Australian harvesters are producing in every season. Particularly in Queensland and South Australia, the climate is ideal for robust yields year-round. 

Because harvesting equipment must contend with such heavy demand, harvester bearings are specifically designed to weather the conditions encountered in Australian farming —high temperatures, rain, humidity, dust, soil, crop residues, and fertilisers—are equal concerns for harvesting equipment. 

A well-balanced consideration of all these factors by design, the NTN Black Bearing range of ball bearings are produced by NTN corporation and supplied nationally by CBC. 

Enter CBC bearings expert Ross Lee — who firmly believes that a good piece of industrial equipment is only as good as its bearings. 

As CBC’s Technical Manager for Bearings, he asserts that one of the strongest partnerships in Australian bearing market is that between NTN and CBC, established 50 years ago now, and still going strong. 

CBC is the exclusive distributor of NTN Black Bearings for harvesters in Australia and according to Ross, the choice solution for Combines, Headers and similar applications because of its proven performance life. 

For farmers who are concerned that farming conditions may inhibit the performance of their machines and cause downtime, he reassures that the Black Bearings have been tested for their robustness on a variety of applications, across different climate conditions.  

“The origins of this NTN design stem from work done in Canadian and US broad acre farming, where uninterrupted harvest periods can be crucial” says Ross, “CBC and NTN together looked at the way bearings were also being implemented into some of the North American OEMs and brought some of those principles back to the Australian agriculture segment.” 

What changed, he explains, is how the bearings were designed in relationship to the environmental conditions. 

“The elements of the Black Bearing design are multiple: starting with enhanced “Trashguard” seals, which exceed the capabilities of conventional seals of this type of insert bearing. The seals positively repel the materials that would be in proximity to harvesting machines,” says Ross. “The durable land riding seal lip, and heavy-duty zinc plated and oxide coated seal plate makes for a competitively strong bearing design.”

“As the name implies the entire surfaces of the bearing have a black oxide surface treatment to inhibit corrosion, fretting and adhesion to mating shaft and mounting surfaces, allowing ease of removal. A further durability benefit is induction tempering of the end section of inner ring, that engages with the eccentric shaft locking collar. This prevents inner ring cracking that can occur with fully hardened, brittle inner rings. This facilitates reliable installation.

And to ensure reliable and extended lubrication, the bearings are supplied with a premium long-life grease, and a greater than normal fill amount of 60~70 %, more than double that of than standard sealed ball bearings  

Whether a customer is looking to retrofit their existing machinery, or an OEM seeking a premium grade bearing for their harvesting equipment, Ross recommends the NTN Black Bearing as a top shelf solution. 

While the NTN Black Bearing can run up an additional cost expenditure than other standard bearings, Ross says that the ends justify the means when it comes to extended uptime during peak harvest season. 

“We encourage customers in the grain agriculture sector to consider upgrading to the Black Bearings,” he concludes. “We have seen great results in the South Australian regions with many happy customers who have touted the long-life performance of these bearings, and we expect to see their popularity continue to grow coast-to-coast.”