Metalfor, a leading Argentinian equipment manufacturer, has used Vesconite Hilube bushings for its Class 7 combine harvesters since 2010.
Vesconite Hilube wear-resistant, self-lubricating bearing material is used for king pin bushings on the steering system and axle pivot bushings on the back axle.
“We switched from bronze to Vesconite Hilube in 2010 since these are such important applications,” a design engineer stated when Vesconite Bearings visited the company in 2022.
Metalfor applies grease to the bushings upon installation to increase wear life and it also installs a grease zerk for greasing if desired.
However, Vesconite is internally lubricated, which is advantageous if a farmer does not grease bushings for long periods.
“Because this is such a crucial application and a failure results in super expensive and long downtime, we felt the protection of Vesconite’s internal lubrication is exactly what we needed to ensure a bulletproof design,” the design engineer stated.
According to Metalfor’s design engineers, about 60% of the loaded combine harvester (roughly 25 metric tons) is placed on the back axle.
The Metalfor engineers have not heard of a bushing failure since employing Vesconite bushings.
They also have never had to replace a Vesconite Hilube bearing because of excessive wear, unlike when bronze bushings were installed.