Most of the problems that occur on gearbox drive equipment are due to lack of service and maintenance. Here are a few things that an operator can check before using their equipment.
Always maintain proper oil level. If a gearbox is run low the bearings will not be properly lubricated. If the gearbox is over-filled it will generate heat and cause the box to run hot and possibly damage seals.
Check for free play in the input and output shafts. If any free play is present in may be a sign of bearing wear or a change in bearing preload setting. Excessive free play will cause oil seal failure thus causing a loss of lubricant and result in bearing and/or gear damage. In most cases the bearing preload can be reset eliminating all radial free play by either re-shimming or tightening bearing adjustment nut.
Most gearboxes require a breather to prevent pressure from building up inside the housing. Periodically check to ensure the breather is functioning properly. If pressure builds up in the box it will cause the oil seal to rupture and loss of lubricant will occur.
Woods equipment recommends changing oil in the gearbox after the first 100 hours of operation. This will eliminate any debris from gear break in or foreign material left in the housing from manufacturing.