What Do You Know About Escalator Gearbox Oil?

Mechanical parts of escalators and moving walks need to be lubricated. Lubrication aids the motion of ingredients in contact and reduces friction, heat, wear, and noise. Without lubrication, elements will require frequent maintenance, increasing the fire risk and shortening the component’s life cycle. Lubricants can be in different forms like fluid, solid, grease, or gas.

So, you need to use escalator gearbox oil for your escalator and moving walk gear. Without it, lubricant viscosity is an essential factor in lubrication efficiency. Viscosity refers to the internal friction of a fluid that causes its resistance to flow. Let’s know more about escalator gearbox oil.

What Is Escalator Gearbox Oil?

As we know, An escalator is a moving staircase that helps people move up or down between different building floors. It is powered by electricity and has steps that run in a loop. In this way, it allows passengers to move on and off when necessary. They can carry people endlessly, making them more efficient than elevators when talking about passenger capacity.

To operate this whole system, they use powerful gear. You should use the right escalator gear oil to run this gear appropriately. However, escalator gear oils are medium-duty lubricating with a high viscosity index, high detergency level, and good oxidation stability. They act as a smooth boundary lubricant to reduce wear, tear, and corrosion. They have quality solvent-refined base stock with high anti-foam properties blended with extreme pressure (EP) additives.

Benefits Of Escalator Gearbox Oil:

  • Good extreme pressure and anti-wear properties
  • Excellent product stability at operating temperature.
  • Great anti-corrosion properties
  • Amazing gear protection
  • Not compatible with oils based on polyglycol
AppearanceBright Golden YellowBright Golden YellowBright Golden YellowBright Golden YellowBright Golden Yellow
Colour ASTM (max)
K.Viscosity Y @40°c170-200410 – 500210 – 230310-330420-500
K.Viscosity Y@100°c16-1828-3218-19.223.5-24.528-32
Viscosity Index (min)9090909090
Density @ 29.5°C0.85 – 0.890.89-0.900.887-0.8930.888-0.8930.89-0.90
Flash Point230250230  

Escalator Gearbox Oil Viscosity:

Gear oil with viscosity of VG 320 and VG 460 oil can also be used as lubrication of escalator chains. Gear oil’s viscosity is much thicker than motor oil. For example, the average motor oil viscosity is 5w30, and the average gear oil viscosity is 75w90.

They provide improved lubrication and anti-wear performance. This viscosity grade forms strong oil films and sticks to the metal surface for a long time. Also, they can effectively decrease the friction between the metals. Hence, the escalator gear can get better lubricated and protected when starting.

Most applications typically use an AGMA Class 7 or 8 compound oil (ISO VG 460 and 680). In some cases, you can use 8A (1000 VG). Viscosity selection depends on escalator size, type, speed, and operating temperature. Recommendations. In fact, the temperature of general elevator gearbox bearings should be less than 60°C. The oil temperature in the chassis should not be more than 85°C.

Most importantly, the oil temperature for the escalator will be used according to different models and functions. Yet, you should pay attention to oil, oil temperature, and oil leakage. See your OEM for your particular viscosity.

Escalator Gearbox Oil Capacity:

Elevator equipment has many parts that must be lubricated, mainly including guide rails, hydraulic buffers, traction gearboxes, and wire ropes. The motor rotates as power to move the chassis and counterweight up and down through gears or pulleys.

The lubrication system of the escalator consists of an oil pump, oil container, nozzle, oil tube, etc. It lubricates the transmission parts like the primary drive chain, pedal link, armrest drive chain, etc. That’s why you should know the quantity of gear oil for this escalator lubrication system. It’s because to run the escalator system properly, you should use proper gear oil and capacity. The capacity of escalator gear oil is 3.5 liters.

Escalator Gearbox Oil Price And Maintenance:

Regarding escalator maintenance, gear oil is an essential process in the smooth running of the system. The oil acts as a lubricant, as you know, decreasing friction and ensuring optimal energy transfer. An elevator/escalator won’t get off the ground without the proper type of oil!

Oil can become polluted with dirt, water, and other foreign particles, changing its natural viscosity. Likewise, contaminated lubricants can reduce the amount of additives needed. As a result, parts wear out prematurely, resulting in poor performance.

That’s why you must test the oil to maintain your escalator correctly. When you can see your oil is contaminated, you should use new gear oil for your escalator. But you may wonder what the actual price of escalator gear oil is. Depending on the measurement of gear oil you used, the price varies. Let’s know the cost of gear oil.

  • 10 liters escalator gear oil price is $1.26-$1.76
  • A 20 tons gear oil piece is $900.00
  • 200 liters of gear oil price is $1.96-$2.00

Even so, to run your escalator for 1000.0 km, you need to spend $2.00-$5.00.

Escalator Gearbox Oil Equivalent:

Adding gear oil keeps them cool, removing impurities, lubricating moving parts, and protecting against weather and corrosion. Gear oil contains additives to decrease pressure, but some lubricants do not contain these properties. But you can use a substitute for your escalator gearbox if you don’t have access to gear oil. You ensure the alternatives can be safe for your escalator under the right conditions. However, you can use:

  • Manual Transmission oil
  • Automatic Transmission oil and
  • Differential oil

Though you can use them in an emergency, you should change them immediately after using the alternatives.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Is engine oil used in gearboxes?

Gearbox oil contains higher viscosity than engine oil. This is because it protects the gears better, ensuring a smooth shift between them. High density is also essential to push the oil around the gearbox. For that reason, you can’t use engine oil in your gearbox.

Q. What is the best oil for elevators?

Actually, before using any oil, it’s necessary to check your owner’s manual. From there, you can know what is the best oil for elevators. Though using hydraulic oil for your elevator is best, you can use ATF. It’s because many ATFs provide the same performance as hydraulic oil. Before using hydraulic oil, you should ensure you use AW 32 and AW 46 hydraulic oil. The reason is that they are best for your elevator system. Don’t use tractor hydraulic oil because it can be dangerous for your elevator.

Q. Do escalators use oil?

The job of oil is to lubricate any engine system; escalators aren’t an exception. You should use oil on your escalator system to transfer optimal energy and reduce friction. Without oil, your escalator won’t get off the floor.

Final Word

On the other hand, gear oil contains excellent water and oxidation resistance and strong adhesion. Besides this, it can increase the tightness of the gearbox and decrease oil leakage. You need to use escalator gearbox oil to ensure proper performance in your escalator gearbox. Furthermore, your escalator gear oil can significantly reduce some everyday stressors with less lubricant consumption. Therefore, you must use appropriate gearbox oil to get a compelling performance from your escalator. Ergo, ensure it’s best for your escalator before utilizing the gearbox oil.

Read Also: Industrial Gear Oil Selection Guide


I am Engr. Z Eusuf Lubricant Specialist, Mechanical Engineer & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.