Reverse-locked lock collar?

Published on: 13:29PM Dec 25, 2013

 The blog I wrote several weeks ago about installing lock collars generated the question, "What if a lock collar is locked in the wrong direction during assembly?

At worst, the lock collar will come loose and allow the bearing to spin on the shaft. In many cases the lock collar will stay in place, thanks to the "insurance" against rotation provided by the set screw in the lock collar.

Another question that came up was, "Why don't they make lock collars so they can only lock in the correct direction? The answer is, "Because the lock collars on bearings on the opposite ends of shafts always lock in opposite directions." If you lock them correctly, in the direction the shaft will turn, then one lock collar will lock clockwise (as you face the end of the shaft) and the other will lock in the counterclockwise direction as you face the other end of the shaft.

A third thing that came up, while I was talking with a customer about bearings, lock collars and repairs, was a comment I made that, in general, all shafts, pulleys and sprockets on a combine turn in the same direction as the tires (unless there is a belt arrangement or gearcase specifically designed to reverse directon of a shaft's rotation.) Knowing that most shafts, belts, pulleys, chains and sprockets on a combine turn the same direction as the tires helps determine which way to rotate lock collars, position the idler pulleys on belt drives (always on the "slack" side), and is generally handy knowledge to have.