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Are Oil bath Hubs a Better Option for My 7,000 Lbs Axles Than Using Grease Hubs

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So...I inherited a HUGE headache at work. We regularly pull 16,100 including trailer on 14k axles... Believe me, Im trying to convince management to upgrade to a triple axle! Aside from not keeping up on greasing axles and adjusting brakes when I was hired hell the brake controller had loose wires, I blew up a bearing. I replaced it with the stock EZ lube hub, but now Im wondering if I could have replaced it with an oil bath hub threaded Im reading??!? Ive had a couple seal blowouts on this PIA trailer as Im forced to grease it so often due to overload and we put a lot of miles on it. Whats the general opinion of oil bath obviously semis run them so cant be all gimmick. Im not totally impressed with plastic that could be bumped, cracked, and there goes my lubricant its a dump trailer so regularly getting tracks within inches of hubs. How do you change the fluid and whats the interval? Initial impression it looks like this is an option I should shop for on a new trailer and/or swap out hubs on the old trailer as they fail. Thanks in advance and I use your references/info pretty regularly!

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Expert Reply:

The main reason people like oil bath hubs over grease hubs is the oil bath hubs have a less involved maintenance schedule than grease hubs.

It is recommended to inspect and repack grease wheel bearings and seals every 12k miles. With oil bath hubs, Dexter recommends to periodically check and refill when necessary. It is also recommended to use a high quality hypoid gear oil in SAE 90, 80W-90 or 75W-90 weights. However, periodic inspection of you wheel bearings should not be abandoned because of the switch to oil bath hubs.

For your application., you will need to replace the whole drum and hub assembly to change over to oil bath lubrication. For 7,000 lbs axles, we have two different hub and drum assemblies that will use an oil bath lubricant. Dexter Trailer Hub and Drum with 8 on 6-1/2 Bolt Pattern, # 8-219-9UC3-A and the Dexter Trailer and Hub # 8-219-9UC3. To figure out which hub and drum might work on your axles, you will want to find measurements on the spindles of your axles. There are differences in the size of oil seal between the two hubs. I have attached a picture that will show you the what measurements are needed to pick the correct hubs.

The new hubs use a clear plastic cap nut to help see the oil level in the hubs. Unfortunately, the plastic caps are the only oil caps that are available. However these caps are sturdy and have been the industry standard for use in trailer, commercial, and agricultural applications for many years.

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