When it comes to farming Australian soil, equipment is predominantly produced by local manufacturers who understand local conditions. And in many cases, they choose NTN agricultural bearings because of their ability to withstand the rigours of applications such as tilling and ploughing.
“NTN provides bearings for all kinds of agricultural equipment, including insert ball bearings – shaft-mounted with either tapered adapters or locking collar or set screws – and disc harrow bearings which are available with either round, square, or hexagonal bores,” explains NTN National Product Manager, Fabio Rebecchi. “The reason many agricultural OEMs in Australia choose NTN is because these bearings have been designed with agricultural conditions specifically in mind and can survive in the dusty, arduous applications typical to Australian farming.”
One of the critical features of the NTN agricultural bearing range is the sealing.
“These seal designs are proven to protect against contaminants – they come with a triple lip seal arrangement, providing ultimate seal security,” elaborates Fabio. “The seals are bonded with a low-torque shield or guard, which protects the seal from debris. In addition to this, they are zinc-plated which makes them more resistant to wear.”
Another key feature is lubrication.
“Bearings in the agricultural range are greased for life. This means they are prepacked from the factory with appropriate long-life grease,” expounds Fabio. “This gives them higher than standard lubrication. The lubrication between the inner ring and the seal also gives the seal protection, preventing ingress from entering the cavity of the bearing.” The volume of lubrication within NTN plough bearings is 60-70% as generally the limiting speeds are lower than other general application.
“High speed equals high heat, which is why there is 60 to 70% internal lubrication fill on the bearings for these applications,” says Fabio. “The bearings are also available with or without re-lubrication holes. Farmers often carry out their own scheduled maintenance, so we want to make maintenance such as lubrication or mounting as easy as possible. It’s worth pointing out that consulting with CBC as to which bearing will suit the specific machine and application can help in making maintenance more efficient for the end users. All these pieces of equipment which use these plough bearings are highly specialised to our particular Australian conditions.”
While NTN make bearings to suit all types of agricultural applications, their common features help make them easier to maintain and last longer in the field. One of these is their ability to continue working despite misalignment.
“They have flexibility,” enthuses Fabio. “Which means the bearing allows for a bit more clearance than standard between the rolling element and the shaft. This provision for misalignment means an NTN bearing is less likely to fail than a standard bearing with standard clearance.”
As with all NTN product, Fabio recommends that OEMs consult with their local CBC branch for advice and support.
“We have a wide range of solutions for agriculture, and because of the joint venture between CBC and NTN in Australia, we are in the position where we can provide our NTN headquarters feedback from Australian farmers about how bearings perform in the field, and how we can continue to improve the performance of our bearings,” he concludes. “NTN offers bearings for disc harrows, tillage, seeding and many other agricultural equipment.
Importantly, our agricultural bearings are designed with better sealing for contaminated conditions, provisions for misalignment and economical mountings for shafts and housings.”