ISL Logo
Industrial Sealing
& Lubrication

Are You Dreading The Thought Of Going Up There To Repair Another Gearbox Failure?

Learn How Proper Testing & Maintenance Will Extend Your Gearbox Performance And Increase Equipment Reliability

Is your gearbox' environment and high-capacity usage leading to higher-than-normal performance deficiencies and failures?

Gearboxes play a crucial role in your operations, but their demanding environment and high-capacity usage can lead to higher-than-normal performance deficiencies and complete failures. Ensuring proper gearbox maintenance should be a top priority in your plant’s equipment reliability strategy.

Gearbox failures can result from improper alignment or trying to process a workload over its recommended ratings, but the primary cause of gearbox failure is contaminated or compromised oil. In fact, over 50% of gearbox issues are related to deficiencies in the equipment’s lubricating oil.

Due to plant design and external moving parts, gearbox maintenance can often be problematic from a safety standpoint. Overall, the importance of gearboxes to a factory makes it essential that your equipment reliability strategy is well thought out and applied.

It’s important to verify that the gearbox is suitable for its intended application and properly aligned for optimal performance. In addition, make sure that you constantly sample and test the lubricating oil to assess any potential issues negatively impacting the gearbox’s short or long-term performance. It is important to understand the causes of gearbox failure and take proactive steps to prevent it.

4 Common Causes Of Gearbox Failure


Gearboxes can generate higher than desired temperatures during operation, resulting in a loss of performance and a higher energy demand.

Lack Of Lubrication

Gearboxes require lubrication to function correctly. Without enough lubrication, the gears will wear down and fail at an accelerated speed.

Contaminated Oil

Over 50% of gearbox failures result from oil contaminated by dirt, dust particles, water, and metal shavings from mechanical wear and tear.

Improper Installation Or Alignment

Any misalignment leads to subpar performance and premature failure.

Excessive Loads

Overloading a gearbox’s capacity will result in sooner-than-expected gear and bearing failures.

8 Tips To Reduce Gearbox Failures Lowering The Potential For Accidents And Extending The Life Of Your Equipment!

Proper testing and maintenance will extend your gearbox  performance and increase equipment reliability.


This improves the return on investment for your equipment. Reducing the need to perform gearbox maintenance can also increase safety and reduce accidents.


These 8 steps can reduce gearbox failures lowering the potential for accidents and extending the life of your equipment. They can be increase equipment uptime and improve equipment ROI.


  1. Insure the oil used is filtered so it’s clean and dry oil.
  2. Establish regular oil sampling intervals for your equipment’s oil to assess the types and levels of contamination in your system.
  3. Filter your oil and use best practices for cleaning safe oil storage and handling methods to avoid particulate and cross-contamination.
  4. Use desiccant breathers to keep contaminants from entering your reservoir.
  5. Monitor and maintain gearboxes’ operational temperature.
  6. Ensure you can easily check oil levels. Use adapter kits to make checking this easier.
  7. Check your gearbox alignment to ensure optimal performance.
  8. Do not overload your gearboxes’ by operating outside of design parameters.


As a maintenance mechanic, you must ensure that the equipment you maintain is in top condition. By understanding the causes of gearbox failure and taking steps to prevent it, you can keep your equipment running smoothly and avoid costly downtime.
Recently, one of our valued customers in Kansas wrote to us and said that by following our advice and recommendations, “they will save $500,000 every year in reduced labor, bearing failures, and lubricant purchases.” Our knowledge pays, and we provide it to you for free.


As an equipment reliability professional, you have a significant responsibility to keep your equipment running and produce the best results possible. Our case studies and coverage of emerging technologies will help you stay informed on the latest developments in the equipment reliability industry. 

Subscribe to our FREE Quarterly Equipment Reliability Communication and receive the ebook, “Consumer Guide To Equipment Reliability: Oil Lubrication” at no cost.

Industrial Sealing & Lubrication

15430 S Keeler St

Olathe, KS 66062