Lubricants 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Lubricants 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Machinery Maintenance

Lubrication is key to keeping machinery running smoothly and efficiently.  They help protect surfaces and prevent parts from being damaged by heat, dust, and friction over time. They are essential in maintaining the investment of buying valuable pieces of equipment.  Lubricants affect our cars, doorknobs, locks, parts, gears, and pretty much everything mechanical that we use in our homes and jobs. Since lubrication is such an important component in keeping everything moving, it’s a best practice to know the different types of lubricants that are out there, and which one works best for your needs.

In this blog, we’ll be covering the 4 types of lubricants, and what situations call for these different types to be used.

Oils, Greases, Penetrating Lubricants, and Dry Lubricants

1. Oils

The most common industry lubricant is found in plants, factories, and our cars. They can be based in mineral, synthetic, or vegetable oil. These thin liquids come in different weights, also referred to as viscosities. When measuring oil, the general rule is that the lower the weight number, the thinner the oil. For industrial uses, many use mineral oil with a lower viscosity. They are less toxic, less expensive, and easier to dispose of. Mineral oil is heavily refined compared to synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is man-made and often has additives to withstand high temperatures and prevent sludge. Therefore, mechanics promote using synthetic oils because they keep your engine cleaner for longer. Here is a list of oils Jubitz offers by Chevron!

When to use oil:
On car oil changes, hinges, and tool maintenance. Oil doesn’t have the resistance that grease has, so it creates a smooth buffer consistency that can move between parts fluidly. It’s best used when you want to lubricate machinery, but don’t want to take anything apart.

2. Greases

The second most common form of lubricant is grease.  It is made by mixing a base oil + thickener + additional lubricant additives.  Grease functions generally the same as oil, but has a different texture, creating a stickiness that helps it adhere to surfaces better. It’s ideal for high pressure systems, with medium speed and medium temperature.  Though grease does not stand up to high heat as easily as oil, it does provide a beneficial barrier from water and debris. It also comes in textures ranging from semifluid (ketchup) to very firm (pudding).

When to use grease: 

On ball bearings, gears, and linkages.  Grease is best used when you have a heavy load and need it to stick to a surface for a long time.  It can also be used as a sealant, which works when you want to keep water or dust particles out.

3. Penetrating Lubricants

This type of lubricant works best when you’ve got years of rust built up on nuts, bolts, or any fasteners. Its main use is for infiltrating tiny cracks, and breaking things up. This lubricant’s low viscosity allows fluids to seep into the grooves and crevices to break up bolts that won’t budge. They are made up of a lubricant and solvent mixture that helps break down corrosion and cleans the metal underneath. They can remove the residue of tar, grease, adhesives, and rust. After using a penetrating lubricant, they leave behind a temporary, thin, moisture-repellent residue to prevent further corrosion.

When to use penetrating lubricants:

Great for bike chains, hinges, electrical terminals, and casters.  Because of its thinner quality, it’s not advised for ball bearings, or parts that need a longer-lasting lubricant.

4. Dry lubricants

This last lubricant is a solid lubricant to coat surfaces with a dry film or powder that helps reduce wear on machinery. It’s also a great alternative when you can’t use oil or grease.

Dry lubricants generally come in a spray form that will eventually evaporate. They don’t build dirt and grime on a wet residue, and can withstand heat without breaking down or dripping. The most common dry lubricant is graphite, which offers quick drying solutions with long-lasting benefits. It acts like most lubricants, but without the mess.

When to use dry lubricants:  On threaded rods, locks, conveyor belts, hoists, and gaskets.  It creates a film that covers wherever sprayed, and also creates a lubricating feel that can loosen stubborn parts.

Jubitz offers a wide variety of industrial and mobile hydraulic system applications. See the products we carry by Chevron and Philips 66.

Sulfur in Diesel: ULSD, Biodiesel and More

Sulfur is a staple in all diesel products available, but what does it mean for you? Is it good for your vehicle? Let’s take a look at the different levels of sulfur in diesel products and how it affects your equipment.

What is Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel?

Since 2010, U.S. regulations require all pumps to dispense ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) instead of low- sulfur diesel (LSD). Along with this, all vehicles made after 2007 are only compatible with ULSD due to the reduced sulfur content. ULSD contains 97% less sulfur compared to LSD, which makes the diesel safe to use with newer emission control mechanisms in modern vehicles. Higher sulfur content is harmful to these systems. Sulfur is not only bad for engines, but also is one of the leading pollutants in diesel exhaust.


Is Biodiesel Ultra-Low Sulfur?

Biodiesel is a fuel made from plant or animal products and results in less pollution than traditional diesel. It must meet the same ULSD standard for total sulfur to comply with EPA regulations. Therefore, biodiesel generally it contains even less sulfur than ultra-low sulfur diesel. While there are small differences between biodiesel and traditional diesel, they do not pose a danger to your engine when you go to the pump. In Oregon, all diesel sold at the pump is at least 5 percent biodiesel (also known as B5).

Is Off-Road Diesel Ultra-Low Sulfur?

Off-road diesel, or dyed diesel, is also ultra-low sulfur. It still complies with the EPA environmental requirements and will not damage engines. However, do not fuel your highway vehicles with it, as it can only be used with equipment that will not be driven on public roads. This equipment can include generators, construction equipment or other diesel-powered machines. To learn more about off-road diesel, check out our blog about clear and red-dyed diesel.

If you still have questions about what diesel products are right for your vehicles, reach out to our staff at 800-523-0600 or and they’ll be happy to answer any further questions you have.

Find Yourself the Right Trucker Headset

Aside from and ELD and motor vehicle, one of the only other pieces of equipment a trucker needs to have on the road is a trucker headset. States are responsible for regulating the use of headsets, earphones, or headphones, while driving. AAA’s Digest of Motor Laws reports that while some states have no laws permitting the use of headsets while operating a motor vehicle, others allow only one-ear headset devices to protect driver and pedestrian safety.

Interfering with a driver’s focus and ability to hear their surrounding environment can be dangerous. Distracted driving can cause accidents and prevent drivers from noticing emergency vehicles and other critical surroundings. So, even if you’re a trucker driving even in a state without headset rules, recognize the seriousness of distracted driving and consider opting for a single-ear device.

Man wearing trucker headset
Image from BlueParrott

For those who spend significant time on the road, a complete ban on headsets would be problematic. Thankfully, the one-ear exception allows for easy, necessary communication for truckers while also prioritizing safety. But, after dismissing two-ear headset models what should you look for in a trucker headset? We explore attributes and performance indicators for on the road headsets designed for trucking and fleets.

Sound Quality

Even if you aren’t a professional trucker, you probably know how difficult it can be to hear people when in a moving vehicle! Noise cancellation power proves essential in trucker headsets as it reduces the level of ambient noise you hear when using the headset. At the Jubitz Truck and Service Center, we carry BlueParrott trucker headsets. Three of their B-series line of models have 96% noise cancellation power!

Battery Life

Truckers on the road for hours upon hours require a headset with serious battery power. As battery life will be impacted by the headset’s usage, even if a headset has a long standby time, you want to ensure you have ample talk time. Headset usage typically sees a mix of standby time and talk time in a day. Choose a model that has an adequate ratio of talk time and standby time that will fit your needs.

Wearing Style and Weight

Headsets, as opposed to earphones or headphones, have a single, over-the-ear design that meets driving regulations. The wearing style refers to how you physically wear the device. The most common styles include over-the-head, around-the-neck, and convertible. All are made to be functional and comfortable so it’s more of a personal preference as opposed to performance indicator. The weight of the headset is also something to consider. Over-the-head models tend to be slightly heavier and around-the-neck models must be more sensitive of the neck as it bears the brunt of the headset weight. While the neck and shoulders are filled with strong muscles, you don’t want to strain or overuse them.

Voice Control and Bluetooth

Technology continues to change ordinary experiences like talking on the phone. BlueParrott’s glossary explains that Bluetooth is “a standard for the short-range wireless connection” of electronic devices. Gone are the days of wired connections and tangled cords. Instead, Bluetooth powers connectivity and enables tools like voice control. Using spoken commands to control headset functions allows for a more hands-free experience and improves safety.

Smartphone systems are also frequently included with software that allows the device to be voice controlled. Headsets with voice control are becoming more common, but currently considered a more premium feature. Voice control capabilities will typically increase the range of wireless connectivity. Increased range means you can stray farther from the device your headset connects with which isn’t always a necessity but can be a plus.

Man wearing trucker headset
Image from BlueParrott

A high quality trucker headset is an important investment. With so many trucker headsets available, it’s important to consider the many attributes and features. If it’s a good product, manufacturers typically offer to provide an extended warranty. Headsets are no exception here! Make sure you’ve purchased one that can take all the bumps and knocks of the road. Sound quality, battery life, style, weight, along with Bluetooth and voice control capabilities are all considerations to contemplate. While this list is not all-encompassing, it hopefully gives you a good starting point! When you’re ready to buy, call us at (503) 289-9645 or come into the Jubitz Truck Service Center and let our professionals get you set up with a BlueParrott, Rand McNally, or other headset.

The Basics of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) is becoming a necessity for diesel truck owners as older vehicles, pre-2010 trucks, grow obsolete. All new trucks are required to use this fluid so that their emissions control systems will work. This begs the question, what exactly is DEF and what does it do?

Understanding DEF Use

While DEF is not new, it has been recently made far more important for diesel drivers. DEF is the main companion to the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems that were mandated by the EPA. Simply put, these two pieces work together to help reduce dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, from polluting the air. Instead, an SCR-equipped engine will first catch particulates through a filter, and then spray the remaining exhaust with the DEF. The exhaust and diesel exhaust fluid are then changed from those pollutants into harmless water and nitrogen. With all these steps in place, those large black exhaust clouds are a thing of the past!

Buying DEF

Even though DEF has become mandatory for those driving new trucks, it is still not very convenient to refill it. Usually, one would find DEF only available in 2.5-gallon jugs at gas stations or truck stops around the country. This can be inconvenient and can end up costing you more at the end of the day. Along with these traditional options, Jubitz is happy to offer DEF at the pump, making refilling as easy and convenient as refueling your tank. Now, drivers can have options that best suit them, whether stocking up on DEF or filling up their tank.

Tips for Fleets

We currently offer these services at the Jubitz Truck Stop for retail customers and are expanding access to DEF at the pump to our cardlock customers as well.  DEF is now available at our sites in Washougal, Vancouver, and Portland. We also deliver bulk DEF in drums and totes in the greater Portland Metro area and Southwest Washington.

Top 6 Reasons for Truck Brake Failure

Each year, more than 4 million roadside inspections are conducted for commercial vehicles. While it is critical to the safety of yourself and others to keep your truck up to code at all times, many drivers get hit with brake-related violations more than anything else. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) will conduct their annual Brake Safety Week from August 23rd to the 29th.


How truck drivers can prepare for Brake Safety Week

Brake-related violations account for almost 15% of all commercial vehicle violations in 2019, and an ounce of prevention will keep your truck on the road rather than being parked by inspectors. The first step is knowing what to look for. These are the top six brake issues that truckers come across…


1. Brake imbalance

Simply put, imbalance in your truck’s braking system is when one or more brakes are exerting more or less force than the others. This happens when you have mismatched parts, or an error in the pneumatic system applying air pressure unevenly. Brake imbalance is one the most common causes of jackknifing your vehicle

2. Brake overheating

Overheating of your brakes can sometimes be a result of the above point, but the top culprit is drivers using poor braking techniques while traveling downhill. This greatly reduces the life of your brakes, and can cause temporary malfunction to control your vehicle speed.

3. Faulty suspension

A misconfigured suspension system can wreak havoc on your brakes by causing similar issues to brake imbalance. Softening your suspension could reduce stress on brakes and also result in a smoother driving experience on the road.

4. Trailer overload

Even the best kept, newest brakes on a truck cannot withstand excessively heavy loads. The breaking distance required becomes far too great, resulting in unnecessary on your braking system. Even one trailer overload is enough to cause brake failure. Don’t risk endangering the public highways for a load larger than your truck can handle.

5. Hose chafing and kinking

Last year, the CVSA discovered chafing and kinking of brake tubes as a top violation.

6. Lubrication

Any vehicle that undergoes a harsh winter should reapply lubricant both before and after the season. Inadequate lubrication of your caliper pins, clips, mounting tabs, and brake back sides can make your brakes wear much sooner than expected.


Truck maintenance is ongoing

Faulty breaks don’t happen overnight. It’s often due to an oversight. Make truck maintenance a regular procedure so that you are always in the clear with DOT regulations. Violations can increase your CSA score by as much as 10 points, becoming a not-so-pretty ding on your record. Fleet managers can take the initiative as well, by implementing a more robust fleet safety programChecking your breaks with each oil change is a great habit that’ll save you big time down the road.

The Jubitz Truck Service Center is open 7 days a week so that you pass brake inspections before August 23rd.
Dyed vs. Clear Diesel: What’s the difference?

Diesel runs the world. No, really. There’s a need for diesel, and other oil alternatives, in countless applications from commercial trucking to off-road agriculture. We’re often asked the key differences. So, we’re going to answer one of the most common questions our fuel consultants get!


The Difference Between Dyed and Clear Diesel

Whenever you’re at the pump, you often only see one kind of diesel oil. However, if you have ever needed fuel for anything else then you quickly realize there are more appropriate diesel options depending on the usage.


What is clear diesel?


Available at most fuel stops across the United States, clear diesel – also called regular, auto, highway or on-road diesel – is the most common option. Clear diesel is required for any vehicle with a diesel motor licensed by the state for on-road usage. It is legally taxable because of its use on public roads and highways, and has a low sulfur content to meet EPA standards.


The history of clear diesel in the United States.


By 2010, the EPA had officially required all on-road diesel fuels to be Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). Low-Sulfur Diesel No. 2, a less environmentally friendly fuel, was used before 2008. ULSD is a cleaner-burning fuel than Low-Sulfur Diesel, containing 97% less sulfur and improving the longevity of motors previously damaged by the higher sulfur content.


Is on-road diesel always clear?


While on-road diesel has historically been a clear fluid, it isn’t uncommon now to come across ULSD fuels with a green or blue tint. The diesel oil is still mostly transparent. Many oil refineries now add a slight tint to their diesel that changes color over time, which determines freshness.

More on this next, as there are critical differences between a tinted clear diesel and dyed diesel.


What is red dyed diesel?


Otherwise known as off-road or non-highway diesel, this fuel option is strictly for agricultural usage or vehicles not licensed to be driven on public roads. Red dyed diesel is subject to the same pricing factors as clear diesel, such as location and fuel scarcity, though it is not taxed in the United States.


Is red dyed diesel illegal?


The United States dyes off-road diesel red for the very reason of checking taxed vs. non-taxed fuel. Since off-road diesel is non-taxed, being caught with it in your commercial vehicle is considered tax evasion. You’ll be charged with large fines at the very least, and potentially facing a felony.


Can you mix red diesel and normal diesel?


While the effects of mixing fuels will vary per vehicle, this is also illegal to do so. It’s worth mentioning that clear and dyed diesel perform the same with nominal differences. Only in the case that you’re using a high sulfur diesel in your commercial vehicles, which we strongly advise against, would you potentially damage your motor.


Picking the Right Fuel for Your Usage

Knowing the diesel oil choice for your commercial car or truck is straight forward; you can only use taxable clear diesel permitted by the government. Still want  to learn more? Check out our second blog on this topic here. For farm owners or construction companies that have tractors and generators, however, we recommend speaking with a fuel consultant that can better inform you of your options based on your specific needs.

Speak with a Jubitz Fuel Consultant or sign up with Fleet Services today.

The 5 Best Load Boards for Truck Drivers

If you’re a trucker without freight broker authority, load boards are a great resource. Load boards allow you to connect you with direct shippers and contacts, earn revenue and gain experience in the industry. These online matching systems allow shippers, brokers and carriers to post loads and work together. You’ll be able to pick the routes you like and take control of your hours. Every carrier has different needs, so we’ve rounded up our a handful of load boards to help narrow your search.


Top load boards for any carrier

5. Trucker Path

One of the industry’s top smartphone apps used by drivers everywhere is Trucker Path. Trucker Path is free and boasts a vast userbase. This helps guarantees you will get the load you want. Filter your searches by weight and route with ease through their mobile app or on a desktop if you prefer. They let you check credit scores of brokers. This feature helps you confirm that you’re always dealing with the most professional people in the industry.


As one of the first load boards to appear on the internet, a comprehensive load board. It’s a large community of brokers. They claim over 600,000 reliable brokers and offer one of the most streamlined load booking experience with Book It Now. Starting at $39 per month, has three tiers each with an increasing feature list to help you move fast and secure.

3. Direct Freight


Direct Freight is among the most feature-packed load board apps available to carriers. Robust features include a filtering system, custom alert scheduling and weather notifications unique to your route. This app is nothing short of a full, enjoyable experience for owner-operators. You can check brokers’ credit scores for safe and secure load searching. Direct Freight offers a 15-day trial before a monthly subscription of $34.95.

2. 123Loadboard

From broker credit checks with TransCredit to fuel advances, 123Loadboards offers an immense amount of features and insights into all costs associated with each load. They remain to be one of a select few load boards where posting loads is still free. A 10-day trial is available to use the app both on desktop and your smartphone, though the service starts at $35 per month.

1. DAT Load Board

Dislosure: Links to DAT products are affiliate links and Jubitz may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. 


DAT Solutions has been around for a long time and got its start at our Jubitz truck stop in 1978 with Dial-A-Truck monitors. Their DAT Load Board app helps you instantly find and bid on loads as they arrive in your feed, filtered to your preferences. You’re able to use the heat map feature to see where your trucks are in highest demand.

DAT gives you two tiers to choose from for the perfect load board. Their top tier subscription, DAT Power, starts at $170 per month and offers the fullest experience of their Load Board app. Know the market demand at all times, get the best route suggestions, and rest easy knowing you’ll get paid through their own load assurance program.

Sign up here for 1 month of DAT Power free!*

*Promotions are for new subscribers only

If you don’t need all the bells and whistles of DAT Power, DAT TruckersEdge provides a simpler and more cost-effective solution starting at only $39.95 per month. TruckersEdge provides unlimited searching and posting, instant alarm match notification, broker credit scores and days to pay, market rates, mileage routing, and more.

Sign up here for 1 month of DAT TruckersEdge free!*

*Promotions are for new subscribers only

Eco-Friendly Fuel and Lubricant Products

Here at Jubitz, we commit to doing our best to protect the environment by providing access to eco-friendly fuel and lubricant products. This Earth Day we’re showcasing great products that help reduce your company’s environmental footprint.

Renewable Lubricants Eco-Friendly High Performance Bio-Based Lubricants

Renewable Lubricants

The Jubitz Lubricants Warehouse carries high performance environmentally friendly lubricants and greases from Renewable Lubricants™. Renewable Lubricants is the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of bio-based lubricants. These products directly replace conventional lubricants without any loss in performance. Many of our customers choose Renewable Lubricants for construction in areas that are environmentally sensitive such as wetlands and near rivers and waterways. They’re also useful for a variety of other applications. Learn more about the Jubitz Lubricants Warehouse by calling us at 360-574-5440.

Biodiesel blends

Oregon law requires that all diesel sold must be at least 5 percent biodiesel (referred to as B5). With our commitment to the environment, most of the diesel we sell in Oregon is at least 10 percent biodiesel (B10). Additionally, we can mix custom biodiesel blends up to B99 on demand. So if your business is in need of a highly eco-friendly fuel, come to Jubitz.

How do biodiesel blends help the environment?

Biodiesel blends are available at all Jubitz cardlock sites in Oregon, including the Jubitz Truck Stop. Learn more about our biodiesel blends here.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF)

DEF is a clear liquid solution that is injected into the exhaust emissions of a diesel powered engine. This is done to virtually eliminate the harmful, environment-damaging NOx emissions. DEF is more or less mandatory for all new diesel-powered vehicles. Get DEF at the pump at Jubitz Truck Stop or our CFN Site at 3200 SE Columbia Way in Vancouver, WA. Jubitz is committed to supplying DEF at the pump. We plan to add DEF dispensers to our cardlock stations in 2020 and beyond. Our goal is to better serve the diesel market with products and services that fleets require.

Jubitz Honors Drivers During Driver Appreciation Week

Jubitz Honors Drivers During Driver Appreciation Week

Each year during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, Jubitz Travel Center & Truck Stop hosts a barbecue bash from 10am-4pm. Our Driver Appreciation Day honors the professional drivers that keep our country moving.

Tropiceel at Jubitz
Tropiceel at Jubitz

This event is filled with prizes, vendors and delicious food that is free to patrons with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Event Prizes at Driver Appreciation
Event Prizes
Glostone Trucking at Jubitz
Glostone Trucking at Jubitz

Jubitz’s annual event typically draws over 400 drivers and family members and friends of professional drivers are also welcome to participate. One family made a special trip to participate in what their daughter calls “Jubitz Day” this year.

Drivers (and their families) Come From All Over to Jubitz!

Another driver noted, “this is the only truck stop that does something this big for drivers. We love coming here!”. Jubitz is honored to have created a “can’t miss” event and is very proud to uphold that appreciation all year long!