Gearing Up: the Most Common Industrial Gearbox Faults, and Their Solutions

Posted on: 27 March 2018


Having issues with the gearbox is one of the most common problems for regular drivers — so perhaps it's no surprise that they're so frequent in industrial machinery too. Not only does the gearbox work hard as an integral part of any piece of heavy machinery, but it's also composed of a great number of moving parts. As any engineer will tell you, that's a recipe for disaster. But what exactly is likely to go wrong with your gearbox?


Again, because gearboxes are made up of many moving parts, it's very easy for them to fall into misalignment. When this happens, it could be a fairly minor problem — for example, if two parts that should not touch may grind together, causing a lot of unwanted noise. However, even this minor problem can fast develop into something more serious. After all, that point of unwanted contact is likely to wear both parts down and damage them. At its worst, however, misalignment issues can cause a gearbox to stop working entirely. Whatever kind of problem is caused by these parts falling out of place, the repair is best left to a professional who will be able to spot the problem immediately and remedy it quickly.


Most of the time, it will be fairly obvious when your gearbox begins to leak oil. It's messy and pretty noticeable. However, there may be times when leaks begin internally, and you may not spot them until they develop into a serious issue. More often than not, leaks tend to be caused by loose seals. These are prone to losing their grip and efficacy over time. Luckily, this isn't a difficult problem for a professional to solve, and should only cost you the price of a new seal — unless the leak has caused additional damage in the process, of course.

Lubrication Issues

Especially in gears that are required to work at very high intensity, it's absolutely imperative that your gearbox is lubricating correctly. Issues in this area could cause overheating, damage to parts, reduced operation or locking. Equally, it could be the case that your oil has become contaminated and will need to be switched out for fresh oil. A professional will be able to determine whether this is the case and give you the best advice.

In all three cases, while these issues are common and easy to fix, it is best to ensure that an expert is handling your machinery. Incorrect handling of the parts could cause more damage than it solves. However, you may also be able to avoid these problems entirely by integrating specific gearbox checks into your regular maintenance routine.