oil level. Check the hub temp as part of post trip.
These are sealed, you can't check or repack. These are not the usual grease bearings like on a little trailer. I did some reading and apparently you don't do anything other than check for leaks.

This unit is equipped with the Hendrickson Long-life System™ (HLS™) wheel end,
which is factory lubricated with a synthetic semi-fluid grease.
•Do not add lubricant, wheel end is factory lubricated
•Do not attempt to adjust bearings, they are factory pre-adjusted
•Hub removal voids warranty
DO NOT remove the HLS™ hubcap without first contacting Hendrickson technical
service at 800-455-0043 in the United States or 800-668-5360 in Canada
HENDRICKSON LONG-LIFE SYSTEM™
(HLS™) AND HENDRICKSON VALUE
SYSTEM™ (HVS™) HUB PROCEDURES
INTRODUCTION
The Hendrickson Long-Life System™ (HLS™) and
Hendrickson Value System™ (HVS™) hub
assemblies (figure 33) come pre-assembled,
adjusted, sealed and lubricated from Hendrickson.
Because we control the assembly, internal cleanliness,
bearing adjustment and seal installation in our
facilities, we can offer premium performance and an
extended-service warranty on these hub assemblies.
Both HLS™ and HVS™ systems are available with
ductile iron, austempered ductile iron (ADI) or
aluminum hubs and are field serviceable with
Hendrickson authorized components. However, do
not remove the HLS or HVS hubcap or attempt any
kind of field service without first contacting
Hendrickson technical service at 800-455-0043 in
the United States or 800-668-5360 in Canada.
INSPECTIONS AND INSPECTION INTERVALS
At regular intervals, HLS and HVS hub assemblies should be checked for seal leaks and
smooth rotation.
In addition to the intervals listed below, all
inspections should be done at each brake reline,
since the wheel end will be dismantled enough to
easily make these inspections. In addition to the
inspection at brake service, always maintain current
shop preventive maintenance and pre-trip inspection
practices.
Every Month
Visually inspect the back of the hub and the hubcap
for leakage. Refer to the section titled CHECKING FOR
SEAL LEAKS for complete inspection details.
Every Three to Four Months
Visually inspect the back of the hub and the hubcap
for leakage, and check for smooth rotation. Refer to
the section titled CHECKING FOR SMOOTH ROTATION
for complete inspection details. If the hub feels rough,
sounds noisy or does not rotate freely, contact the
Hendrickson technical service department at
800-455-0043 in the United States
 

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My brain was set on old junk (like I run & fix)
Looks like another service by dealer only plan, but will prolly be great for "steering wheel holder" companys
 

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Tribal
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167 Posts
Since the beginning of time every trailer we've ever owned have all had oil bath hubs. And as usual when a wheel seal goes out you pull it apart, clean everything up, check the bearings/spindle install a new seal and re-assemble. How do you know when the sealed grease bearings die? I mean I know the obvious "when the wheels fall off" but I just wasn't sure if there was anything to look for. Do they start to leak and sling grease in the brakes like the oil hubs? We bought a used trailer recently and it has grease hubs and wasn't sure on maintenance or what to look for.
What I do even with Oil Bath is weekly sometimes more, I just touch the outside of my hubs when I'm looking over tire tread. If they get HOT, (past real warm,) it is time to get them checked and touched off. Record your mileage when they are serviced. If you get a PM somewhere, remind them they aren't to be greased unless you have felt them getting HOT. Just my experience with hauling 11 axles for a few years as well as older Vans/Reefers/Steps..
 

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What I found works really well is get a plastic wire tie, the slot in the brake drum for checking your brake pad thickness has a slot usually towards the slack, just slide the wire tie end and it will rub the brake pad then find the slot and slide in you can push it all the way to the back of the drum. If it comes out oily or greasy it is leaking. You have to rub what comes out on you fingers to be sure as brake dust and water is pretty slimy. ATF will clean you hands.
Cheap, and easy
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks, they're not my choice the trailer just happened to come with them. Your right it would be great for steering wheel holders. Just worry's me because the only parts I usually have fail are the ones that are supposed to be non-serviceable "for your convince" LOL Like all the non-greasable U-joints on 2 pickups I've replaced when the trucks were under 2yrs old.:thumbsup

The trailer is a tri-axle so I'm guessing that's what the extra axle is for, in case one fails just like dual tires right?LOL
 

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thanks, they're not my choice the trailer just happened to come with them. Your right it would be great for steering wheel holders. Just worry's me because the only parts I usually have fail are the ones that are supposed to be non-serviceable "for your convince" LOL Like all the non-greasable U-joints on 2 pickups I've replaced when the trucks were under 2yrs old.:thumbsup

The trailer is a tri-axle so I'm guessing that's what the extra axle is for, in case one fails just like dual tires right?LOL
Idiot proof trailer, idiot proof wheel bearings...... Now all you need John is an idiot proof truck and you'll be complete....:haha :poke
 

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Wanna be door swinger
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The greased hubs can be nice, but they won't take the abuse of heavy hauling for long. A local steel hauling fleet had the greased hubs on about 6 sets of doubles from Fontaine. After about a year the wheel ends started parting ways with the trailers while going down the road. This problem could of been avoided with better drivers that actually checked the temps, but either way the assemblies failed. All the trailers were switched over to oil bath hubs and the problem was solved.
 

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grease hubs are for more line haul then anything else. The concept is nice never have to worry about wheel seal failing on the road. They will last you have to have them repacked iirc every 200,000 miles and as the other guys are saying check your temps. That run away wheel end could do some serious damage.
 

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This is another area were having an infrared temp gauge is a great benefit, When stopped at a brake check or at the bottom of a long grade all you have to do is point it, at the part, and you have the temperature. No need to feel it or remove you gloves, and get your hands dirty, or burnt.
 

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And you have actual numbers that you can record as well as the ambient temp to establish a base line. instead of saying to the diesel bear "thum hubs warn't thet hot las I checd em" :D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The greased hubs can be nice, but they won't take the abuse of heavy hauling for long. A local steel hauling fleet had the greased hubs on about 6 sets of doubles from Fontaine. After about a year the wheel ends started parting ways with the trailers while going down the road. This problem could of been avoided with better drivers that actually checked the temps, but either way the assemblies failed. All the trailers were switched over to oil bath hubs and the problem was solved.
That wouldn't be Les's brother Donny Bowling would it?:D
 

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Trucks used to use packed bearings instead of oil. Oil makes them run cooler and I assume longer w/o maintenance.

I heard that WalMart switched their stuff over to grease to stop getting red tagged due to leaking seals. Grease doesn't run out of a worn seal like oil will.

Many of us that have antique trucks that are not used daily use grease to prevent oil leaks when they sit unused for long periods.
 

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Many units had grease in the bearings but those days they also had inside brake drums so when you did brakes you repacked and inspected the bearings.
Also companies went to grease when the sealing surface on the axle housing would corrode to the point the seal would not work.
I am a big fan of stemco seals with the wear sleeve on the housings, in the trucks running north of Edmonton we found the old style leather units worked better than CR or even stemco,s single piece one. Just a thought!
 

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Wanna be door swinger
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That wouldn't be Les's brother Donny Bowling would it?:D
I wouldn't even put Les in the same catagory as Bowling...believe it or not I actually have more respect for LesLOL. The trailers were running for C&G out of Wayne, OH.

On a side note, I heard that Bowling's were thrown out or lost a bunch of AK Steel business. Not that it matters much, but did anybody else see or hear this?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I wouldn't even put Les in the same catagory as Bowling...believe it or not I actually have more respect for LesLOL. The trailers were running for C&G out of Wayne, OH.

On a side note, I heard that Bowling's were thrown out or lost a bunch of AK Steel business. Not that it matters much, but did anybody else see or hear this?
I'll find out, I've got a couple friends who work at corporate in West Chester. It would make me happy, he's a real butt kisser and cut the rate on everything going north.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I wouldn't even put Les in the same catagory as Bowling...believe it or not I actually have more respect for LesLOL. The trailers were running for C&G out of Wayne, OH.

On a side note, I heard that Bowling's were thrown out or lost a bunch of AK Steel business. Not that it matters much, but did anybody else see or hear this?
I did some asking and the both said none of his trucks were banned as far as they knew. At least nothing major enough to warrant a phone call to corporate. Usually when someone does something dumb like having a hooker hidden in the sleeper inside the mill, being drunk and actually drinking a beer while sitting in the door, or showing up with a trailer you stole 5 yrs ago and parking beside the original owner, they get to take the call. Yes all that happened.:happydance

I thought he was your mentor...... Oh wait, no, thats the guy who started Brutus...:roflol:
Ha! I hear you. I called him the other day, I thought he was sick when he didn't flip me the bird when I passed him on 75.
 

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I had greased hubs when I bought my van. I noticed the hubs got pretty warm so I pulled the cap off dug out as much grease as I could. Then I put on oil caps and filled them up. I had no problems doing it.
 
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