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Sealed in the field

Agricultural bearing seals for greater reliability

Farming is no walk in the park, but with the right equipment and components on hand it is certainly a great deal easier.

Dirty work

No matter the size or scale of one’s agricultural operation, there remains an almost infinite number of factors that can damage machinery – and in turn, jeopardize production and interrupt already tight work schedules. Crop residue, grain, dust, and moisture can take a heavy toll on moving parts in farming machines and the different attachments used throughout the seasons. Contaminant ingress and corrosion via unsuitable seals often lead to premature bearing failures. What’s more, equipment often undergoes long periods of productivity during which daily hose-downs are normal, before being left in storage for several months.

Equipment manufacturers and design engineers seek cost-effective solutions that offer higher product quality and reliability, supporting maximum uptime for the farm operator. Sustainability is also a growing concern for OEMs, as companies look to maximize machine efficiency, limit grease points and usage, and reduce maintenance. In the modern era of farming, any sustainable characteristics can be seen as a competitive advantage.

Regardless of the task at hand, there is a sealing solution to support it. Power transmission, fluid power, and fluid handling solutions for both linear and rotary applications. Single-lip to seven-lip sealing solutions (and everything in between!) are available off-the-shelf at SKF, and on top of this, other agricultural solutions include cassette seals, double cassette, SKF Mudblock, and SKF Mudblock + cassette seal.

Proven to protect

SKF testing labs use mud slurry testing to thoroughly study new seal concepts before extensive field tests are conducted to validate application performance. Testing is performed to determine the effectiveness of the bearing sealing device to withstand contamination intrusion under aggressive environmental conditions. Seal designs are tested against competitors’ products in side-by-side mud slurry testing (demonstrated below). As is visible from the image, mud slurry testing exposes seals to a punishing mixture of solid and liquid contaminants designed to replicate real-life conditions.


MUD11 is a proven top performer in such testing conditions, as the graph (above right) displays. They can in fact outlast competitor seals by up to 1,700 hours in mud slurry.

Diverse solutions for enduring operations

But this is not to say that SKF MUD11 should be used right across the board! As already mentioned, recommended seal design and material differ according to application and environmental environment. And if no standout solution is available as standard, Industrial Seals Expert and SKF’s application engineers help any customer by developing new product designs before mud slurry testing and field tests validate the product.

Here we list an overview the current bearing seal range suitable for agricultural applications. Get in touch with SKF for any additional information regarding the following solutions.