REVIEWED BY CAPT. MIKE SCHOONVELD
It’s 55 miles from my house to the marina’s I normally fish. That’s 110 miles each time I go fishing and I average 100 days on the lake every year. Do the math. That’s 11,000 miles put on my boat trailer every year, not counting one or two “road” trips to far distant ports or even other Great Lakes.
That also means dunking my trailer’s wheel hubs into the lake 200 times per season as I launch and load. By most measures, that’s significant use. By some measures, that’s a decade or even lifetime of use.
I’m no stranger to burned-out wheel bearings. Usually, I find them in routine checks at home or in the marina parking lot. I have found them on the road when a driver pulls up next to me, honking and pointing back to where smoke is rolling out of a failing hub.
I’ve tried any number of bearing protectors, lubrication systems, types of grease and maintenance schedules. Most worked to a degree, but rising above the rest in both reliability and ease of maintenance is oil bath hubs, often used on long haul trailers that put as many miles in a month as I do in a year.
The first oil bath hubs I used on my trailer used 80/90 weight gear lube, the same weight of oil used in marine lower units and outdrives. Now I use Lucas Hub Oil, a heavy weight, somewhat sticky oil specifically formulated for use in oil bath wheel hubs.
Knock on wood, my wheel bearing problems have dropped to zero since I switched to Lucas Hub Oil two years ago. It works! That’s all I ask.