Vesconite – the ideal bearing material for many agricultural applications


South African wear parts and bearing manufacturer Vesconite Bearings produces Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube at its manufacturing facility in Virginia in the Free State.

Vesconite and Vesconite Hilube are advanced engineered bearing materials with unique combinations of properties specially formulated for tough applications.

One of the toughest environments for bearings is the agricultural industry, where traditional bronze and steel bearings are particularly tough, given the host environment of gravel, mud and water.

Technical Advisor Vesconite Bearings Marius van Zyl describes planters, drills, harvesters, sprayers, hoppers and tractors as some of the many applications in which farmers like to use Vesconite bearings.

“In fact, you can use it for many applications on one tool, depending on the application conditions. Vesconite bushings are used on pivot points, link arms, swing rings, idler rings and sprockets, and Vesconite plates on wear pads,” he says.

Van Zyl explains that the main advantages of using Vesconite include that it is self-lubricating, does not require regular greasing, has a long service life, is the perfect fit-and-forget solution and design, it does not does not absorb water, is abrasion resistant and can withstand high load capacity.

“It saves money, time and labour,” notes Van Zyl.

CEO of Vesconite Bearings, Dr. Jean-Patrick Leger explains that Vesconite can be easily machined on standard metalworking equipment, noting that these parts can be machined to precise tolerances.

“We’ve always focused on high-precision, long-life bearing materials that don’t require regular greasing. So the idea is that you install these products, and hopefully never have to grease them, or grease them very infrequently. Our goal is to produce high-end, long-life, precision-machined products,” he says.

“Agricultural equipment is a priority. We sell thousands of meters of equipment for agricultural tools every year. A lot of it is machined here in South Africa, and then a lot of it is machined by our customers overseas who supply it as original equipment, for example agricultural planters,” he explains.

Meanwhile, Johan Cronje, Mechanical Engineer and Sales Representative for Vesconite Bearings, outlines the top reasons why farmers should consider Vesconite for agricultural equipment.

“When designed correctly, Vesconite is a maintenance-free solution to a problem. Our manufacturing facility is capable of machining almost any part of any size and shape. We have fast turnaround times, eliminating long wait times when ordering parts from overseas suppliers. The Covid pandemic has highlighted the problems that sometimes arise when buying parts overseas, so we can offer a faster solution,” he notes.

As a proven solution for demanding applications, Vesconite has proven itself time and time again as a durable, low maintenance alternative to traditional materials.

Verbo Engineering MD Kobus van Zyl agrees, pointing out that his company partners with Vesconite Bearings to design, manufacture and repair agricultural tools and equipment.

Verbo Engineering designed and patented the Verbo Vesconite bearing and specifies it for use in agricultural implements, where it thrives in conditions where traditional bronze and steel bearings often fail.

“It’s a durable alternative that can operate in sandy and muddy environments without the need for greasing. It’s also a big cost saver as there’s no need to replace the entire bearing, just the bearing section. Vesconite socket,” he explains.

Verbo Engineering has tested the Verbo bearing for several years, with very good results. Van Zyl notes that there are even farmers who have changed all their tools to Vesconite.

“I think as the product becomes well-known in the market people will realize more and more how much time you save and what a good product Vesconite is,” he concludes.


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